Rap—it’s a catalyst for critical conversations, a vehicle of audacious expressions, a torrent of impenitent emotion, a spoken manifestation of condemnation, appreciation, trepidation and celebration. It can vociferously vilify and venerate in a single verse. And its influence is universal.
Through travel I’ve caught wind of a wealth of subjugated voices—voices that’ve asked potent questions of their societies, but are nonetheless far from mainstream. What became evermore engrossing, however, was that regardless of from where those voices came, many of their questions remain the same. Many of their calls to action, irrespective of language, are the same. Women, worldwide, want one thing: equality and amity among their people, including them.
So I’m collaborating with The House of Marley to share some of my choice chicks rapping for social change across the globe. From Yemen to Brooklyn, my Rebel BT headphones bring beautiful, abiding lyrics to me, exuding as much energy and inflection as the women who strung them together.
Soultana of Morocco lends percussive beats that expound upon prostitution and the despondency of many unemployed Moroccan women.
Mare Advertencia Lirika of Mexico puts out a tough lyrical fight for women’s rights in her country. She challenges sexism, corruption, militarism, the criminalization of communities and calls out the Mexican state for its abysmal, racist treatment of indigenous women.
Rebeca Lane of Guatemala considers herself a daughter of war, born during the civil war in 1984. She grew up in a time of injustice and genocide, and took to rap to demonstrate her own poetic revolution.
BomBaebs of India, Pankhuri Awasthi and Uppekha Jain, first caught the world’s attention with a slam-poetry video speaking out against rape culture.
Keny Arkana of France expresses enervation due to incessant armed conflict and the mass murdering of innocent people.
Medusa of Tunisia protests corruption, despotism patronization and narrow-mindedness.
Aristophanes貍貓 of Taiwan tells the story of war and the people’s evident fear of the government.
Amani Yahya of Yemen is the country’s first female rapper and calls out society for instilling the notion that women are anything but essential.
Salome MC of Iran is recognized as a voice of resistance in hip hop, and unpacks the price of freedom to shed light on its many nuances.
Sooson Firooz of Afghanistan offers a reminder that mothers, wives and sisters are no different than the women who are so often put to shame.
The matte bio-plastic supra-aural Rebel BT headphones are simple in design but sacrifice neither plush comfort nor sonic clarity, particularly with regard to deep bass and definition whether you’re listening in Arabic, Spanish or whatever. And they boast an affordable price tag at just $70. So go get ’em—you’ve got some rapping to do.