The Influence of rap in the Arab Spring
Throughout history, music has been influential in social, religious, and political disputes. In the early 21st century, change in the established order can be found in expressing the need for reform halfway around the world in the Middle East's Arab Spring. Rap artists such as El General (Tunisia), GAB (Libya), and Omar Offendum (Syria) used their talents to both spark and encourage protestors during the early days of the Middle Eastern protests that began in late 2010; these protests have since been coined "The Arab Spring." The energy that could have been used to wield guns and bombs was instead poured into protest music that these and other artists produced during this time period. The relatively Western genre of rap music became integral in peaceful citizens protests happening all over the Middle East. Important to the fields of both communications and music, this research shows the relevance of rap music in dissenting communication of the 21st century, specifically in the Arab world. This research was conducted using news and scholarly articles, personal interviews, and musical examples from the countries of Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen. The research specifically examines the role of rap in the protests of the Arab Spring, why and how rap became a major medium for the protests, and the effect rap has had in peaceful conflict resolution throughout the world.