Saturday, June 23, 2007

FAIR News- The Other Side of Hip Hop - June 17-23

Hip Hop News these days is either often about who got arrested, locked down and shot down. But beyond controversial lyrics, violence, sexism and the latest media scapegoating, Hip Hop makes news that doesn't get top billing. This week June 17-23: Dead Prez teams up with ACLU to take on Gitmo; Morocco's Hip Hop Revolution.

Hip-Hop Artists Urge Guantanamo Shutdown

by Kerry Sheridan
Tue Jun 19

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Hip-hop musicians, themselves longtime enemies of police and government policies, on Tuesday likened their struggle for justice to that of "war on terror" prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

But in order to call attention to their message to end prisoner torture and urge the closure of the US detention camp, they had to plunge deep into the caverns of the much-hated "establishment" -- the US Congress.

"When I walk through these halls, you know, all the way here, I felt this despicable taste in my mouth," rapper M1 of the group Dead Prez told a news conference inside the Capitol Hill press briefing room.

"I came to this building which claims to represent the people who live in this country and (where people) do some of the most treacherous and demeaning acts to other human beings," said M1, his camouflage baseball cap tilted to one side.

"I know some of you feel me," he said to a burst of applause and calls of "Come on!" from an audience that included button-laden peace activists, fresh-faced congressional interns and members of the media.

full article: Hip-Hop Artists Urge Guantanamo Shutdown

Morocco's Hip Hop Revolution

By Latifa al Arousni

Rabat, Asharq Al-Awsat- Audiences scream and shout in frenzied anticipation for Morocco’s rap bands to perform. Moroccan rap artists are taking the local music scene by storm in what can only be described as a bona fide phenomenon reflecting the voices of the country's younger generation.

Held annually in Rabat, the ‘Mawâzine Rythmes du Monde’ festival dedicates a main section of its artistic program to provide a platform for such artists and groups to perform their music, which it dubs the ‘Mawazine generation’. Musical genres include rap, rock, hip-hop and reggae. Among the names of some of these bands are ‘Zanka Flow’ (Street Flow), ‘H-Kayne’, ‘Fnaïre’ and ‘Kanka’. These bands depend on sharp performances that address their listeners in an immediate and direct manner.

But what is the secret behind the popularity of these groups that draw twenty-something year olds? They perform very simple musical compositions and most of the performers lack musical background. The only redeeming quality to their music is their love for this Western type of music, which they imitate or ‘Moroccan-ize’ by integrating popular Moroccan rhythms such as Gnawa [also Gnaoua].

Full article: Morocco's Hip Hop Revolution

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