From leaving war-torn Syria to a challenging German music scene, IBO44 beats the odds.

Ibrahim Alsabe coined the moniker IBO44 from his youth nickname IBO and 44, from Dortmund city where he grew up and currently resides.


Ibrahim was born in Syria in 1998 and lived there until 2015. He fled the Syrian war alone and left his family at the age of 17. The young dreamer felt he no longer had a chance to make anything out of the Syrian life. "My biggest dream was to become a musician because I come from a very strict family," Ibo recalls. "I wasn't allowed to listen to music because they think that music is not allowed in our religion," he adds. "Haram" in Arabic means forbidden and that was how music was labeled by older generations. "I had to do it secretly since I was 9 years old," the rapper reminisced. "That's when I discovered my love for hip hop and R&B."

Deep in his heart, Ibrahim knew he would make a name for himself in Europe but immediately realized how hard life was. "Especially when you're young and alone without a family.  That's why I couldn't release much but anyway I'm proud of what I've achieved so far."

I wasn't allowed to listen to music because they think that music is not allowed in our religion


In 2018 IBO44 was able to release his first song 'Syrer Überall' in German. "It was a bit funny because I didn't speak the language perfectly, but well, that was a dream and I made it possible." He took pride in the fact that he was the first Syrian refugee to become a German rapper. He believes the aroused curiosity from netizens was the x-factor for the song to blow up. "This song got 360K views from 0 subscribers on YouTube.


His latest song 'Au DD' was personal as well as for and about artificial painting. "I wanted to try a new style of music called dancehall and rapping in French style but in Arabic." The song has a French title and the lyrics contain a mix of Arabic and a bit of French and English. "I wanted to describe my youth and life experiences through this song.

I wanted to try a new style of music called dancehall and rapping in French style but in Arabic.

IBO44 on his song 'Au DD'. Image supplied.


According to him, the German music scene has become challenging as it is centered around the business aspect nowadays. "I think the big rap stars should rather remain original and keep their own old music style." He adds that his biggest challenge in pursuing a musical path was the amount of work he had to put in to survive living alone at the age of 17 without a family.  "That's why I couldn't finance my music, and as you know you can't build a successful career without money."


IBO44 considers his body of work equally. However, the song 'Dale Dale' feat. Volcano MC was one he considers the most memorable. "It was an absolute hit having to work directly with the most famous rapper in Syria.  I was just extremely proud of myself to have performed such a hit," he adds. Whether it's in German, English, Arabic or French, IBO44 feels comfortable. "It doesn't really matter." The rapper has this to say about life in general. "No matter how bad I feel sometimes or no matter what happens in the world, music keeps me alive and motivates me to keep going," he concludes.

'Dale Dale' ft. Volcano MC. Image supplied.

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ROOTS is musivv's segment featuring musical artists of Middle-Eastern descent residing in the UAE, Middle-East and around the world. Features under this segment are eligible for a nomination under this category on The musivv Awards (TMAs) annual recognition.

April 25, 2022

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