Morocco, a land brimming with rich cultural heritage and artistic expressions, has witnessed an extraordinary evolution in its hip-hop landscape. In the heart of this dynamic movement lie the talented Moroccan rappers, who have captivated audiences with their poignant lyrics, infectious beats, and the unmistakable essence of their Moroccan roots. As we embark on a musical journey through 2023, it's time to spotlight the 11 Moroccan rap artists who are set to revolutionize the global hip-hop scene and leave an indelible mark on your playlists.
Issam, who was born in Morocco's largest city, has gained recognition for his unique fusion of Auto-tuned trap music and traditional Moroccan sounds. His songs, which are sung and rapped in Arabic and inspired by the everyday realities of life in Morocco, have experienced a surge in popularity over the past year. One particular single, "Trap Beldi," released late last year, has been instrumental in his success, with its music video garnering over 11 million views. This accomplishment led to Issam securing a record deal with Universal France, reportedly the largest ever signed by an Arab artist. He has already established a dedicated fanbase among the Arabic-speaking diaspora and beyond, particularly through his collaborations with NAAR, an Arab arts collective based in Paris. As Morocco's hip-hop scene continues to thrive, we had the opportunity to interview Issam in Marrakech, where his promising future unfolds.
DROS, born in 1989 in Casablanca, Morocco, is a renowned Moroccan rapper, songwriter, and producer. He predominantly performs with lyrics in the Moroccan Darija dialect of Arabic. DROS is an acronym that represents 'Da Rhymes of Streets'. He is also recognized by his aliases 3azzy or Mr. Cazafonia. DROS rose to fame in 2013 with the launch of his debut single and music video titled "Cazafonia". The track received widespread recognition and was aired on numerous national stations. It achieved significant success on YouTube, accumulating over 4 million views.
El Grande TOTO
Taha Fahssi, also known by his stage name ElGrandeToto or Toto, is a Morrocan rapper born on 3 August 1996. He showcases his talent by performing in Darija, French, and English, often blending these languages together. In 2021, ElGrandeToto emerged as the most popular artist in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region on Spotify, accumulating over 135 million streams across 178 countries.
Khtek is a female rapper and songwriter from Khemisset, Morocco. Considered the new face of female rappers in Morocco, her fierce attitude and raw lyricism lead her to impose herself in the Moroccan hip-hop scene, a musical genre mainly dominated by men. She started writing in 2016 as a means of sincere expression, but it was not until 2019 that Khtek launched herself into the rap scene through freestyles and her debut single "Kick Off". Khtek's originality comes from her ability to discuss various subjects and fight for equality while maintaining a sonically powerful sound, earning her a feature in BBC's list of 100 Most Influential Women, 2020.
ILY, a Moroccan artist, has made a significant impact on the music scene through her contributions to hip-hop. Her work has garnered a substantial following in the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, and she enjoys a strong online presence with a dedicated fan base on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Tagne, a Moroccan-Cameroonian rapper, possesses a distinct style that seamlessly blends traditional and contemporary elements, resulting in a truly one-of-a-kind musical experience for listeners.
Having grown up in a musically inclined household, Tagne was exposed to a diverse range of musical styles from an early age. Throughout his childhood, he developed a strong affinity for various genres, including Afrobeat, R&B, hip-hop, and pop. In 2019, Tagne embarked on his professional music career, making waves with the release of his debut track "African Vibes," which quickly garnered attention within the industry. The following year marked the release of his debut EP, titled "Everything Changes," which received critical acclaim. Tagne's latest project, "Moroccan Dream," is a remarkable collaborative effort that positions him as the driving force behind a collective dedicated to the realization of a long-held dream.
Snor, a prominent and forward-thinking figure in the Middle Eastern rap scene, distinguishes himself with an enigmatic aura concealed behind his custom black mask and braided pigtail ropes.
With an array of extravagant styles, Snor crafts lyrics that satiate listeners' cravings. This Moroccan trap star delivers hits that envelop you like thick, puffy jackets draped over your shoulders.
As one of the most captivating rappers in the region, Snor showcases an aggressive approach to instrumentals and maintains a swift delivery. With unwavering confidence, he effortlessly dives into each song, solidifying his position among the top echelons of Morocco's rap scene. He skillfully incorporates autotune, creating a sublime cosmic atmosphere that harmoniously blends with his melodious vocal stylings.
Gnawi, also known as Simo Gnawi, is a Moroccan rap musician who was born on October 28, 1988, in Salé, Morocco. His birth name is Mohamed Mounir, and he was raised in the northern Moroccan seaside city of Salé.
In 2008, Gnawi embarked on his rap career by joining the band Larmy Sla (Army of Salé). The band's name was inspired by Mounir's experience as a serviceman in the Moroccan army. However, he later decided to pursue a solo path, leading him to launch his solo rap career. Since then, he has released a series of tracks, many of which have gained significant viral attention.
One notable collaboration took place on October 29, 2019, when Gnawi worked with Yahya Semlali, also known as 'Lz3er,' and Youssef Mahyout, known as 'Weld L'Griya,' on the track '3acha cha3b' (Long Live the People). The song's official music video, was produced by 88. YounG, achieved 16 million views on YouTube within its first month of release. Among his notable releases since entering the music industry are tracks like "Aman Ro3B," "Kon Kan," "Ta7Arouch," "Wlad 3Ati9A," "Warini mnin ndouz," "West Lb7ar," and "Lmaryolat."
As the Moroccan rap industry continues to thrive and expand, Anfa, a rising rapper of Moroccan descent, stands out with an unparalleled sense of style and sound. His influence extends to both the Australian and Moroccan hip-hop and R&B scenes, establishing him as a formidable force in the music industry.
Anfa's rise to fame has been marked by his unwavering commitment to his roots. He skillfully incorporates Arabic-inspired instrumentals, melodies, and vocals into his songs, seamlessly blending contemporary R&B and dark R&B elements with a distinct trap flavor. This unique fusion has garnered him a dedicated following globally and among the Arabic diaspora, solidifying his presence in the music scene.
LFERDA, a Moroccan-born rapper, is rapidly emerging as one of the most renowned rap artists in Morocco. Born Abdelmoughit Boucham in 1991, LFERDA spent his formative years in Casablanca, Morocco, and began his journey in rap at the age of 15. He initially built his career by performing at local shows and live events in small clubs and venues across the city. The breakthrough in LFERDA's career came when he joined the '7ar9a Gang,' a collective of hip-hop artists hailing from various regions of Morocco. This association provided him with a platform to showcase his talent and reach a broader audience.
The up-and-coming rapper, who is 23 years old, has followed the path of his successful sibling, Small X, and made his mark with the release of a viral YouTube sensation called "3310." His debut album, titled "Black Rose," showcases various artists such as Lacrim, Laylow, Xcep, and Youv Dee. The album's lyrical composition mirrors the ups and downs of a passionate love story, featuring a dynamic flow that captivates listeners.
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