The Legacy of Y’en a Marre: Paco Pat Ghetto

“Le travail même s’il permet de satisfaire ses besoins honnêtement, il permet également de gagner notre dignité humaine

“Paco Pat Ghetto BËSS YI DAÑO GAAW” Youtube. Uploaded by Paco Pat Ghetto. 13 May 2022.

Guédiawaye, a suburb of Senegal’s capital city of Dakar, is home to the hip-hop initiative with the acronym ADNE, short for Art Développement National Éducatif. The founder of the ADNE, Arona “Aroo” Faye, co-founded Y’en a Marre, a politically charged group made up of local MCs and journalists. Y’en a Marre was influential in encouraging and motivating the Senegalese youth towards social activism in 2011. The success of this institution would lead Faye to found the ADNE in 2018; today, this organization hosts some of Senegal’s newest and hottest names in hip hop. ADNE hosted an awareness concert for their most recent program promoting electoral education among minority populations in July of 2022, opening with an appearance from local artist Papa Aly Gueye or as his fans know him, Paco Pat Ghetto.

The most recent release on Paco Pat Ghetto’s YouTube channel is his new single entitled “BËSS YI DAÑO GAAW” (the description of the video also uses “Bès Yi Danio Gaaw” in reference). Paco Pat Ghetto is best known for his Wolof lyrics that are uniquely crafted for West African listeners, mixing local languages into lines with English and French to better represent the diversity that many of these artists possess. The English bridge at 1.30 seconds through the song speaks of hard work, using the verb hustling in one line; “from nothing to something gotta act like that, hustle hard like that.” This song includes a sampling of The O’Jays’ 1978 track “Help (Somebody Please)” to help develop the growing theme of meeting challenges head-on.

Later in the track, Paco drops the infamous saying, “no pain, no gain” and from then on, regardless of linguistic capabilities, the audience understands the goal of empowerment, a universal theme accompanying Senegal’s hip-hop scene. Finally, in the description of the video, an anecdote from the artist reclaims his stance on the importance of hard work to meet one’s goals. He states in French: “Le travail même s’il permet de satisfaire ses besoins honnêtement, il permet également de gagner notre dignité humaine.” In English, this roughly translates to “work allows us to meet our honest needs while also earning our human dignity.”

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