Libyan rebels are going back to the glory days of rap music, pre-hip hop, when it was used as a form of revolutionary poetry against THE MAN. When rap music exploded on the scene some of it was fun, but a lot of it was telling the stories of the ghetto life that mainstream America was not ready to hear. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s “The Message” is the archetype for rap music. Libya’s fighters have channeled rap music into their fight and remembers the formula for pissing off the government.
According to the Associated Press, Milad Faraway, 20, and neighbor Mohammed Madani, 22, started Music Masters a few months ago in 2010. Their nicknames or rap aliases are Dark Man and Madani Lion. They have had some restructuring in the group as one member dropped out for fear of Gadhafi’s thugs coming after him. They then added another member to their group, Rami Raki, 24, or Ram Rak, whose roots really lie in Manchester, England.
Music Masters came together in defense of the people who have suffered under Gadhafi rule. They want to do their part in the revolution by using their art rather than picking up a gun and taking it to the streets. Their music is a fundamental part of the struggle just as it has been in the U.S. when N.W.A. burst out on the scene to expose dirty cops with “F*** the Police.”
Madani told AP:
“I always wanted to talk about Gadhafi’s mistakes and crimes, but we never had the chance for free speech,” said Madani, who is the son of a famous local singer in Benghazi and works part-time in his family’s cell phone and car parts shops. “All you could talk about was how good Gadhafi’s revolution was.”
But they are only one of other groups that are springing up in protest and hoping to make a difference on the front lines of the revolution using this form of expression. Approximately a dozen rap songs have been made and pressed to CD’s since the beginning of the uprising against Gadhafi. They are on sale in downtown Benghazi with one cover depicting fighters on a captured Gadhafi tank flying the rebel flag.
Read more on the revolution here…because as we all know from the legendary, revolutionary, musical poet Gil Scott Heron, it will not be televised.