busta l

Loudmouth cross-cultural outreach has long been a part of Mister Rhymes oeuvre, this we know.

But he just cranked it up a notch, rapping a timely rap about sound finance and geopolitics in light of a derailing US economy. On a lesser note, I get the feeling that he visited Dubai and stayed in the Burj Al Arab, what with the 7-star reference, etc, though he seems to think Arafat isn’t dead.

I’m not including the song title or full artist name because I want you Mudd Up! readers to listen to this track at your leisure — a cease-&-desist letter from Google-Alert wielding major label lawyers would interfere with our contemplation. (shout to Todomundo for the tip!)

autotuned oriental-rap implosion (is the chorus real or ersatz Arabic?)


This brand new single is major because it unites (presumably by force) what I consider to be the two major fields receiving autotune enhancement: namely black American rap/R&B and Maghrebi popular music (where its use spans genres & languages).

There’s a lot more to be said, but it’s late, lets enjoy some autochthonous Algerian autotuneage:

Cheb Abbes – track 6 from the mp3 CD Dub1 sent me (thanks!)


Ramzi – track 11 (thanks Andy!)


18 thoughts on “OILY BLACK”

  1. awesome clip Ghis! that’s like a whole essay right there. (how are Mokobe’s lyrics? a friend just gave me ‘Mon Afrique’)

  2. ok, so African Tonik is a blend between tektonik (huge in France) and somekind of coupé-décalé (more obvious in the dance choregraphy that the snare pattern) . On that particular track, Mokobé is more a hype man and when he rap he basically says there’s no borders, it’s just a party track saying you can go crazy.

    I have the Mon Afrique, super nice album with a large palette of sounds. There’s party tracks with more conscious tracks. It’s the only french rap album that I bought this year !

  3. more oily blk or middle eastern bread to go round, it’s eid! – DJ Muggs & Planet Asia “Sleeper Cell” — lacking in the autotune dept., but hard as hell on the other hand. Hear more fly arabic talk about big money from oil, bulletproof kufis, suicide passengers, etc.


  4. thats what i suspected… i was nevertheless hoping for a real word in there, just one or two. nice post on it, btw!

  5. does anyone plz have any more info on that cheb abbes song, i’ve been playing this on repeat forever, i’m addicted
    what album is this from where can i get it?

  6. buzz – try asking Dub1! Abbes is a fairly well-known singer, but the mp3 i got didnt have too much extra info on it.

  7. Hi Jace, I love your blog and have never commented, but as an Arab I feel compelled to, and I feel weird about that because you and some other people who comment here are almost intimidatingly knowledgeable and insightful on issues like this, but anyway, I’ll say my piece…I first heard this on the radio, I felt momentarily excited that Mister Rhymes was talking about Arabs (considering how accusing a politician of being Arab or Muslim is a libelous smear) until I realized that the chorus was gibberish. I thought, damn Mister Rhymes, I even bought your shitty Extinction Level Event CD back in the day (he actually thanks Allah in the liner notes of that one, not that I purchase music based on all that–I only noticed that after buying it!). But after the song finished, I was less offended by this than I wanted to be, because although it’s a clumsy and perhaps ill-informed gesture that sounds like an awful imitation of the adan, I don’t sense any intentional nastiness in the song.

    He said on a radio show:

    “Sometimes people like to twist things. We ain’t mocking the culture, we ain’t trying to be disrespectful ain’t no racism here. If you listen to the song, you see that we are actual ackno the fact that the Arabian culture, middle east culture is one of the few cultures that value passing down hard work riches that’s been built by family…..I would like it would be like that in my culture, where we could build things to the point where we got so much that wewouldnt need to rely on other cultures to contribute majorly to societies/communities/governments where we live in…so we are actually bigging up the culture.”

    Which is kind of funny, because he might be right (based on my anecdotal evidence) about all the A-rab nepotism–I guess there’s Arab money and there’s A-rab money, like when I go to Damascus around the the embassies and can’t afford any item of clothing at a French designer boutique but later catch a microbus with some Iraqi refugees from the bus station/UNHCR building for 20 cents. But I just thought of all that now. Mostly Mister Rhymes is just boring on this song (where’s that “UH uh UH, all over the track, man, UH, pardon me, UH, as I come back”), but even so part of my mind was like, “We getting A-rab money!” and I hated myself a little but I moved on.

  8. I hope I don’t sound too stupid, I just saw the chance for my Muhammad the plumber type thing.

  9. Haiwan – thanks for the comments! i hope the tone on here is never intimidating. thanks for joining in the conversation…

    i agree w/ you that Busta is being goofy & ridiculous but not intentionally nasty, he’s a paid entertainer making a weird grab for pop novelty/timeliness — there’s a reason he’s a rapper and not, say, an ambassador… the fake Arabic seems to speak more about his weirdly small worldview/circle of friends than anything else. i wonder if it’ll make it to the album, or perhaps get replaced w/ actual language.

  10. Its strange imagining the process in the studio of coming up with a “fake” arabic chorus….. like an engineer saying “Thats not feeling arabic enough- make more emphasis on the “neuah” sound” or somesuch- even given how much we talk/read/think about the middle east. I rarely hear arabic speakers except in that turned down background way where they let you hear the original orator behind the translator on the radio/news/youtube.

    I guess its not that much different that suburban Connecticut youth self policing and correcting each others affected southern (perceived) ghetto parlance- like “no man, “shaw-day””

    authenticity a few times removed starts to get awfully abstract and democratic

  11. The response level to national disaster is noble but it’s a damn shame that so many citizens take advantage of the negative situations.

    I mean everytime there is an earthquake, a flood, an oil spill – there’s always a group of heartless people who rip off tax payers.

    This is in response to reading that 4 of Oprah Winfreys “angels” got busted ripping off the system. Shame on them!

  12. This is lone of the pernicious effects of affirmative action. In our PC/affirmative force enlightenment, we verge to spy the achievements and promotions of minorities as a consequence of affirmative strength policies in lieu of of solitary diligence and talent. This undermines these rather achievements.
    Another complication here is that it sets kind-hearted morality at odds with the higher heavenly morality. If the higher morality is contemporary to judge the Holocaust, ruinous infection outbreaks, etc, as effects, while human morality wishes mediator them criminal, then the ‘proficient’ in each of these moralities are different. Good on the higher habits is not what we employing by good.

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