if a song could be freedom mixtape 008 lives at archive.org.
if a song could be freedom mixtape 008 – “Tahrir Square” is curated by Ganzeer. Ganzeer is the pseudonym of an Egyptian “contingency artist” operating mainly between graphic design and contemporary art since 2007. “He is not an author, comic book artist, installation artist, painter, speaker, street artist, or videographer, though he has assumed these roles in a number of places around the world.” He is also one of the protagonists in the documentary “Art War” (2014) by German director Marco Wilms. Much of his street-art work in Egypt is well-documented in the book “Walls of Freedom” (2014) published by From Here to Fame Publishing.
We were fortunate to have Ganzeer as a studio-mate and collaborator at Interference Archive. He is helping coordinate an exhibition on comics and graphic novels, for 2016.
Amir Eid & Hany Adel – “Sout Al Horeya”
Performed by two singer/song-writers (Amir Eid and Hany Adel) from Egypt’s underground music scene, Sout Al Horeya was shot during the 18-day Tahrir Square sit in, and broadcast on Youtube one day before the fall of Mubarak was announced. It became an instant “cult hit”, but then it was picked up by all the mainstream outlets almost immediately after Mubarak’s “ouster”.
Scarabeuz & Omima – “Long live Egypt”
While not the hit that Sout Al Horeya became, this track was shared between people online starting February 3rd, a good 8 days before Mubarak fell. Utilizing scenes protests and emotionally charged lyrics such as “Enough injustice and poverty and all that has happened to us,” as well as lines that hint to Egypt’s connection to a larger struggle “Long live Tunis, Palestine, and Arab Unity.”
Omar Offendum, The Narcicyst, Freeway, Ayah, Amir Sulaiman – “#Jan25”
Egypt’s revolution gets the hardcore hip hop treatment from the Arab diaspora artists.
Ramy Essam – “Age of the Pimp”
Ramy Essam, a singer/songwriter who rose to fame from the heart of Tahrir square, puts out this song immediately after General Sisi, Egypt’s new dictator, assumes office. For the video, Ramy steals the video of a pro-Sisi /pro-Military propaganda pop-song. The “Pimp” here is a reference to General Sisi himself, and the very confrontational song utilizes a lot of humor in its lyrics. Example: “The Pimp isn’t just any leader, with just one finger he can bring down a plane” and “Even the stakes up our asses will be designer brands, and everyone will get one according to the constitution.”
Ramy Essam – “3ashan ta5doh”
Another recent song from Ramy Essam (written by Mustapha Ibrahim) which has received quite a backlash from Egypt’s activist scene for insinuating a call to arms of sorts with lyrics such as “You either roll up your sleeves to take it, or you bend over to take it” and “when throwing stones no longer works, then guns start to make more sense.”
Cairokee feat Aida El Ayouby – “Ya El Medan”
An important song for a number of reasons. It marks the return of an 90’s era Egyptian pop singer, known for he fun love songs from the 90’s, she collaborates here with independent Egyptian Rock band Cairokee (whose lead singer wrote and co-performed Sout Al Horeya) on an ode to Tahrir square long after the “Tahrir days” are over. For anyone who experienced the Tahrir days first hand, the songs lyrics are bound to hit a nerve or two. Examples: “Hey you, The Square. Where have you been all these years?”, “With you, the right to dream is no longer forbidden,” and “Sometimes I fear you will become a distant memory, and we stray away from you with the death of the dream.”
Arabian Knightz feat Amir & MC Gaza – “Eid Fi Eid”
“It is useless, after a Revolution and celebration, for conflict to kill our dreams.”
Best English Song About Egyptian Revolution
A good tribute-to-Egypt song from four foreign hip hop artists.
Performed by Wael Abdallah with lyrics by Mohamed El Sayed. The title translates to “I’m sorry, Mr. President,” features some funny yet poignant lyrics. Examples: “I’m sorry because I let you go without any accountability” and “I’m sorry we stayed quiet all this time, while you made our lives dark and you stole billions.”
Kazeboon – “Liars”
“Rejecting the lying military, their words are all lies. Saying ‘NO’ gets you killed or thrown in jail. Nothing has changed. C’mon, Egyptian, STAND UP!”