Top 5 songs from the Arab Spring

  • El General, Tunisia: “Rayes Le Bled”


    El General is the stage name for  Hamada Ben Amor, utilisng facebook his song was a direct indictment of then-president Ben Ali’s rule, specifically, widespread hunger. Ben Amor’s arrest in early January sparked further protests in the already turbulent country, and when the revolution ended,

  • Arabian Knightz, Egypt: “Rebel (feat. Lauryn Hill)”



    Mixing Arabic and English Arabian Knightz and a sample of Lauren Hill  singing “I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel)” during her 2002 MTV Unplugged performance with her hook of  “Rebel, rebel, rebel, rebel,” According to the group’s YouTube channel, they recorded the song in late January, and weren’t able to release it until the government stopped blocking the Internet a couple of weeks later.

  • Ibn Thabit, Libya: “Benghazi II”



    From Libya where the uprising has turned into a meltdown, Rapper Ibn Thabit’s website says he “has been attacking Gaddafi with his music since 2008.” His site offers several free songsmany of which were produced in collaboration with other Libyan rappers, producers and singers, musicians from Egypt and producers and engineers from the U.S.

  • Omar Offendum: “#Jan25 Egypt (feat. The Narcicyst, Freeway, Ayah, Amir Sulaiman)”


    Source: YouTube

    “#Jan25 Egypt” was made by Arab-Americans, African-Americans and Canadians, most of whom were living in the U.S. at the time of the Egyptian Revolution. Syrian rapper Omar Offendum told Al Jazeera he contributed to the song to show “solidarity with the Egyptian people” and told NPR that the “true music of the revolution” was made by protesters on the fly. “#Jan25 Egypt” begins by refuting Gil Scott-Heron’s oft-repeated line: “I heard them say the revolution won’t be televised / Al Jazeera proved them wrong.”

  • Khaled M, Libya: “Can’t Take Our Freedom (feat. LowKey)”



    Rapper Khaled M was born in the U.S. after his parents fled the regime of dictator Moammar Gadhafi. For “Can’t Take Our Freedom” he raps in English, drawing on the story of his father, a poet imprisoned by Gadhafi who fled with his family to Lexington, Kentucky, while also referencing the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.