This Libyan Rapper Recorded His Music Video In The Middle Of An Actual Warzone
A Libyan rapper known as “Volcano” has released an expensive-looking video featuring a backdrop of militants and flaming rubble in the city of Benghazi.
The song, “C5,” describes the Libyan civil war’s effect on the ancient city, which has found itself at the epicenter of the fighting. In the nearly seven-minute video, he wears gold chains and several Western-style outfits — including hoodies and crisp white sneakers — while striking hip-hop poses in parts of the city that have clearly suffered from the conflict.
He also raps his support for Gen. Khalifa Haftar, the military leader of the “Libya Dignity” campaign against the various armed Islamist groups that control about half the country. In the background, men in battle fatigues pose with machine guns, ostensibly members of Haftar’s fractured Libyan National Army. (RELATED: Gen. Haftar’s Libyan National Army Is Waging War Against ISIS)
In one verse, he mocks an Islamist recruiting slogan, saying, “Come to jihad! Come to rottenness!” In Arabic, it rhymes neatly: “Hayy ala-l-jihaad! Hayy ala-l-fasaad!”
Volcano’s performance is interspersed with stock footage of shell attacks on buildings in Benghazi, as well as peaceful scenes of citizens’ daily lives. The video also prominently features the rapper’s expensive smartphone.
The Islamists vying for control of Libya include the Islamic State terror group, whose recent videos decapitating foreign Christians on the Mediterranean coast have raised their profile in the country. The group’s militants have fought bitterly with the main Islamist coalition, which is called “Libya Dawn.”
Rap and hip-hop have been part of North African culture for years. Its most famous use in politics was perhaps the song “Rais Lebled” (“Mr. President”), in which Tunisian rapper El Général is said to have helped spark the December 2010 Tunisian revolution.
Despite its centrality to the ongoing Libyan conflict, Benghazi is perhaps most well-known in the U.S. for the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other government employees.
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