Salah Edin :: Hip Hop & Politics

In the early days Hip Hop was already used to address social political issues. Artists such as Public Enemy, Paris, Dead Prez and Immortal Technique are known for addressing issues in the United States. As Hip Hop became more global, it became the same voice for MC’s all over the world, to raise awareness and open up the discussion about situations in different countries. Salah Edin is that MC, that voice, in The Netherlands.

This Dutch-Moroccon MC released his first Dutch album “Nederlands Grootste Nachtmerrie” (translated: Hollands Biggest Nightmare), in 2007, entirely produced by Focus (Aftermath). The subsidies for his video “Het Land Van…” (The Land Of…”), was questioned by one of the political parties in the country. In the video, Salah shows aspects of our society that according to him, lead to radicalization of Muslim youth.

Even if you don’t understand Dutch, you’ll get the message when you watch the video.

This was not the only encounter Salah Edin had with political parties. Salah’s albumcover for his first Dutch album resembled the photo of Mohammed B. The murderer of Theo van Gogh. In 2008, the leader of the politcal party, the Party for Freedom (PVV), Geert Wilders, used the MC’s photo in his movie “Fitna”, about Islamic extremism and Islamic terrorism. Salah Edin pressed charges against Wilders and was the only one to win the case in the “Fitna trials”.

End of 2008, Salah Edin was asked to supply music for the movie “Rendition” with Meryl Streep and Jake Gyllenhaal. This made the MC the first Arabic rapper, placed with music for a big Hollywood production. He is also the first Arabic speaking rapper, signed with an international record label, Universal.

His second Dutch album “WOII” (WWII) will be released on October 7th, 2011. I decided to sit down with Salah and talk about his controversial approach and the process towards this second Dutch album. Salah talks about the happenings around his first Dutch album, the situation with politician Geert Wilders, his love for Hip Hop and why he uses his art to address these social political issues.

We decided to do this interview in English so everyone around the world can get a glimpse of what’s going on in Europe, in The Netherlands. The war against racism, terrorism, extremism and radicalization. Hip Hop is being used all around the world, as a voice, to stand up against oppression, to raise awareness and to open up discussion, in a non-violent way.

Please take the time out to watch this interview and listen to this MC.
Get to know Salah Edin and his revolution through Hip Hop.

Salah Edin interview (sep ’11) from Pay on Vimeo.