Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Khaled: The King Of Rai // NPR's All Things Considered

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Banning Eyre

Algerian singer Khaled is known as the King of Rai — a kind of North African music with roots in traditional folklore. Taken literally, rai translates to "opinion," and Khaled has taken this idea to heart in his music, speaking out to his countrymen with a voice that transcends borders.

He was born Khaled Hadj Brahim in 1960 in the Mediterranean port city of Oran — or "Crazyville," as he once called it. Oran marks an intersection of cultures, a place where Spanish, Moroccan, French, Arabic, American, Berber, Jewish and gypsy ideas and idioms collided. Khaled came of age during the lull between two bloody conflicts: the 1950s war that freed Algeria from French colonialism; and the religiously fueled civil war of the 1990s. In a land torn apart by intolerance and violence, Khaled stood out as an artist who embraced openness and peace.

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