- Rachid Baba Ahmed
Rachid Baba Ahmed was an
Algerian musical producer involved in a regional genre called raï. He was credited with the international popularization of the genre in 1976 through the new pop raïwith a delicate, sophisticated blend of electronic instrumentation. He was also credited with the development of pop raï during the 1970s and 1980s1, the performers of which are called " cheb" or " chaba". He was murdered by Islamic fundamentalists on February 15, 1995.
Rachid Baba, the producer of Rai Rebels and many other acclaimed rai albums released in the United States, explained without a hint of irony that, “In the beginning, I let chab sing the words as he wanted. Now I pay attention. When he sings a vulgarity, I say stop. If he doesn’t obey, I cut it during the mixing” [Gross, Joan, David McMurray, and Ted Swedenburg. "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap, and Franco-Maghrebi Identities." Diaspora 3:1 (1994): 3- 39. [Reprinted in The Anthropology of Globalization: A Reader, ed. by Jonathan Xavier and Renato Rosaldo, 1.] Baba is putting a new spin on rai music. He is realizing the need to spread his artists' words to a larger audience and is doing so through editing and in some ways censoring his lyrics to make them appropriate for everyone in the Franco-Maghrebi area. Baba helped many young and upcoming artists such as Cheba Fadela and Chev Sahraoui. Ahmed’s modern 24 track studio in Tlemcen was the power house that produced Algerian Pop-Rai. [House of World Cultures. Cheba Fadela & Cheb Sahraoui. May 16, 2003. http://www.culturebase.net/artist.php?267]
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