Map & Directions
Algerian raï music has a history as rich as jazz or rock ‘n’ roll, originating with Bedouin shepherds at the beginning of the 20th Century and updated in the cabarets and brothels of seaside Oran as a reaction to American rock and disco.
Born in southern Tunisia, MC Rai declares a Raivolution and turns the cultural pressure cooker to 11. After dabbling in the Chaabi folk music of his native country, MC Rai turned to Algerian raï music and developed a genre-blending style that has become his signature. He has performed with well-known raï musician Khaled and with diverse artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez and Shakira. His cover of REM’s “Everybody Hurts” was featured in the movie Dictator. His songs often address political and humanitarian issues, and two (“Is’ha” and “Yamina”) were banned by the Tunisian media long before the revolution began in February 2011. Now based in San Francisco, he takes his fusion of Chaabi, raï, rock and hip hop to audiences around the world.