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Vassar College

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Morocco: Multiculturalism and Human Rights

Abstract

This paper examines the political significance of recent developments within the Moroccan hiphop scene in the period following the “Arab Spring.” Since its emergence in the 1980s, Moroccan hip-hop has been used as a medium through which artists have been able to comment on social and political issues. During the past two decades with Morocco under the rule of King Mohammed VI, the content and implications of this art have undergone a transformation, particularly with regard to political commentary and artists’ relationship to the state. This research explores the evolution of hip-hop and rap music in Morocco over that time period, especially analyzing its political implications in the age following the February 20th movement. This study reveals an increasing trend of movement away from explicitly political music, as determined through integration of existing scholarship and semi-structured interviews conducted with seven individuals intimately involved in the hip-hop and musical scenes in Rabat and Casablanca. I argue that this tendency is representative not of decreasing artistic political involvement but rather of a reincarnation of dissent in a unique sociopolitical climate.

Disciplines

African Languages and Societies | African Studies | Arts and Humanities | Family, Life Course, and Society | Music | Other Music | Politics and Social Change

 

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