“Fii” by Hakill

In today’s culture, many rappers tend to have significant impacts on major issues that face their nation and influence many people to be the change. Hakill has embodied the experience of many Senegalese people and their sentiments about their country in his work entitled “Fii” (which translates to “here” in English). His work has inspired the youth in Senegal to speak out against the repressive government and demand change, which was seen in the #FreeSenegal Movement in 2021.

In the #FreeSenegal movement, many demonstrators took to the streets in protest of the arrest of the leader of the opposition party Ousmane Sonko. Many people viewed Sonko as a strong challenger against Macky Sall, who has been dubbed as corrupt among citizens, and they want a leader who advocates for more transparency and less corruption. In Hakill’s “Fii”, he speaks about how fed up people are in poverty living with less, meanwhile, government officials live lavishly on grounds of corruption and exploitation. In his own words, Hakill states that his music “describes the difficult life led by Senegalese [people] and the incessant abuses of the state”. It may seem like a cliche, but his work has inspired many young people of Senegal to revolt against their oppressive government and demand change. Hakill’s song is protest music, yet a call to action for reform. His music relates to the conditions that many Senegalese people live through and is also a spark for many people who view themselves as powerless. His music gives them a voice and influences many that they do have a say and that their voice does matter.

The caption to his music video states “I made this sound a few months ago and basically it should be on my upcoming album. But given the situation currently prevailing in Senegal, its release could not wait until that of the project. Like premonitory music, this sound describes the difficult life led by Senegalese and the incessant abuses of the state, in particular politicians in general.”.

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