Having emerged in early 2000s, the Mahraganat (or simply street sha’abi ) scene and one of its undisputable stars from Matareya district of Cairo, Oka w Ortega, or as they are known in Egypt The Eight Percent /Tamanya fi Meya, have conquered the charts and the hearts of millions Egyptians with their raucous music.
In the song Ana Aslan Gamed (from the 2012 movie 3abdo Mota*) the duo sings about their neighborhood, faith, superstition and envy. The lyrics flow like a conversation about an average day in their life of street culture, roots, pride, survival, ego, and prayer combined with a heavy rhythm and a raw energy. I mean, the video says it all…
Even if you don’t understand Arabic, you feel compelled to dance along.
For some, this music may seem obnoxious, loud, autotuned, lyrics of various themes together with a contagious rhythm..But we wouldn’t have it any other way! This is what Mahraganat is all about.
It’s upbeat, raw, and has an honest, up-in- your face attitude and fresh sound – this is what in my opinion makes Mahraganat worthy of attention and recognition in the global music scene.
One thing’s for sure, Egyptians love to party and their music, and for me Mahraganat captures that perfectly. So, give this music and these artists a chance, and get a glimpse of true Egyptian culture.
*It’s an action-packed flick revolving around a young guy, 3bdo, who gets involved with drug trade after losing his parents in mysterious circumstances