Lyrical Alliance over here; Rooney over there

Posted on 27 October 2010


Lyrical AllianceA ground-breaking project of Middle Eastern rappers – the Lyrical Alliance – brought their rolling flows and lyrical passion to the Roundhouse in London earlier this month. Featuring MCs from Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Algeria, Lyrical Alliance take much of their inspiration from their homelands. The starting point for the rappers is the legendary Mu’Allaqat poems, seven long, ancient Arabic poems created when the Arab region was the cultural and intellectual centre of the world.

Language barriers aside, the rappers celebrate the power of the beat and the word, whilst transcending cultural barriers. This is Hip Hop with a difference; polished, sharp and fresh. It is inspiring and brings something new to the genre.

This is what the Middle East has brought to us. So what have we taken there of late? Well, by my reckoning, something so grotesque, podgy and clichéd it rankles. Something so uninspiring and embarrassing that my skin crawls. Yep, you got it, Wayne Rooney sitting poolside, in the heart of the Middle East, at his Dubai hotel with an order of chicken nuggets and chips. You really can’t buy class.

Let’s get this right, he’s shit. One good season at Manchester United doesn’t make a Lionel Messi. By delivering 9.58 when he wants means that Usain Bolt can eat chicken nuggets – and he’s just cool by the way. Rooney isn’t. He has displayed nothing but contempt, staggering self interest and disrespect to all near to him: his wife, fans, his club and team mates. He’s morally bankrupt, having chosen a time when the poor are taking a big hit with their finances to greedily double his cash at Manchester United. Football is a grubby industry, we all know that, but he should have chosen his moment more wisely. And he should have represented with a little more class.

Lyrical Alliance are:

Rabah Ourrad (Algeria)
Rayess Bek (Lebanon)
Shadia Mansour (British Palestinian)
Samm (Jordan)
Tamer Nafar (Palestine)

Listen to: Lyrical Alliance on You Tube