Ben Bouchta Mohammed was born in Morocco in the early 1960s and raised by his mother and Sufi mystic grandfather. At the age of ten, he migrated to France so his mother could pursue new opportunities, and it was here he became enamoured with hip-hop and funk, and adopted the moniker Shams Dinn.
Now, Smiling C are releasing a compilation of his finest cuts, some released between 1985 and 1990, and some previously unheard. The instrumental of ‘Toutes Ces Femmes’ concludes that compilation. Kurtis Blow’s influence is apparent, yet its distinctly 80s signifiers are peppered with musical flourishes that could only be conceived in a mind as well travelled as Mohammed’s. Charmingly anchored in its era yet timeless in its application of Arabic musicality to early hip-hop.