Monday, July 31, 2006

Algerian Hip-Hop: MBS

From, a piece by Arian Fariborz on Algerian rap group MBS (Le Micro Brise Le Silence). MBS dates the origins of rap in Algeria to the urban uprisings of 1988. I have a copy of the group's only CD released in the US, Le Micro Brise Le Silence, which is fabulous. I've not heard Rabah President, discussed here.

"In its country of origin, hip hop culture now seems to mean little more than hedonism, conspicuous consumption, and illusory ideas about violence and sex. In Algeria, the almost-forgotten potential of that culture is audible once again. Here, rap means speaking about reality, about an everyday life that is often frankly depressing, about political injustice, terror and war."

Monday, July 17, 2006

Article on Shaaban Abdel Rahim

From Transnational Broadcasting Studies (TBS) 16, a very useful article: "The Fool Sings a Hero's Song: Shaaban Abdel Rahim, Egyptian Shaabi, and the Video Clip Phenomenon," by James R. Grippo, UCSB PhD candidate in ethnomusicology.

Here's the last paragraph:
Contributing to ‘Abd al-Rahim’s controversial success is his social positioning as the next superstar descending from a historic line of political sha‘bi singers in Egypt. Finally, ‘Abd al Rahim’s success must be understood in the context of the West’s loosely defined War on Terror. The perception of cultural and political attack from outside the Arab world has sparked the need for amplified voices speaking sympathetic truths to a self-consciously cornered Muslim population. ‘Abd al-Rahim’s uncanny sense of Arab anger and frustration has enabled this illiterate ironer from Mit Halfa to become one of the loudest of these voices.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lebanese vocalist Rima Khcheich: splicing the Eastern classical and jazz idioms

Jim Quilty, writing in the Daily Star, on a Lebanese female singer in the vein of Ziad Rahbani.

Meanwhile, Ziad's mother Fairuz had her Thursday concert at the Baalbek International Festival "delayed" due to what the US press insists on calling Israel's "crossing" into Lebanon.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Iranian rock and hip-hop

An interesting story on NPR, reviewing a documentary called "Sounds of Silence," by Amir Hamz and Mark Lazarz, on Iranian rock and rap. It includes samples from O-Hum, Barobax and Hich-Kas.

Go here to view a video by rap group Hich-Kas. Download songs by Hich-Kas here. Go to the Wikipedia article on Hich-Kas to find more zipped mp3s.