Egyptian Rapper, Marwan Moussa, makes creative choices in the way he uses language on this track “Shata2er;” he released it on March 12th, 2019. Moussa has made a name for himself in Egypt’s hip hop scene with his unique combination of an older flow with a more modern twist.
Marwan’s language choice is an intentional decision he makes in order to establish his authenticity within Egypt. He originally started as a smaller rapper on Soundcloud rapping in English while he was studying in Rome. Upon his return to Egypt in 2018, Moussa decided to make a shift into rapping in his native language Arabic. In this song he is able to connect with his Egyptian audience through his use of language.
The song’s theme itself is not clear initially, but as you listen further you are able to see what connects the topics he discusses. Moussa sings about multiple different scenarios that all occur around food or a meal. He strings together verses with a consistent rhyme throughout the song. The song emulates braggadocio in the way he talks about himself. He makes up metaphors that don’t quite make sense. The song is spoken from the point of view from someone who is manic and experiencing an episode as he implies in the beginning of the song. One metaphor that I like that he used is in his line “3sht il door, bas il dor til3 ardi.” He uses the word door as a double meaning. “3sht il door,” means “I lived the dream.” But he says “bas il dor til3 ardi,” meaning the “door” turned out to be the floor. In Arabic door has that double meaning so he plays on that. This is what most of his metaphors are like. When translated they don’t quite make sense, but his ability to use double meanings and rhyme can certainly be appreciated. It is possible he had a deeper meaning for the song, but it is certainly not one that stands out.
The title of this song translates to “Sandwiches,” in Classical Arabic. Classical Arabic is a more formal version of the Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) that is commonly spoken in Egypt. Throughout his song, Moussa, uses a mix of Classical Arabic and speaking MSA in an Egyptian dialect throughout the song. He has a complex vocabulary using words from different time periods and Arabic styles that he combines in this song.
This song as a whole is Moussa having fun with his lyrics. He is known for adding a comedic twist to his music. In this song he shows off his Arabic rhyming ability, but does not take the chance to say something in particular. The whole song is a sandwich of metaphors in which he uses complex language skills and is intentional in the Arabic he uses.