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Archive for the ‘Muslim Hip Hop’ Category

Halal Rap vs. Propaganda Rap (Morocco)

October 6, 2013 Leave a comment

‘Halal rap’: Morocco’s MC’s preach politics and conservatism

Published November 11th, 2012 . Albawaba.com

Bigg has been accused of turning to pro-government propaganda (Photo: planetmoroccanrap.blogspot.com)
Bigg has been accused of turning to pro-government propaganda (Photo: planetmoroccanrap.blogspot.com)

Some of Morocco’s young rappers are using their music to show support for the country’s ruling party, espouse family values, and encourage female modesty. It’s called “Halal rap,” but can it even be considered rap at all?

Sheikh Sar (known as Chekh Sar in Morocco) is a rising star among religious youth here.

But Chekh Sar isn’t an upcoming Salafi preacher on one of the religious satellite channels proliferating throughout the Arab world. He is just a young rapper from the city of al-Rashidiya in east Morocco who used to be called Elias Lakhrifi.

His mix of religious advice and conservative values has turned Chekh Sar into a symbol of “halal” music for an Islamist audience. Chekh Sar is credited with inventing a new style of Moroccan rap called “Halal rap.” He uses it to defend the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) and call for building a conservative society.

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The cauldron: Islam and Hip-Hop in Europe

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

A comprehensive overview of the state of Hip Hop Diplomacy across the pond from one of my most admired mentors, Dr. Hisham Aidi (via one of my favorite observers of the Arab street, Jackson Allers & World Hip Hop Market)

The cauldron: Islam and Hip-Hop in Europe

The debate over Islam and hip hop in Europe is heating up as governments wade in.

Farah Pandith, the US State Department special representative to Muslim communities, has argued that hip hop can convey a ‘different narrative’ to counter the foreign ‘violent ideology’ [GALLO/GETTY]

By Hishaam Aidi (published first on Al Jazeera.com)

New York, NY – Three months ago, just as the French presidential campaign was heating up, the rapper Kery James uploaded a track titled “Letter to the Republic” (“Lettre à la République“) explaining what he and youth in the banlieues thought of the republic’s political class, or as he described them, “Pillagers of wealth, murderers of Africans, torturers of Algerians / The colonial past is yours, you chose to link your history to ours.”

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An Embrace of the U.S., Spun and Mixed by Iraqis

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

 Joseph Sywenkyj for The New York Times

BAGHDAD — With his New York Yankees jersey, baggy jeans embroidered with “U.S.A.” down one leg and his casual greeting of “What’s up?”, Ali Jabbar, a rapper and a student in Islamic studies, seems an alien in his own culture.

The Hip-Hop Rhythm of Arab Revolt

July 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The Arab Spring is widely known as a Twitter rebellion, but underground hip-hop artists also played a very important role. Robin Wright, author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” talks with Jerry Seib about the phenomenon.

In November 2010, a young Tunisian rapper who called himself El General posted a song on his Facebook page and YouTube. He had no alternative.

The government of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali had virtually banned hip-hop. Its musicians were not on government-approved playlists for state-controlled television or radio. They were rarely able to get permits to perform in public. And most were barred from recording CDs.

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The Narcicyst x Shadia Mansour: “Hamdulillah”

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

After long last, and not a moment too soon or late, the much-anticipated music video for the first collaboration between Iraqi-Canadian MC The Narcicyst and Palestinian-British singer Shadia Mansour, “Hamdulillah”. Kudos to director Ridwan Adhami for a beautiful portrayal of contemporary Islam through the simplest montage of faces. It comes as a relief for one living in not one but two islamophobic societies, the Netherlands and the US. Nevertheless, al-hamduli’llah.

Lyrics and commentary coming soon..

“Muslim Woodstock”?

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

From Maytha Alhassen, a Ph.D. student studying Muslim American identity at the University of Southern California and blogging for CNN.

The Narcicyst and Omar Offendum take the stage.

Some have facetiously referred to it as the Muslim Woodstock.

But for all the differences between 1969’s three days of peace and music and Saturday’s Takin’ it to the Streets festival in Chicago—a daylong Muslim-led arts and music festival—there is some truth to the comparison.

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