Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can Hip Hop Melt Cold, Cold Pakistani Hearts?

All the cool kids love it, right? So why not use it to woo and win the hearts 'n' minds of Pakistani "youts"?
Islamabad - Considered by many Pakistanis to be public enemy number one, the United States on Monday turned to the musical descendents of rap group Public Enemy in an attempt to counter its highly unpopular image in the south Asian nation.
As part of its cultural diplomacy program, the U.S. embassy brought the FEW Collective, a hip-hop troupe from Chicago, to Islamabad, where they danced, rapped and recited poetry to a Westernized, educated elite audience of young Pakistanis.
The group's 10-day trip is the latest by a number of musical acts sponsored by the U.S. State Department as part of its American Festival of the Arts, a cultural program designed to promote exchanges between the people of the two countries.
"It gives a good impression," said Atroz Abro, 20, who attended the show. "You rarely find such events in Pakistan ... to pump up the youth by bringing something new."...
Maybe so, but I doubt the FEW Collective (seen here in performance in Algeria) are up to the task; they bear about as much resemblance to rap group Public Enemy as the Sex Pistols do to Up With People. (In fact, you could see the FC as an updated, rappy version of UWP.) As such, I highly doubt they'll make much of an impression with the Pakistan crowd (whose youth are often "pumped up" by something old, something really old--jihad and sharia).

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