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ElGrandeToto Makes a Powerful Statement in His New Song, ‘Silhouette’


Last month, Moroccan rapper ElGrandeToto, born Taha Fahssi, found himself involved in a cannabis controversy sparked after a public appearance in Rabat, in which he claimed to not have any bad influence on his followers despite being a regular hashish consumer. Mere days after the very publicized incident, a complaint was filed by “three artists, a journalist, and a policeman” triggering his temporary arrest before the Casablanca-born MC was released and eventually issued an official apology during an organized press conference held in his native city. 

Since then, the Arab World’s most listened-to artist on Spotify has remained quite silent, keeping himself tucked away from the media’s spotlight and maintaining a low profile, in what was interpreted by fans and members of the press as his way of avoiding adding more fuel to the fire until things calmed down. 

But, as it turns out, his time in retreat was spent preparing his latest release, Silhouette, a four-minute-long track accompanied by a striking video clip of its own. Posted on YouTube just last night, the sonic offering serves listeners, fans, and detractors alike with a first-hand statement that finally addresses the past few weeks of strain and stress through Toto’s favorite medium, the one that made his fame: music


The track kicks off with the Mghayer-singer and two of his friends sitting in the back of an SUV, heading towards a hall where a fictive press conference is set to take place. As he lights a magic cigarette up a few seconds before he arrives, one of his comrades asks him to keep it low-key, disagreeing with his decision to walk into the Q&A session with journalists after having smoked so recently before. An altercation takes place as we follow the trio to the meditated interview when a reporter asks the 26-year-old where he sits on the question of drug use. The beat then drops alongside his much-awaited statement.

Reading in between his punchy lines and powerful bars, Toto sends a strong message. Aiming at some of the hypocrisy he believes to be seeing in the Moroccan microcosm. He notably points his finger at the pseudo-bad image he’s allegedly sending his followers when he’s one of the most successful artists the country has ever seen, working week in and out for years to make it to where is now. In other words: one of the Kingdom’s best ambassadors of culture and entertainment. Throwing shade at those that have it easy, those disconnected from everyday life, blessed by the system’s privileges that blind them from seeing what it is really like to have to hustle to make your way out, he sends his respects to those who like him might feel like the state has let them down. 

The video clip ends with a written message, in English, French, and Arabic, in support of freedom of artistic expression that reads: “If there are particularized trends of ideas or values, it is because we live in a changing society. If we dare to designate a deterioration of traditional ties, it is because we go beyond hypocrisy and promote qualities of heart and human values. If we are readers of our own social and ideological dysfunction, we can also be vectors of freedom, elevation, and reconciliation. Let’s not break the links, but build the routing of a memorable artistic history. Let’s look at the silhouette of a reality that alters us.”

Quickly to be labeled a masterpiece by social media users, Toto’s response is one that can be expected to send seismic waves across the North African country. While it will potentially birth another episode to the already long and unnecessary weeks of drama and back and forth with governmental officials, Toto’s latest track sends a powerful message. 

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