User:AshLin/Music of the Arab Spring
Rap, Hip hop and traditional music, beside other genres, have played a role in the Arab Spring. Music has been controlled in a number of countries involved in the Arab Spring and dissenting cultural figures have been arrested or tortured. The music has provided an important platform by means of communication amongst the demonstrators. The music has helped create moral support and encouraged a spirit of resistance and revolt against the regimes.
In Libya, an anonymous hip hop artist called Ibn Thabit has given a voice to "disenfranchised Libyans looking for a nonviolent way to express their political will". On his website, Ibn Thabit claims that “has been attacking Gaddafi with his music since 2008” when he posted his first song on the internet, titled "Moammar - the coward". Lyrics of a song ‘Al-Soo'al’ released by Ibn Thabit on YouTube on 27 January 2011, weeks before the riots began in Libya are indicative of the rebel sentiment. Ibn Thabit's music is featured in a compilation of Arabic Spring resistance rap songs by Khala labelled ‘Khala’s Mixtape Volume 1'.
Some groups, such as a rock band from Benghazi called the "Guys Underground", used metaphors to cloak the censure of the authorities. The group released a song just before the uprising entitled “Like My Father Always Says” to ridicule an autocratic fictional male head of a family which was a veiled reference to Col Gaddafi.
Some of these musicians arose from a movement called shabbab cool or "cool youth".
- Unattributed (20 April 2011). "Hip-hop is a soundtrack to the North African revolt". Free Muse - Freedom of Musical Expression. Freemuse, Copenhagen, Denmark. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Lane, Nadia (30 March 2011). "Libyan Rap Fuels Rebellion". CNN iReport. Cable News Network. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
- Unattributed (8 August 2011). "Ibn Thabit: The Beat Behind Libya's Revolution". Aslan Media. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Nation Public Radio (22 Jun 2011). "Top Five Arab Spring Hip-Hop Songs". The New Significance (webzine). Retrieved 13 August 2011.