Eden Derso, youngest professional rapper in Israel, releases her first album “keter shakuf” (transparent crown)
Eden Derso (sometimes spelled Dersso or Darso) is the youngest professional rapper in Israel. Her family came to Israel from Ethiopia in 1992, and she was born in Rehovot on February 21, 1998. Derso is the youngest of seven children.
Derso began singing at a young age and started writing her own songs when she was eight. When Derso was in seventh grade she turned to rap as an emotional outlet, drawing inspiration from Lil’ Wayne and Tupac. At the time, there were very few prominent rappers who rapped in Hebrew, so Derso rapped in English.
When Derso was sixteen she heard Nechi Nech (Ravid Plotnik), an Israeli rapper, singing in Hebrew, and for the first time she realized that she, too, could rap in Hebrew. Switching to Hebrew rap allowed Derso to draw on a wider vocabulary. She also experiments with songwriting in Spanish. Derso loves to rap about being the youngest rapper in Israel, as well as one of the only female rappers, to show men that women can rap, too.
After one of the songs she posted online went viral, DJ Mesh invited Derso to record an album with his new company, Shigola Records. On August 12, 2018, Derso released the debut album, Keter Shakuf (transparent crown). She named the album “transparent crown” to emphasize the beauty of Black women and empower them to see themselves as queens, and in it she raps about the struggles between her Ethiopian and Israeli identities. Her second album, Meshulash Kodesh (holy triangle), was released on July 21, 2022; a collaboration among many producers, it represents her thoughts about being a young, Black Ethiopian woman born in Israel.
Since exploding onto Israel’s music scene, Derso has been featured in HOT Magazine’s docu-series called Bitim (bits). She also appeared in a commercial for Bisli, a popular Israeli snack, and has collaborated with artists including Peled and Yishay Swissa.
Because Derso grew up in a time with little representation of Ethiopian women in Israeli media, she aspires to fulfill as many roles as she can—actor, model, writer—– to show young Ethiopian-Israeli girls what can be possible for them.
Burack, Emily. “18 Things To Know About Ethiopian Israeli Rapper Eden Derso.” Hey Alma, April 23, 2019. https://www.heyalma.com/18-things-to-know-about-ethiopian-israeli-rapper-eden-derso/.
Satenstein, Liana. “Eden Dersso Is the Changing Face of Tel Aviv’s Hip-Hop Scene.” Vogue, April 2, 2019. https://www.vogue.com/vogueworld/article/eden-dersso-israeli-ethiopian-rapper-tel-aviv.
Sharon, Matan. “העדן החדשה” [The New Eden]. MAKO, August 19, 2021. https://www.mako.co.il/music-weekend-magazine/Article-1c0659e7dce5b71027.htm.
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Jewish Women's Archive. "Eden Derso, youngest professional rapper in Israel, releases her first album “keter shakuf” (transparent crown)." (Viewed on December 1, 2022) <https://jwa.org/thisweek/aug/12/2018/eden-derso-youngest-professional-rapper-israel-releases-her-first-album-keter>.