Changing Planet

Soundtrack for the Arab Uprising

Arab hip-hop, once relegated to the sidelines, has emerged as the soundtrack of the resistance.

by Shannon Farhoud
Hip-hop and politics often go hand in hand, and as pro-democracy revolutions spread throughout the Arab world, one sound in particular is echoing the hopes, dreams, and frustrations of many people.
This week on National Geographic weekend, Boyd Matson interviews one of the leading artists in the growing genre of Arab hip-hop, Yassin Alsalman, aka The Narcicyst. Yassin, an Iraqi-Canadian, has been making music for over seven years. In one of his latest songs, #Jan25, Yassin raps in English about the Egyptian Revolution. The song features fellow Arab artists Omar Offendum, Freeway, Ayah, and Amir Sulaiman.

Yassin and fellow Arab hip-hop artists are featured in a short documentary titled ‘Broken Records: The Rise of Arab Hip-Hop‘ which can be found on the National Geographic Music website.

Shannon Farhoud is a student at Northwestern University in Qatar and an intern with National Geographic Weekend.



Benjamin Shaw produces the weekly radio program National Geographic Weekend with host Boyd Matson. Hear it on on XM/Sirius satellite radio (XM channel 133 Sundays at noon), subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or get the show streamed to your iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, or Android OS phone with Stitcher Radio.
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