LISTEN: Sadat & Alaa Fifty Cent Best Of LP

Hear the compilation of the Egyptian mahraganat pioneers in full ahead of its release this week

On their trip to Egypt to find out more about the country’s Electo Chaabi scene earlier this year, Quietus editor John Doran and Incubate festival organiser Joost Heijthuijsen attended the wedding of Sadat, one of the pioneers of mahraganat, or ‘festival’, music coming out of the Al Salam City district of Cairo. The style combines rap and Sha’by, street music, and the duo of Sadat with fellow MC Alaa Fifty Cent, who are getting their first official release, The Best Of Sadat & Alaa Fifty Cent, this week, has generated a number of big hits, such as ‘Ana elli e’shty haram fi haram’ (‘My Life Full Of Sins’) and ‘Sohobeyia gat be Nadama’ (‘A Friendship I Regret’) (Sadat is also one of the Chaabi musicians behind the scene’s biggest hit, ‘Fuck! I’ve Lost My Slipper!’, along with producer Amr 7a7a and DJ Figo).

Describing the wedding in the second of his Electro Chaabi features, John wrote: "Arriving at the party proper will remain to my dying day one of the most bizarre and exciting things that has ever happened to me. […] people are breaking out into frenzied bursts of dancing. A young man lets off a purple safety flare next to me and someone above me on a platform is using a large aerosol can and cigarette lighter as a flame thrower. We climb up next to the soundman – who is wearing a British police constable’s peaked cap – where we get a good view of the stage. There are, at any one time, about 25 people with microphones on stage, a couple of DJs and, on a precarious podium to the left, a couple of drummers. People are hanging off gantries and lamp posts, out of windows, they’re up trees and all over the roofs. Sadat is leading the MCing while busting some particularly fresh moves, but he’s not on stage long before diving off to be carried at head height across the crowd, where he then starts scaling a speaker stack. Post rave, it’s hard to imagine anything like this happening in the UK now." Read the piece in full here.

Produced by Amr 7a7a, The Best Of…, will be out on Generation Bass on Thursday, September 12, and we’re hugely excited to host the first play of the album – have a listen to it in its entirety below, head over to the label’s website to get hold of it come Thursday and stay tuned to the site for further coverage:

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