Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

The Many Faces of Tageel: Sudanese Rap’s Rising Star

‘Music is my muse; I create for myself’

With a mysterious countenance veiled behind an enigmatic mask, emerges the Riyadh-based Sudanese lyricist known as Tageel, gradually revealing fragments of his identity with each track, each verse, and every beat. Driven by an intrinsic passion to craft the music he yearned to hear, yet found lacking in the mainstream, Tageel asserts, “Music is my muse; I create for myself.”

Sudan, for hundreds of years has been a historical nexus of African and Arabic cultures, with a profound and rich history in musical expression.  Fond recollections of familial musical immersion echo in his earliest memories, where home was a sanctuary of artistic appreciation, with music reigning supreme. His journey into the realm of Sudanese rap in 2015 served as a gateway into hip-hop, yet it was Sudan’s rich musical history that profoundly shaped his sonic identity.

Drawing inspiration from Sudanese icons like Haqeeba and revered figures such as Mohammed Wardi, Mustafa Seed Ahmed, and Ahmed AlAmin, the enigmatic rapper acknowledges life itself as his primary muse. His music deftly marries commanding lyrical prowess with the infectious rhythms of trap and drill, all while retaining an unmistakably Sudanese essence. Tageel’s utilization of Sudanese slang, notably randok, adds depth to his persona, reflecting his cosmopolitan biography.

In his debut album, Kitab, Tageel offers an intimate glimpse into his psyche, collaborating with a diverse array of producers to encapsulate his multifaceted essence, “every producer helps bring out a different approach or a different Tageel,” the rapper tells MILLE. The album seamlessly presents two different sides of the rising artist, From the vibrant trap-infused energy of tracks like Buffalo and TATA to the introspective album’s latter half that positions lyrical foreplay at the forefront of the tracks, Tageel’s evolution is palpable. 

“The different personalities are a reflection of [different periods] as there were times that were hard and times that were fun and times that didn’t make sense at all until a bit further down the line. Patience and that everything falls into place was the biggest takeaway from the journey. This was definitely a journey of self discovery and growth,” he explains. 

Reflecting on the journey that birthed Kitab, Tageel muses on the ebbs and flows of life, finding solace in the realization that patience and perseverance ultimately pave the path to self-discovery. For Tageel, music goes beyond mere entertainment, serving as a medium through which he shares his most intimate thoughts and experiences with the world. And if it happens to resonate with other people, that’s just an added blessing.

“I treat music as my journal which happens to be public. A single person relating in any way is a blessing whether it’s a sad song or a fun one. My number one goal is pushing the culture— my culture. Where I’m from and what I’ve experienced,” he concludes. 

Below, we caught up with the rapper for a quick round of rapid fire questions to get to know the persona behind the mask better. 

What elements make a Tageel track? 

My tag. A different sounding beat to the song before, and memorable lines.

Can you describe the album in three words? 

Experience, art, and culture.

What are the three tracks that sum up your life? 

Langa, Game Over, and Loop.

 What was the first concert you’ve ever been to? 

Zeynep Bastik while in university in Turkey.

If you could include your music into a movie soundtrack, which movie would you pick? 

Fast and Furious.

If you could go back in time, which musical era do you wish to be a part of?

I actually do not prefer to go back in time. With music it’s always the future im curious about.

What’s your happy place? 

Khartoum

I had a teacher that used to always ask me, ‘what color are you listening to?’ What color do you think your music is? 

Red.

Photography: @binhuweil

Share this article

Related stories