Rap shall set them free.

This video struck me. Not for its production value or for its featured artist’s (G-A-B) somewhat interesting beats but because these kids are Libyans who until recently had no way to express their true feelings beyond a notebook or to a few close confidants without fear of imprisonment or worse. But since the fall of Qaddafi, they’ve transitioned from a “party” band rapping about girls (see NYT for details) to something resembling Public Enemy whose message of social awareness, change and anger with the status quo transformed rap into a serious art form. The most striking thing however is the fact that they are rapping – probably the purest “American” form of music other than jazz.

It’s interesting that when given the freedom to express themselves, people around the world turn to rap — something my dad still calls noise.

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