Egyptian Rebellion Inspires Hip-Hop Solidarity Song
"#Jan25" begins with a recitation of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi before the Sami Mata-produced beat drops, and Offendum opens with the rhymes, "I heard 'em say the revolution won't be televised/Al Jazeera proved them wrong/Twitter has them paralyzed." The hashtag on the title of the track is a shout out to the role Twitter trending has played in organizing the Egyptian protests against Mubarak's decades-long rule. Stylized mashup footage from Al Jazeera's coverage of the historic events is the visual backdrop for the song's YouTube video.
The tip of the backwards cap to the news agency peaked their interest, and accordingly, Offendum appeared onAl Jazeera English
to speak about the protest song he and his musician friends collaborated on. The Syrian-American MC said in the course of the interview that "#Jan25" is "first and foremost a song of solidarity with the Egyptian people who have inspired us with their incredible, incredible resolve these past few weeks." The rapper then spoke about the hopes of connecting the track's message to "an audience in the United States who perhaps don't think that they have anything to do with the events in Egypt."
The song is the latest testament to hip-hop's global mantle as a youth culture of resistance. As the Egyptian rebellion took its cue from neighboring Tunisia, the contagion could spread throughout the region and beyond, inspiring future songs of solidarity along the way.
For now, Offendum ends his first verse with "We know freedom is the answer/The only question is 'Who's next?'"
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