Some complain that hip hop in Senegal has become less political - many artists work with corporate sponsors. However, in January 2011 a group of young journalists, musicians, and artists helped form what has become a youth movement called Y’en a Marre. One of the movements leaders, rapper Thiat of the group Keur-Gui explains, “this translates as ‘we are fed up. The youth are tired of corruption, unemployment, no electricity, and other social problems.”

Hip hop artists like Thiat, his partner Kiliefu, Fou Malade, and others are using their platform as musical artists to speak out about social problems. The immediacy of the movement arose when President Wade was seen to be trying to hold on to power. The Y’en a Marre movement is holding rallies and concerts around the county and speaking out across media platforms. Thiat says “I do 4 or 5 interviews a day with local and international press.” This Saturday we followed him as he spoke out in a radio interview and then rushed across town to tape a television special on the movement. Expressing his belief in the link between the arts and social change, Thiat explains, “it is important for artists to use their art for political good not just to make money or party.”

Image attached: Keur-Gui in the television studio