The Story of a Raptivst: Who Can Stop Me?

Although often marginalized and underappreciated, Yukka Shahin demonstrates that female Egyptian Hip-Hop artists are not a dying breed. The 26-year-old began rapping in 2010, around 18 years old, in the rap multicultural center of Alexandria, Egypt. Her early works served as a platform for self-discovery and expression, allowing herself to discuss issues concerning her personal life, but was soon overshadowed by the sometimes chaotic atmosphere she endured during the highly political Arab Spring. The Arab Spring is described as being “a revolutionary wave of both violent and non-violent demonstrations, protests, riots, coups, foreign interventions, and civil wars in North Africa and the Middle East that began on the 17th of December 2010…with the Tunisian Revolution.” The Arab Spring served as a catalyst for the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, commonly known as the Egyptian Crisis. The anti-government rallies presented themselves throughout Alexandria, where she resides, and Suez predominantly. Her personal involvement the tense and politicized environment that occurred before, during, and after the constraints of the crisis itself, as well as her involvement in support of the feminist movement (“highlighting the role of women in society and advocating for women’s rights”), inspired Shahin’s transition into the realm of raptivism. Continue reading “The Story of a Raptivst: Who Can Stop Me?”

L’argot de Sénégal

“Senegal slang” signifies more than its catchy nature would insinuate.

It is impossible to watch this “Y’en a marre” (enough is enough)  video without recollecting Golden-Age American hip hop artists discuss social progression some 20 to 30 years after the civil rights movement. The video begins with Senegalese rapper Djily Baghdad discussing crumbling social and political institutions contemporary with the 2011 Arab Spring movements. Continue reading “L’argot de Sénégal”

Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati

by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Now available in paperback & on Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Hip-Hop-Social-Change-Africa/dp/1498505805

This book examines social change in Africa through the lens of hip hop music and culture. Artists engage their African communities in a variety of ways that confront established social structures, using coded language and symbols to inform, question, and challenge. Through lyrical expression, dance, and graffiti, hip hop is used to challenge social inequality and to push for social change. The study looks across Africa and explores how hip hop is being used in different places, spaces, and moments to foster change. In this edited work, authors from a wide range of fields, including history, sociology, African and African American studies, and political science explore the transformative impact that hip hop has had on African youth, who have in turn emerged to push for social change on the continent. The powerful moment in which those that want change decide to consciously and collectively take a stand is rooted in an awareness that has much to do with time. Therefore, the book centers on African hip hop around the context of “it’s time” for change, Ni Wakati.

Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati

by Msia Kibona Clark and Mickie Mwanzia Koster

Now available in paperback & on Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Hip-Hop-Social-Change-Africa/dp/1498505805

This book examines social change in Africa through the lens of hip hop music and culture. Artists engage their African communities in a variety of ways that confront established social structures, using coded language and symbols to inform, question, and challenge. Through lyrical expression, dance, and graffiti, hip hop is used to challenge social inequality and to push for social change. The study looks across Africa and explores how hip hop is being used in different places, spaces, and moments to foster change. In this edited work, authors from a wide range of fields, including history, sociology, African and African American studies, and political science explore the transformative impact that hip hop has had on African youth, who have in turn emerged to push for social change on the continent. The powerful moment in which those that want change decide to consciously and collectively take a stand is rooted in an awareness that has much to do with time. Therefore, the book centers on African hip hop around the context of “it’s time” for change, Ni Wakati.

Continue reading “Hip Hop and Social Change in Africa: Ni Wakati”

Hip Hop & Diaspora: Connecting the Arab Spring

Hip Hop & Diaspora: Connecting the Arab Spring by Lara Dotson-Renta

Every evolution has a certain style of music connected to it. The recent and still on-going pro-democracy movements now popularly known as the “Arab Spring’ has been accompanied by a very strong musical components, and it has been hip-hop that has become the most iconic and widespread soundtrack of the Arab Spring and, interestingly, it is having the double effect of helping to mobilize activists in the countries directly impacted by the pro-democracy movements while also solidifying links between Arab diasporic communities in the West with those still residing in the ‘homeland.’ The article also examined the now infamous song Rais Lebled by Tunisian rapper El Général in detail.

http://www.arabmediasociety.com/?article=777

Tunisia’s rappers provide soundtrack to a revolution

Tunisia’s rappers provide soundtrack to a revolution by Neil Curry

Tunisia’s rappers have long made a point of speaking their minds, their lyrics often bringing them into conflict with the old regime. But more than simply upsetting the status quo, according to one of the country’s leading rappers, their music was the “fuel” for Tunisia’s revolution. In this article, CNN interviewed “Balti”, who is Tunisia’s best-known rapper and one of the founding fathers of hip-hop music in the country.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/03/02/tunisia.rappers.balti/?hpt=Mid