Drawing from various countries across North Africa and the Middle East, cultural programmer Zeyba Rahman and BAM have brought together an exiting performance to showcase some of the strongest polemical voices this side of the Arab Spring.
Representing the cultural and artistic reaction to the political turmoil that has wracked the middle east in recent years, the performers of “Mic Check” use their music to lyrically reflecting the emotions and demands of citizens from Cairo to Bamako, a tradition of social commentary rooted equally deeply in both hip-hop and many of the region’s more traditional musical forms. Through all of them run a defiant spirit and a unique voice documenting their chapter in history.
This is NOT a concert to be missed, and Afropop Worldwide is giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky winner. To enter, please send an email with your name and the subject line “Mic Check” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck!
Deeb- In sarcastic yet positive colloquial Arabic wordplay, Deeb tends to take the social and cultural concerns of modern Egyptians as his subject. Having focused on his solo career in 2010, he has experienced success with “Stand Up Egypt,” an anthemic track inspired by the protests on Tahrir Square, in which Deeb himself participated.
Amkoullel is a defiant protester against the recent ban on music levied by Malian extremist in the nation’s north. In response, he created a collective called “Plus Jamais Ça” (never again) “to defend the democracy and the sovereignty” of his country.
Shadia Mansour has often been called the “first lady of Arab hip-hop,” and represents a strong female voice in the program. While Mansour was born in London to a Christian Palestinian family, much of her music focuses on Middle Eastern politics and her flow is in seamless and poignant Arabic verse.
El Général started getting serious about rap when, after his first experience on the radio at the age of 13, he was banned by the authorities. A year later he organized his first rap concert with scholarship money. He went to France to study law but changed course when he realized that he would rather be the voice of the voiceless on-stage.
Brahim Fribgane is an oud player with an illustrious recording history. He is based in NYC. Yacouba Sissoko is a Malian griot and musician; he plays ngoni and talking drum, accordingly. Most recently, he toured with internationally reknowned Afrocubism.