Sunday, August 07, 2016

Mahraganat's march into the mainstream

I'm doing a lot of reading and video and movie watching on the topic of mahraganat for a writing project, and I thought I'd share this nugget.

In 2012 mahraganat artist Sadat was asked to compose a song for the mainstream film Game Over, released in June, a remake of the Hollywood release Mother-In-Law (starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez). The song, “Haqqi Bi-raqabti” (my right to my neck? -- help, please!)  appears in a scene where Egyptian film stars Yousra and Mai Ezzedine lip-synch it. The scene looks pretty fairly ridiculous, especially Yousra (at age 61) dancing and singing to the autotuned vocals of Sadat. 

Here's the scene:

Sadat’s name does not appear in the movie credits. I learned this from watching Hind Meddeb's 2013 documentary, Electric Chaabi, which you can purchase from Amazon. I highly recommend it. 

Very soon thereafter it would be hard to imagine mahraganat artists not receiving credit or anyone other than the artists themselves performing their own songs. 

As a footnote, I love Yousra, especially in Mercedes and Al-Irhab wa al-Kebab.

1 comment:

Hammer said...

Haqqi Bi-raqabti, or in Arabic حقي برقبتي is a phrase said by someone admitting his or her own guilt about something that went wrong. Usually, the Egyptian saying is centered around the "neck" of someone else, like for example, "Haqqi bi raqabit Ahmad!" which means that, Ahmad is the sole culprit behind whatever calamity that has stricken me and he should be held responsible for that. The Arabic use of the word "raqabah", or neck, transfigures the most vital part of human anatomy, where punishment is usually taken say, by hanging from a noose, or by beheading.

Egyptian people overuse their erm, collective necks in many similar popular sayings like "Raqabti sadaddah!" رقبتي سدادة! which means, literally, "my neck is credit enough!" and it's said to take responsibility for anything, from a restaurant's table hefty bill, to giving money or help to someone asking for it (normally, they have a good alibis not to fork out the money right after saying that!).