Irish language rap may be an unfamiliar subgenre to most fans of hip hop. This can be corrected by watching Ciara Nic Chormaic’s documentary Ó Bhéal, which delves into Irish rap through four artists. Even though Strange BoyFehdahMory, and Oisín Mac all have very different styles as musicians, they are united by a burning love for the Irish language and its different dialects. If no one uses the small language, it will fade away entirely, and there is no return from that.

In the music, folklore, ancient poetry, and the sean-nós singing tradition come together with the boldness of rap and modern technology. The documentary follows the artists working in the studio and performing onstage but also hears out why they want to make music specifically in their native language. For others, the reasons are political, for others perhaps more personal. In any case, the result is a unique fusion of American hip hop culture and old Irish folk music.

Produced by Mind The Gap Films for TG4 with funding from ilDána scheme in collaboration with Arts Council Ireland.