We can debate over whether if you like Shaabi music or not. But let’s be real, we can never ignore the fact that it’s always there. It’s there in big or small weddings, in the background of your friends’ gatherings or even in a frustrating traffic jam.
And while it can be hard to trace its humble beginnings back in 2007, we’re all familiar now with its most-famous artists like Hamo Bika, Omar Kamal, Hassan Shakosh and El-Dakhlawya. So, you can either be the biggest fan of these people or you simply could care less about them, but you’ve got to admit that they have it.
We’ve noticed that one of the main criticisms being thrown at Shaabi music is the shallow lyrics, when in fact it’s the complete opposite! Most of these songs’ lyrics are actually deep and have layers of meanings. Yes, you read that right. While most of the mainstream songs are about either being loved or dumped, Shaabi music artists sing about our society’s most-forbidden taboos.
They go on and on about quarrels happening because of friends’ betrayal, women, sex, money, or drugs. While it’d be a lot easier to turn a blind eye, it wouldn’t be fair to accuse them of being dramatic or too-much when, believe it or not, things in their songs do actually happen in their real lives. Denying this won’t make it less true. As a matter of fact, this is exactly what makes their music always a hit. It’s real and raw all the way! There I said it.
If we could just get off our high horses, it’d be so obvious that these artists are finally giving a voice to “unheard for many years” social classes. The music you might describe as noisy is the normal rhythm of some people’s lives. The words you find inappropriate are the same these people can’t express themselves without. There’s nothing wrong with us being different. But there would be if we tried to deny people of things that give them harmless joy.
Though ironically Shaabi music is still being stereotyped as “Toktok’s/Thugs Music”, it became popular across literally all of society’s classes. Being real and proud of where they come from, these artists reached not only extremely and incredibly diverse classes, but also they got internationally recognized!
Ladies and gentlemen, at the time Elon Musk was excitedly tweeting about his song ranking 8th on SoundCloud, Hassan Shakoosh, and Hamo Bika were ranking 2nd and 7th.
Finding no joy in listening to Shaabi music is totally fine, but is it hard to leave its artists to enjoy making it without being bullied or looked down upon? We guess not. It’s frightening and exciting at the same time how the music industry is changing so fast. But there’s nothing we can do about it. So, we better lay off and enjoy instead of fighting each other.
Always facing the world with humor, books, and a good cup of coffee! Zahra is the girl who has a lot to say about everything and always needs to write something down.