Friday, November 25, 2011

Hip Hop: Between Dissent & Diplomacy

Hisham Aidi has done some amazing work on the current landscape of hip hop within the context of diplomacy and international relations. Here is the al-Jazeera link for Leveraging Hip Hop in US Foreign Policy. It serves as a good primer for his larger piece in the Middle East Report entitled, The Grand (Hip-Hop) Chessboard. This work is both a follow-up and a contrast to his earlier work entitled, Jihadis in the Hood, that looked at urban Islam in the context of the war on terror. Here's another good piece of his on the cultural protest of the Hip-Hop Umma.
Below are some videos on the role of Muslim hip hop as a political tool of the US, and some others as a critique of the US that resist incorporation into cultural diplomacy projects. Further down is some info. on hip hop and the Arab Spring.

Here's a piece on the involvement of American Muslim group Native Deen in cultural diplomacy in Indonesia, and a video:


But, there are other Muslim artists who have taken a more critical stance on US foreign policy, which make them much less likely to partner with cultural diplomacy projects. The British Iraqi rapper Lowkey represents this perspective:


Arab Spring

For a good survey of videos, lyrics and info. on musical artists involved with the Arab Spring, check out Reza Aslan's compilation (here). Here's news clip on hip hop and the Arab Spring:

Egypt's Jan. 25th Anniversary 

Iraqi Canadian rapper The Narcicyst has a recent video out in support of Egypt's revolutionary anniversary:

Egyptian Kareem Abd el-Wahhab commemorates the anniversary below with a techno beat with centered around the chant of the revolution:
(The people want the downfall of the regime/الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام):