The Arabic Hip-hop…


by Eleonora Catalli, London



Friday 14 October 2011

Leighton House Museum


(foto da part of the Nour Festival of Arts, Randa Safieh, a music teacher and ethnomusicologist specialising in Palestinian hip-hop, and Master Mimz, a Moroccan London-based rapper, explored the origins and developments of Arabic hip-hop. Following the screening of the video ‘Back Down Mubarak’, which affirmed Master Mimz’s talent worldwide in February 2010, Randa introduced Arabic hip-hop and asked a few questions of Master Mimz, who then closed the evening with an amazing short concert.


Hip-hop originated in the USA in the ‘70s as a movement that enabled young African-Americans to express their social, political and economic marginalization. It is not a surprise that Arab youths have adopted and re-interpreted this genre to give voice to their identity issues in the Arab world and in exile and to build bridges amongst these realities. Arabic hip-hop is not a form of ‘Americanisation’ but a cultural phenomenon that has flourished since the late ‘90s as a political and cultural statement directed not only at an Arab audience but also a Western one – therefore the use of English as well as Arabic.


Master Mimz brings her personal experience as a young Moroccan female artist. Her music is a means to express her interior world although she realizes that once her songs are released they are filtered by people’s emotions. Hip-hop is also her tool to spread the news about what is happening in the Arab world and therefore her contribution to the revolution. Being an Arab woman in the male dominated hip-hop field is a challenge that Master Mimz is managing very well; her understanding  of the patriarchal society in which she grew up gave her the tools to handle it while maintaining her identity.


Young, determined and politically engaged, Master Mimz has definitely got talent as she proved during the concert.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked (required)

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>