A few days ago Turkish rapper Ezhel droped a bombshell: His new music video „Olay“ (English for incident) deals with political and societal happenings in Turkey and the world from which people were suffering. While Ezhel who is born and raised up in Turkey‘s capital and political center Ankara talks about how people get used to incidents such as femicides, corruption, atrocities of ISIS, the Arab spring or child abuses, the pictures of the music video are overhelmingly. As a generation who uses social media all the time the pictures and videos are not alien to us, but to see them aligned one after one, we are remembering how many bad things we had to witness in our young age.
In an interview Ezhel told me that he did not want to become a rapper who is always talking about politics as someone who abuses political subjects for his music. „But the socio political state of Turkey has always been affected me very much. And as a artist I feel responsible. Everybody has to raise his voice.“
The reactions to the video are tremendous. The music clip has more than four million clicks on Youtube since its release on Thursday and in the social media it is praised as a brave artistic act.
In a turbulent world, where young people are protesting as part of the Fridays for Future to take action against the climate change or against authoritarian regimes like in Hongkong or the outcry in Russia, we need to find new plattforms and ways to express our displeasure when it comes to political or social problems and challenges. And rap as a genre of resistance and oppositional culture has been becoming the last years very popular in Turkey. While rap music in Turkey replaced in a way pop music as an art form to entertain young people in clubs and in their cars while they are driving through the rough traffic in Turkey, now rap shows also their origin face: A music genre that deals with injustice and the sufferings of the people on the streets. A subculture in Turkey has become now mainstream. And in nowadays instead of just entertaining it is a new expression of social criticism. Young people who watch and listen to Ezhel‘s words in „Olay“ are not only reminded by the bad incidents which they had to witness but they also feel aproved by their feeling what Ezhel expresses in his line: „
Herkes yalnız, herkes birine düşman, Nereye baksam kavga, Nereye gitsem olay. (Everybody is alone, everybody is an enemy of each other. No mattter where I go no matter where I look everyhwere is affray.“Ezhel
The main message of the 29-years rapper message is that we are already got used to bad incidents and that this is the most aweful consequence of them. But Ezhel‘s music video is not a provocation in a classic sense but rather an urgent call to find peace and harmony in the country and in the world. Ezhel created a brave masterpiece not only for the Turkish youth, but for the whole world.