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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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