Thursday, February 17, 2011

Resistance through music

After watching the clip El General, the Tunisian political issues rapper in class, I was reminded of the film I recently watched — I Love Hip Hop in Morocco. A documentary about Moroccan Hip-hop artists and the struggles they face. This kind of music goes against their way of life — their traditions, religion and laws (No one is allowed to speak ill of the King of Morocco or criticize the government). They confront much resistance as they express themselves through not only this art, but with the lyrics which discuss political issues, key events important to remember as in opposing their government, and views on the western culture. However, despite it all they fundraise and create a concert featuring all of these underground bands like Fnaire and Don Bigg. Hip-hop in the United States is about relationships, love, sex, and drugs. We all dance, sing and listen, but for Moroccan rappers music is their freedom of speech.

In September I traveled to Morocco and was determined to find a Moroccan Hip-hop CD. I was worried about finding the CDs in Morocco because I didn’t know the language and knew the music was offensive to the majority of the population. The first day, I got the courage to ask my waiter about Moroccan hip-hop, but he immediately said it didn’t exist. The next day in the market in Marrakech there was a small stand pushed between a restaurant and convenience store. At first glance I could only see the typical “Sounds of Morocco” CDs, but after asking the man and reassuring him that I really did want hip-hop music he pulled out a small box from under the counter. The CD covers were cracked, they weren’t covered in plastic wrap and the artwork looked like it was made on a home computer. I found the artists I knew and paid the man the equivalent of 5 dollars for each one.

Music is such a powerful tool and with the increase use of social media viral YouTube videos of these artists spread their message throughout the countries. 

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