Across the world, people have felt united under the beats and breaks of hip hop, a music genre that was started in the 1970s by African Americans and especially rose to prominence throughout the 1990s, due to a wave of notable rappers who used their lyricism to touch on social issues and other key subjects. This is indeed the case with contemporary rappers like Sara El Messiry, an Egyptian based in New York City, taking on toxic masculinity and the patriarchy through music. Her style of rapping is a combination of Arabic and English lyrics, and stylistically it draws inspiration from other artists such as J Cole, Lauryn Hill, and Mac Miller.
El Messiry's rise to stardom hit close to home for the young rapper. In 2015, in Cairo, some of El Messiry's schoolmates ran a WhatsApp group titled "El Regala," or "The Boys," where they shared grotesque photos of girls in bikinis, nudes, and suggestive photos. El Messiry was one of the victims but, due to patriarchy, none of the victims stepped forward and none of the group members were held accountable.
In 2018, the aspiring rapper took it upon herself to call out each boy by name through her very first song "The Rain." She was staying in Cleveland, Ohio at the time, going by her stage name "Felukah" after traditional Egyptian boats at her hometown. In fact, when invited by her high school to perform, she left the faculties and schoolmates stunned with "The Rain" as her song of choice, just as she intended.
"I was just scratching the surface. [...] There is so much more we need to talk about," she told The National in an interview with the news media.
Since the days of debuting “The Rain,” El Messiry performs between Cairo and New York, becoming part of Egypt's growing hip hop industry, and a voice to many women in the region. She also released her second album "Dream 23" in 2020, with a handful of her songs now featured on Egyptian hip hop playlists on Spotify. You can visit her Linktree (linktr.ee/felukah) to access her Spotify playlists and social media accounts.