The Arabian Knightz, is a group composed of 3 rappers who rose to fame after releasing a song named, “Rebel,” immediately after the internet censorship laws within Egypt were retrieved following the 2011 revolution. The song samples Lauryn Hill’s song, “I Find it Hard to Say.” While the chorus, consisting of Hill’s vocals is deliberated in English, the rest of the sing is not. But the translation of said lyrics, is set to initiate a sense of upheaval within Egypt’s society; more or less a message of nonconformity rather than complete obscurity.
Another song, which may not be as relevant or as accepted by U.S. media outlets is the song, “Prisoner” which is portrayed by the Arabian Knightz and features a verse by Shadia Mansour. The song rhymes perfectly, and I was amazed by how well they rappers managed to use word-play to convey their messages. Their lyricism is astounding, and the beat is fairly well produced.
Although, I found the song to be very insightful in terms of middle-eastern issues, and their sentiments to Americans, I am very aware that the lyrics within the music may make Americans a bit uncomfortable, some may even find them offensive. But, in all reality perspective is key.
The lyrics within “Prisoner” is forged by both English and Arabic rap verses, and choruses. The first verse of the song which is rapped by Rush, is a criticism of how the U.S. media portrays middle-eastern affairs and their mis-characterizations of their citizens. In doing so, he turns ti criticize the president for making decisions regarding their countries without actually having any idea of what’s actually going on in there.
E-Money goes on to infer that due to the war their is no unity within their country. He also infers that some of their ideals as to what independence resembles would rather be cast away as acts of terrorism than ideals of liberty. Also, the ideal that this war is based off of nothing but basic opportunism.
As stated before, perspective is key. As I view this song as a window into a world I’ve never known, others will surely view it as a window to something they did not want to know and fear.