Sunday, July 11, 2010

Qusai, Saudi rapper

I like rap in foreign languages. Italian is tricky, sometimes clunky, and French -- well, it's French, so I start to giggle. (Smeeth and Wes-son...old favorite, plus a pretty cool video). But Arabic rap puts them to shame. There's something both flowing and emphatic about Arabic that lends itself to rap, and I really like the way Qusai flows between English and Arabic.

There's something defiant about using sword dancers and whirling dervishes in the dance scene. Like yeah, we borrowed this from you, but we're sticking to our own. (Watch the MC Solaar video above for an interesting comparison.) And kudos for producing a hip hop video without using women as sex decor.

However, your video is about having a career and there are no women in it. Yeah, you have verisimilitude on your side. Sort of. But seriously, dude, not one woman? Not even one?

I think you missed an opportunity here. What would this video be like if it was about a woman? Then you could have included a chase by religious police, family scorn and shame, public humiliation, and possibly even a courtroom scene. Or what if it was about one of Saudi's impoverished "guest" workers? You could have a whole gangsta-rap-in-Riyadh thing. I guess Saudi isn't ready for Straight Outta Compton. 

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