Video: Rap Speaks To Politics

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It's no secret that rap is political. A recent New York Times article highlights various songs and MCs who've made a real impact on revolutionary movements in the Middle East and Africa - sometimes paying a serious price for their rhymes. DIY production and social media have made it possible to spread the word of MCs like El Général, AKA the voice of Tunisia, who has been imprisoned. El Général's song, "Head Of State" (video above) helped spur public outcry that ultimately ousted President Ben Ali. OKA fav Keyti from Senegal, and Mohamed el Deeb from Egypt (below) were shown love for their outspoken politics. When interviewed, Deeb rightfully noted that “shallow pop music and love songs got heavy airplay on the radio, but when the revolution broke out, people woke up and refused to accept shallow music with no substance.”

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