The Defiant One (in Morocco)

From Aman Sethi for The Hindu:

El Haked, the rapper, didn’t go to college. He is one of eight children raised in a single income family; his father works in a textile factory. After school, he joined his father at the factory, working nine hour shifts for 2,500 dirhams [approximately Rs.15,000] a month, until he was fired last year after his arrest. “It takes two hours to travel from my house in Oukacha to the factory. I would leave the house at 6.30 in the morning, work through the day and travel two hours coming back,” he said. His lyrics are inspired by his life in his working class locality: hashish, unemployment, kids on the streets, the police. One of his first songs was called “We are from Oukacha and not from Harlem.” “We had never heard the music, but everybody [in Morocco] was talking about Harlem and all the rappers were trying to sound like Americans,” he said with a smile.

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