It’s always a good opportunity to brush up on the land of the pharaohs’ bubbling underground music scene. And for that reason, we’re going to take a trip down to Egypt to see how hip-hop culture is blossoming over there.
In popular folk, the Arab Republic of Egypt is often referred to as “Umm Al Dunya”, a saying that can roughly be translated to “The Mother of the World” due to the nation’s long and rich history as well as their arguable claim to be considered as the “cradle of all civilisations”.
Although perceived as an obnoxious statement at times, this legendary status was not acquired overnight and was most definitely attributed throughout the 20th century when Cairo, the country’s capital, became the beacon of cinematic, theatrical and musical productions in the Arab World. It only makes sense, Egyptian enterntainmenr was beamed across the entirety of the region all the way from Rabat to Baghdad without mistake.
Serving as a second round-up to spotlight some of the up-and-coming or even confirmed MC’s Egypt has to offer, here is our selection of six artists that have been taking over the hearts and charts of the people.
The 23-year-old rapper carries a distinct sense of musicality that has been shining just as bright as his native city’s lighthouse, Alexandria. Born and raised in Egypt’s second-biggest megalopolis, Ahmed Ali, known as Wegz online, has been blending the country’s own Mahraganat genre with American trap to serve his audience with an authentic sound that no one else really knows the recipe to. As Egypt’s most listened to artist last year on Spotify, it’s safe to say that Wegz definitely knows how to galvanise a crowd as he has rapidly been propelled to the forefront of the scene making him one its ambassadors too.
Singer and songwriter Marwan Pablo can certainly be considered as one the engineers and architects of the new wave of hip-hop in Egypt. Active since 2015, the young talented lyricist has had the time to make a name for himself, retire and make a much expected comeback in his half a decade long career. As of Cairo’s most popular voices, each one of his movements is followed instantly by hundreds, to not say thousands, and we only hope that he will know a different fate than the one from who draws his name from, Pablo Escobar.
With over 200,000 followers on Instagram alone, it’s quite obvious that Batistuta is no newcomer and has already proved his worth in the industry by now. The one who describes himself as ‘wild by nature’ owns a heavy fuzzy voice that has been echoing all throughout the country and that people won’t be getting tired of anytime soon. His latest track El Harafeesh, is a slow tempo track that will know just exactly how to make your head bop to it.
From the outside, it seems as if any MC coming out of Alexandria is immediately met with great success – and Afroto is no exception to the rule. Poignant and deep, the songwriter never fails to deliver as his way of pouring his soul and heart on paper is quite literally unmatched so far. Gathering thousands online through his different socials, his (already) daunting numbers are only expected to get higher with time and that’s all we can wish for him for the future.
Eclectic in style, Mosalem boasts a sound that not many would be able to copy or even experiment. Straying away from most of what you can hear in Egypt at the moment, his approach to music is unique by essence and stands out from the rest of his equivalents. Heavily influenced by the old school of hip hop while sometimes he seems as if he drowned in it, Mosalem’s adventure so far is one you want to put your money on for the future.