Senegalese Rappers Pressure President to Step Down
Youths and police are locked in a street battle in Senegal, according to NPR. Riot police continue to attack and throw tear gas at protesters, mostly young people, who are opposed to the presidency of Abdoulaye Wade and his bid for a third term in office. With a week to go before the vote, crowds have taken to the streets and the atmosphere has become increasingly intense as opposition protests have been banned.
Some of Senegal's top rap artists are leading some of the protests, in a movement called Y'en a Marre, which means "We're Fed Up. Enough Is Enough." They have also composed an opposition anthem titled "Abdoulaye Faux! Pas Force," or "Abdoulaye, Don't Force It, Give Up!" It was written by Kilifeu and Simon, two rappers detained by police on Thursday.
"The Y'en a Marre thing, everybody was Y'en a Marre inside their chest," says Djily Baghdad, a rapper and founding member of the movement. "Everybody had that Y'en a Marre feeling. Everybody was fed up. So, as rap artists, we write songs to protest about how people are crying."
The rappers feel that the president's attempt at a third bid violates the constitution and are determined to stop it. "We have this slogan called NTS: New Type of Senegalese," he says. "That's what Y'en a Marre is trying to build, but [to] do it in the most peaceful way."