From the outset, these [Arab protest] movements have been accompanied by a very strong musical component, from troubadours in Cairo’s Tahrir square to the adhans uniting in both faith and protest. Yet it has been hip-hop that has become the most iconic and widespread soundtrack of the Arab Spring and, interestingly, it is having the double effect of helping to mobilize activists in the countries directly impacted by the pro-democracy movements while also solidifying links between Arab diasporic communities in the West with those still residing in the ‘homeland.’
And in today’s news (from the BBC):
Prominent Senegalese rapper Omar Toure, who is a vocal critic of President Abdoulaye Wade, has been arrested. […]
The police did not give reasons for the arrest of Mr Toure, who is popularly known as Thiat.
He spoke at an opposition rally on Saturday to urge Mr Wade not to run for re-election next year.
Several opposition leaders joined his fans outside the main court in Dakar to demand his release, our reporter says.
They said the arrest was the latest sign of growing intimidation in Senegal in the build-up to elections.
Mr Toure is a member of the We’ve Had It band.
In January, he helped launch the Enough is Enough movement, which is galvanising youth to register for the elections.
by S. Piliso & His Super Seven in “Next Stop…Soweto: Township Sounds from the GoldenAge of Mbaqanga”
So many (and many horrific) things going on around the world these days, it is hard to keep up. I have a couple of reflections on what is happening in North Africa, I hope to post in the next couple of days.
For the time being – a well deserved music break for all of you out there. This is so much of a break it has nothing to do with Africa, but it is such a beautiful song, and one inspired by a good cause – “Paul Farmer’s quest to transform global health policy through the work of his NGO Partners in Health in Haiti” (h/t UN Dispatch) – I hope you can forgive it.
“Coming to America” by M.anifest (Ghana/US)