Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some Rappers Promoting Conservatism,Talk Politics

Here is an article from alBawaba about rappers in Morocco using their art-form to take political sides and to promote social and religious policies.

'Halal rap': Morocco's MC's preach politics and conservatism

Published November 11th, 2012 - 06:04 GMT via
By Mohammad al-Khudairi
Some of Morocco’s young rappers are using their music to show support for the country’s ruling party, espouse family values, and encourage female modesty. It’s called “Halal rap,” but can it even be considered rap at all?

Sheikh Sar (known as Chekh Sar in Morocco) is a rising star among religious youth here.
But Chekh Sar isn’t an upcoming Salafi preacher on one of the religious satellite channels proliferating throughout the Arab world. He is just a young rapper from the city of al-Rashidiya in east Morocco who used to be called Elias Lakhrifi.
His mix of religious advice and conservative values has turned Chekh Sar into a symbol of “halal” music for an Islamist audience. Chekh Sar is credited with inventing a new style of Moroccan rap called “Halal rap.” He uses it to defend the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) and call for building a conservative society.

Although Chekh Sar has denied links to the PJD in various statements, he rose to fame by performing at party rallies and later rode the wave of the party’s success when they took parliament in November 2011.
He recently released a song defending the achievements of the Islamist party and criticizing its partners in government for supposedly obstructing the PJD’s work.

In this song, he re-appropriates the phrase “Do you understand me or not?” which was originally spoken by Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane when asked to explain the rise in prices of basic goods during a television interview, but later seized on by Moroccans to mock him. Chekh Sar turns it around to attack PJD’s detractors and defend Benkirane.


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