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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mizrahi Gold Digging

To stay on top of what's going on with music, as well as observe its cultural impact, I try to devote some time to checking out pop music from around the world.  While most of the industries of the United States have been improved upon by our international counterparts, there is still at least one product the US excels at:  pop music.

Browse your favorite video site and you're guaranteed to see the influence of our pop stars in videos and performances of artists throughout the world.  From fashion to dance moves, it's always interesting to see our artists' stylings applied to the expressive, region-specific norms of an international artist.

Today I came accross a video by Kobi Peretz, a notable singer from Israel.  Kobi performs in a style called Mizrahi, which is an amalgam of Arabic, Turkish, and Greek music and a very popular genre in the Middle East.

Check out Kobi's latest video, "I Am Not A King" (the title is loosely translated from Hebrew...very loose).  As I watched this video, it began to remind me of something, but what?

How 'bout this?

I think all that's missing is the Israeli Jamie Foxx, but even without him, the similarities are pretty undeniable.  If you need further proof, try watching both videos simultaneously with the sound muted.  I don't speak Hebrew, but considering the title of Kobi's track, you kind of get the gist of what he's getting at.  All in all, I think the "I Am Not A King" video illustrates the influence Yeezy's had on music.  It also cements his relevance and impact on pop culture as a whole.

For better or worse, the web has broken down barriers in music which in the past prevented international artists from gaining an audience, let alone a chart position, in the US.  We're already seeing the effects of these changes as evidenced by artists like Drake, Lights, and many others.  Meanwhile, the Kobi Peretz video has a lag time of 5 years on Kanye's, but I'm still interested to see what will happen as technology continues to advance and cultural borders shrink.

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