MC Rai Raivolution
- Words: Derek Beres
- Label: Embarka
Where Algerian street music meets hip-hop, raî emerges. As likely to be heard in Algiers as in urban Paris, the style-and its young practitioners like Faudel and Sawt-el Atlas-borrows rap's rhythmic beat structure in a contemporary headnod to the work of singers Khaled and Rachid Taha. What MC Rai holds over all of them is the focus on seriously skilled production and driving low-end. Raivolution is an intense homage to Arabic folk with shards of dancehall, hip-hop, and occasional flourishes of rock. The merging of string sections and darbuka in such loaded beats-capped off by Rai's supremely intense vocals-points toward new musical directions in North Africa.
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