Egyptians rappin' away their feelings, Revolutionary music a new outlet

Egyptians rappin' away their feelings, Revolutionary music a new outlet
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Published June 20th, 2013 - 04:00 GMT via

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"Arabian Knightz" is one of the rappin' Revolutionist bands (Photo courtesy of the band's Facebook page)
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The political turmoil that has been gripping the nation for more than two years, since the January 25 Revolution, has left Egypt's youth searching for voices that address the issues they care about.

This has pushed some musical teams to play rap music, hip-hop, pop and rock that reflects the "changes" taking place in this country since the ouster of diehard president Mubarak.

These "revolutionary' songs can be heard blasting from taxis, rocking boats on the Nile and in the marketplace.
Sitting outside his clothes shop in downtown Cairo while patiently waiting for customers, Mohamed Mandour was listening to a 'rap music' that echoed what he is experiencing.

Mohamed, a taxi driver, tried to kill his time while waiting for subsidised diesel by listening to the raucous "Okka and Ortego' rap music, which reflected "the defiant spirit" within him.

In the aftermath of the Revolution, "Okka and Ortego" musical team rose to fame after they created a new genre of youth-driven, socially conscious music called "Mahragant' (Festivals), which reflects social shifts spurred by the Revolution.

The interest that youth has showed towards the noisy rap music displays the profound changes in Egyptian society where striving Egyptians seek to let out their repressed anger and speak 'loud' of their long-standing troubles.

"People found something new in the music," said Mohamed Abdel Hadi, a 21-year-old university student, adding that he never liked this genre of music before the Revolution, but after it he felt that the raucous sound of this music jived with his angry, uncertain feelings.

"When I listen to this music, I feel that I want to dance to laugh off 'negative' sensations inside me," Abdel Hadi asserted.
A rap music group called "Arabian Knightz" has crafted a unique, post-Revolutionary sound, which they say is not just hip-hop, but also a movement.

One of their recent songs, Makshoufeen (Exposed) is all about the Muslim Brotherhood and its history.

It's 'prominently' clear that after the Revolution, this nation's music has started to shake off decades of repression and speak about subjects - like poverty and corruption - that has been long off limits under former president Hosni Mubarak. Under the former regime, communicating messages with 'revolutionary' content to the masses was risky, at best, and at worst, impossible. However, now musical teams feel free to speak about the wrongs and injustices they see.

Do you have a new favorite Revolutionary artist or song? Please share by commenting below.


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