You may not have heard of El Grande Toto, but he is one of the most streamed artists on the Moroccan rap scene. With
20 million people from more than 90 different countries listening to his tunes on Spotify, the 24 year old has started to make a name for himself in the music industry.
Taha Fahssi, who goes under the name El Grande Toto whenever he picks up the mic, is part of this new generation of artists that is changing the Moroccan Rap Music scene.
“Moroccan rappers are working hard, Moroccan producers are working hard, Moroccan engineers are working hard, everyone here is working, we work like crazy. We don’t have the adequate industry, things are starting to grow now”, explains El Grande Toto.
“But we can consider ourselves lucky. Who would have imagined one day, seeing the van of an online platform bearing the face of a rapper touring around Casablanca, who would have imagined one day a Moroccan rapper appearing in Paris?”, says Taha Fahssi.
In the traditionnaly male-dominated rap scene, being a woman can be tough. If a chosen like Ghizlane, aka “Snowflake”, have managed to make it, like the stigma is still there.
“Every time someone speaks to a female rapper, they address her as a woman, not as a person who does this like everyone else. But it’s true that it is unique to be a female rapper, it’s unique to be a woman in Morocco, in general. So it brings a perspective with an added value that male rap will never have”, explains the 25 year-old rapper.
Social Media as a way to share their music
If Moroccan Rap has managed to catch the attention of many outside of the North African kingdom, it’s mainly thanks to social media.
Issam, has managed to be one of the first moroccan rappers to sign a deal with a European based Record Label.
“There are very good artists, who have their place thanks to platforms like YouTube, Instagram and others. Today, there isn’t a single medium to help artists promote themselves.”
Despite its success, the Moroccan musical industry is still struggling to promote its new artists. But these new rappers, backed by a whole generation of Moroccans are not ready to give up anytime soon.