Infobox Music genre
stylistic_origins=Spanish, French, and Arab music, including al-andalus, zendani and melhun
cultural_origins=Late 19th century Oran, Algeria
instruments=Gaspa, guellal (traditional);drum machine, synthesizer, sequencer (modern)
popularity=Much in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia; sporadic elsewhere, especially France and India
subgenrelist=List of Raï genres
subgenres=Bedoui citadinisé - Lover's raï - Pop raï - Raï rock

Raï ( _ar. راي) is a form of folk music, originated in Oran, Algeria from Bedouin shepherds, mixed with Spanish, French, African and Arabic musical forms, which dates back to the 1930s and has been primarily evolved by women in the culture. "Raï" literally means "opinion" but is colloquially used as an interjection along the lines of "oh, yeah!"

Singers of raï are called "cheb" ("shabb", young) as opposed to sheikh ("shaykh", old), the name given to Chaabi singers. The tradition arose in cities like Oran and elsewhere in Tlemcen, primarily among the poor. Traditionally sung by men, at the turn of the 20th century, female singers became common. Raï musicians as early as the 1930s were singing about social issues which affected native populations. These ranged from disease to the policing of European colonies.Gross, Joan, David McMurray, and Ted Swedenburg. "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap, and Franco-Maghrebi Identities." Diaspora 3:1 (1994): 3- 39. [Reprinted in The Anthropology of Globalization: A Reader, ed. by Jonathan Xavier and Renato Rosaldo,] Much like today's rap stars and hip-hop artists, they sang about the current issues around them which was indeed revolutionary for their time. [ [http://pagesperso-orange.fr/mohamed.sahnoun/Rai_engl.html Rai-Music (English version) ] ]

Raï is also popular for taking traditional sounds of the Middle East and "updating" them. Pop raï's reputation as a racy type of music has also influenced a fusion between raï and rock as well as several other "up and coming" styles.


Rai is a popular music style that originated in Algeria 1930s. It became popular among young people who sought to modernize the traditional Islamic values and attitudes. Regional, secular, and religious drum patterns, melodies, and instruments were blended with Western electric instrumentation. Rai music mixes with hip hop, reggae, funk, blues and with North African beats and rhythms. Rai's lyrics song speak to a new nationalistic identity that encourages the union of contemporary and traditional ideals.

Oran, a seaport in Western Algeria, was invaded by the Spanish centuries ago; Spanish troops kept women there to entertain the troops, and the city has retained a reputation for hedonism ever since. In the early 20th century, Oran was divided into Jewish, French, Spanish, and Arab quarters. By independence in 1962, the Jewish quarter (known as the Derb), was home to popular musicians like Reinette L'Oranaise, Saoud L'Oranais and Larbi Bensari. Sidi el Houari was home to Spanish fishermen, many refugees from Spain who arrived after 1939. These two quarters were the centers for musical innovation, [Morgan, pp 413-424] and the French inhabitants of the city went to the Jewish and Spanish areas for music. The Arabs of Oran were known for al-andalous, a classical style of music imported from Southern Spain after 1492. Hawzi was popular between the wars, and the biggest stars were female singers like Cheikha Tetma, Fadila D'zirya and Myriam Fekkai. Melhun poetry with accompaniment was also popular, sung by male singers in long, white jellabas and turbans (known as "cheikh"s) who played guellal drums and gaspa flutes. This genre was known as "bedoui" (from its origin among Bedouin chants) or "gharbi". Lyrics came from the poetry of masters like Mestfa ben Brahim and Zenagui Bouhafs, and performers included Cheikh Hamada, Cheikh Mohammed Senoussi, Cheikh Madani, Cheikh Hachemi Bensmir and Cheikh Khaldi. Senoussi was the first to record in 1906.

French colonization of Algeria changed the organization of society, producing a class of poor, uneducated urban men and women. Popular bedoui singers mostly collaborated with the French colonizers, though some, like Cheikh Hamada, were exceptions.Fact|date=August 2008 The problems of survival in a life of poverty were the domain of street musicians who sang bar-songs called zendanis. Many of these songs included exclamations of "raï!" and variations on it, which implies an opinion is being expressed.

When first developed in the 1920s, rai was a hybrid blend of rural and cabaret musical genres, invented by and for distillery workers, peasants who had lost their land to European settlers, as well as countless other members of the lower classes. The geographical location of Oran allowed for the spread of many cultural influences, allowing rai musicians to absorb an assortment of musical styles; flamenco from Spain, gnawa music from Morocco, French cabaret, and combined these with the rhythms of Arab nomads. Rai musicians maintained an everyday message, either political or historical, in many of their early songs. In the early 1930s, social issues afflicting the Arab population in the colony, such as the disease of typhus, harassment and imprisonment by the colonial police, and significant poverty were the major themes of rai. However, the main subjects were such things as wine, love, and the meaning and experiences of leading a marginal life. From its origins, women played a significant role in the music and performance of rai. In contrast to other Algerian music, true rai incorporated dancing in addition to music, particularly in a mixed-gender environment.Citation| first= Gross | last= Joan | title= "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap and Franco-Maghrebi Identities" The Anthology of Globalization: A Reader| editor= Jonathan Xavier and Renato Rosaldo | place= Oxford | publisher= Blackwell| year= 2002] The original foundation for the importance of incorporating both a mixture of culture and gender can still be seen through in the newer rai lyrics and dance. [ [http://www.moroccanmp3.com/modules.php?name=video_echoben&page=video&cid=130/ Rai Music Videos] ]

As early as the 1930s, rai musicians were reportedly singing about social issues afflicting Arabs of the colony, such as typhus, imprisonment, and poverty, and they were harassed by the colonial police for doing so. Likewise, during the independence struggle, rai artists participated in the nationalist glorification of Algeria. But the main subjects of rai singers were wine, love, and the problems and pleasures of marginal life, expressions of a rather libertine sensibility. Women singers played a prominent role in rai from the beginning. In addition, unlike those of other Algerian musical genres, rai performances were associated with dancing, often in mixed-gender settings. [Gross, Joan, David McMurray, and Ted Swedenburg. "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap, and Franco-Maghrebi Identities." Diaspora 3:1 (1994): 3- 39. [Reprinted in The Anthropology of Globalization: A Reader, ed. by Jonathan Xavier and Renato Rosaldo, 1]

In the 1920s, the women of Oran were held to strict code of conduct. Many of those that failed became social outcasts and singers and dancers. They sang medh songs in praïse of the prophet Mohammed and performed for female audiences at weddings, circumcision feasts and other ceremonies. These performers included Les Trois Filles de Baghdad, Soubira bent Menad and Kheira Essebsadija. Another group of female social outcasts were called "cheikhas", who were known for their alluring dress, hedonistic lyrics, and a form of music that combined that of the cheikhs, meddhahates and zendani singers. These cheikhas sang for both men and women, and included Cheikha Remitti el Reliziana, perhaps the most famous cheikha. Other performers included Cheikha Grélo, Cheikha Djenia el Mostganmia, Cheikha Bachitta de Mascara and Cheikha a; Ouachma el Tmouchentia. The 1930s saw the rise of revolutionary organizations, many with a Marxist goal, which mostly despised these early roots raï singers. At the same time, the great voices of Arab classical music were gaining popularity across North Africa, especially Umm Kulthum.

Raï, al-andalous and the Egyptian classical superstars' style was combined in the 1930s to form wahrani, a style popularized by Blaoui Houari. Wahrani was very popular, as were American jazz and French cabaret singers like Édith Piaf, especially into the 1940s. Musicians like Mohammed Belarbi and Djelloul Bendaoud added these influences to other Oranian styles, as well as Western piano and accordion, resulting in a new style called bedoui citadinisé. Full-scale revolution began in the mid-1950s, and many of these stars, including Houari and Ahmed Saber, supported the Front de Libération National. After independence in 1962, however, the new Marxist government of the Houari Boumédienne regime, and President Ahmed Ben Bella, did not tolerate criticism from Saber and other musicians, and many were arrested. Raï and Oranian culture was suppressed.

After the election of the new president Chadli Bendjedid in 1979, Rai music had a chance to pick up because of his lessened moral and economic restraints. Shortly after this Rai started to form into Pop-Rai with the use of new instruments such as new electrical synthesizers, guitars, and drum machines. The new sound of this music attracted the Algerian youth more then ever, and then messages of the songs were very attractive to the people as well. The new sound also challenged many puritan views and more subjects like sex and alcohol started to be mentioned by the singers.https://moodle.brandeis.edu/file.php/3404/pdfs/gross_etal-arab_noise.pdf] [http://www.jeddy.org/borderless/rai/ Raï - Rebel Music from Algeria ] ]


Algerian independence began a fluctuation of government control and suppression over raï. After Algeria's independence in 1962, a state-sponsored Islamic reformist movement descended over popular culture. Public performances by female singers who played a major role in raï were virtually banned. This led young men to have a key role in this genre of music. Meanwhile, traditional raï instruments such as the gasba (reed flute), and the derbouka (Maghrebi drums) were replaced with the violin and accordion.

In the 1960s, American rock and roll and soul music was popular, and Algerian bands like The Vulures and The Students arose. The French Yé-yé craze was also popular, and two of the most influential musicians of the later 20th century began their career. Bellamou Messaoud and Belkacem Bouteldja modernized the raï sound and began gaining mainstream acceptance by 1964. Chaba Fadela and Cheb Khaled also began their careers during this period, as raï's popularity was growing across Algeria. Recording technology began growing more advanced, and more imported genres gained popularity as well, into the 1970s, especially Jamaican reggae performers like Bob Marley. 1979 was an important year for raï music. It started to break free from the shadows, due in part to the new president, Chadhli Benjedid, as he loosened the moral and economic hold that prevented totally free expression. During this time, raï artists brought in influences from other countries such as: Egypt, Europe, and the Americas. Trumpets, the electric guitar, synthesizers, and drum machines were specific instruments that now made their way into raï music. This was the beginning of "pop raï," which was performed by a younger generation of "chabs" (young men) and "chabas" (young women). [ Joan, Gross p. 7 ] Fadela's 1979 "Ana ma h'lali ennoum" is considered the beginning of modern pop raï; the song was a hit across Algeria, and set the stage for raï's domination of national listeners. International success had begun as early as 1976 with the success of Rachid Baba Ahmed, raï music's most important producer.

While this new form of raï increased cassette sales, its association with mixed dancing- an obscene act according to orthodox Islamic views- led to government led suppression. However, within a short period of time, this suppression was overturned due to raï's growing popularity in France, where it was strongly demanded by the diasporic Maghrebi Arab community. This popularity in France was increased as a result of the upsurge of Franco-Arab struggles against racism. This led to a following of a white audience that was sympathetic to the antiracist struggle.

In the 1980s, raï began its period of greatest popularity. Previously the Algerian government had opposed raï because of its sexually and culturally risqué topics, such as alcohol and consumerism, two subjects that were contrary to the traditional Islamic culture. The fundamentalist leaning government also disliked the freedom afforded to women in raï, both in performing raï and in participating in the raï scene by dancing publicly, especially with men, at concerts or in clubs. The government eventually attempted to ban raï, going to the extent of banning the importation of blank cassettes and confiscating the passports of raï musicians. This was done to prevent raï from not only spreading throughout the country, but to prevent it from spreading transnationally, and from coming into or out from Algeria. Though this limited the professional sales of raï, the music increased in popularity through the illicit sale and exchange of tapes. In 1985, Algerian Colonel Snoussi joined with French minister of culture, Jack Lang, to convince the Algerian state to accept raï. [Citation| first= McMurray, Swedenberg | title= "Rai Tide Rising" Middle East Report| place= 169| publisher= 39-42| year= 1992] He succeeded in getting the government to return passports to raï musicians and allow raï to be recorded and performed in Algeria, with government sponsorship, claiming it as a part of Algerian cultural heritage. This not only allowed the Algerian government to financially gain from producing and releasing raï, but it allowed them to monitor the music and prevent the publication of "unclean" music, prevent dancing, and still use it to benefit the Algerian State's image in the national world, because of the allowance of a liberal musical genre. [cite web| author=Rod Skilbeck | url=http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/rai.htm| title= Mixing Pop and Politics: The Role of Rai in Algerian Political Discourse | accessdate=2008-03-18] In 1986, the first state-sanctioned raï festival was held in Algeria, and a festival was also held in Bobigny, France.

In 1988, when Algerian students and youth flooded the streets to protest state-sponsored violence, the high cost of staple foods, and in favor of the Peoples' Algerian Army, the government responded harshly [ Meghelli, Samir. "Interview with Youcef (Intik)." In Tha Global Cipha: Hip Hop Culture and Consciousness, ed. by James G. Spady, H. Samy Alim, and Samir Meghelli. 656-67. Philadelphia: Black History Museum Publishers, 2006. ] . President Chadli Bendjedid, who held power from 1979 to 1992, and his FLN cronies blamed raï for the massive uprising that left 500 civilians dead in October 1988. Most raï singers denied the allegation, including Cheb Sahraoui, who said there was no connection between raï and the October rebellion. Yet raï's reputation as protest music stuck because the demonstrators adopted one song—Khaled's "El Harba Wayn" ("To Flee, But Where?")—as their anthem [ [http://www.norient.com/html/show_article.php?ID=25 norient.com - independent network for local and global soundscapes ] ] :

Where has youth gone? Where are the brave ones? The rich gorge themselves The poor work themselves to death The Islamic charlatans show their true face... You can always cry or complain Or escape... but where?

The 1990s was a time of much tension concerning raï in Algeria. Restrictions were placed on raï, and those who did not submit to censorship faced dire consequences. One exiled raï singer, Cheb Hasni, accepted an offer to return to Algeria and perform at a stadium in 1994. Hasni was later shot dead by members of the Armed Islamic Group, reportedly because he let girls kiss him on the cheek during this televised concert. The escalating tension of the Islamist anti-raï campaign, caused many raï stars such as Chab Mami and Chaba Fadela to relocate from Algeria to France. Moving to France was a way to "keep the music alive" since it was forbidden in Algeria. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=980DE5D6113DF935A35751C0A9649C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all Arabic-Speaking Pop Stars Spread the Joy - New York Times ] ]

While the government's acceptance of raï benefitted those musicians willing to be edited, many other raï musicians left the country, frequently moving to France where a large population of Algerians had moved during the post-colonial era in order to find work, and where musicians had a greater opportunity to oppose the government without censorship. [cite web| author=Rod Skilbeck | url=http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/rai.htm| title= Mizing Pop and Politics: The Role of Rai in Algerian Political Discourse | accessdate=2008-03-18]

Though raï found mainstream acceptance in Algeria, many Islamic fundamentalists still protested the genre, saying that it was still too liberal and in contrast to traditional Islamic values. They claimed the musical genre still promoted sexuality, alcohol and Western consumer culture, but critics of the fundamentalist viewpoint stated that fundamentalists and raï musicians were ultimately seeking converts from the same population, the youth, who often had to choose where they belonged between the two cultures. Despite the governmental support, a split remained between those citizens belonging to strict Islam and those patronizing the raï scene. [cite web| author=Angelica DeAngelis and Maria Ran | url=http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-2375373_ITM| title= Islam and Masculinity in Maghrebi Transnational Identity| accessdate=2008-03-18]

Cheb Khaled was the first international superstar, though his popularity did not extend to the United States, Latin America and certain other areas. His 1988 "Kutché" album did the most to popularize him and the whole genre of raï. Other prominent performers of the 80s included Houari Benchenet, Raïna Raï, Mohamed Sahraoui, Cheb Mami and Cheb Hamid.

International success grew in the 1990s, when Cheb Khaled's 1992 "Khaled" was a major French hit and also saw success in India and elsewhere. With Khaled no longer in Algeria, new stars began singing lover's raï, a sentimental, pop-ballad form best-known for stars like Cheb Tahar, Cheb Nasro and, especially, Cheb Hasni. Later in the decade, funk, hip hop and other influences were added to raï, especially by performers like the French star Faudel and raï-rock fusionist Rachid Taha. He has taken raï music and fused it with rock. He takes themes from punk and mainstream rock music and blends them with traditional raï. The artist does not call his creation raï music, but rather describes it as a unique combination of folk raï and the harsh sounds of punk. [http://www.theglobalist.com/DBWeb/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=2646 Rachid Taha: Rock 'n' Rai by Richard Byrne - The Globalist ] ] Another notable mix of cultures in Arabic music of the late 90's came through songs released by artist Aldo though this is generally referred to as Franco-Arabic music not strictly raï music.

In their article "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap and Franco-Maghrebi Identities," Joan Gross, David McMurrary and Ted Swedenburg argue that while raï in Algeria is a mainstream music associated with youth culture, in France it is considered music of the "racialized Other," associated with a diasporic cultural group. In the 80s, raï music gained popularity among Maghrebi immigrants and the second gneration Beurs in France, and it was played over local radio stations, which were especially popular during Ramadan. The authors connect the secular attitudes of many Ramadan radio listeners (drinking alcohol, listening to racy music) to "rai's demimonde, nonpuritanical heritage in Algeria" [Gross, Joan, David McMurray, and Ted Swedenburg. "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap, and Franco-Maghrebi Identities." Diaspora 3:1 (1994): 3- 39. [Reprinted in The Anthropology of Globalization: A Reader, ed. by Jonathan Xavier and Renato Rosaldo, 1 ] . Indeed, raï is characterized by lyrics which are willing to address controversial issues, and addresses them in a way that earns comparisons to the blues and rock n' roll [ [http://researchfrontiers.uark.edu/6361.php Research Frontiers - Spring 2008 - University of Arkansas ] ] .

The late 1980s and early 1990s also saw a rise in female raï performers, though at this time female singers seemed to walk a fine line between the private and public sphere. According to authors Gross, McMurray, and Swedenburg in their article "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap, and Franco-Maghrebi Identity," popular raï artist Chaba Zahouania was forbidden by her family to perform, or even appear in public. However, Zahouania has given public performances, as witnessed in this video [http://youtube.com/watch?v=wuV4gzYeAx8] . According to Gross et al., the record companies have pushed female artists to become more visible. [Gross, Joan, David McMurray, and Ted Swedenburg. "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap, and Franco-Maghrebi Identities." Diaspora 3:1 (1994)]

Pop raï has also been seen to send a positive message post- September 11. "Technology is not just for making weapons and bombs",according to Hakim, a raï performer. American labels, including Putumayo World Music, Stern's, Six Degrees and Ark 21/Mondo Melodia (the label that represents Khaled, Hakim and Mr. Shaheen), released albums of Arabic-language pop.

In 2008, Aminoss, an Algerian jazz composer, made brilliant new and fresh arrangements for two very known Raï standrards, Mazal Galbi Melkiya Ma Bra by Cheb Hasni and also Ma Tejebdoulish composed by Toufik Boumelah and singed by Chebba Djenet in its original version.

Listening To Raï

Its controversial nature aside, the main reason why raï deserves recognition is for its quality. "Algerian pop music" is an inaccurate way to fully describe the sound of raï, as it implies that raï simply consists of Algerians trying to be Western and singing Western-style pop songs in Arabic instead of in English. In truth, raï goes much deeper. With blunt, simple lyrics drawn from the style of the street singing of underclass women in western Algeria, raï takes traditional Arabic elements of melody, intonation, instrumentation, and singing style and superimposes them on Western beats and rhythm structures. This produces an amalgam of sound that is catchy, well-crafted, highly unique, and eminently danceable. Raï can have a very traditional sound, or a very bright, cheery, pop sound; it can have a jazz flavor or it can epitomize the best of funk. In short, it is "world music" at its best. Indeed, raï's global quality is reinforced by the fact that practically all raï musicians sing in both French and Arabic, regularly mixing words and phrases from the two languages together (in French, "raï" is often pronounced as one syllable, like "rye"). This is not a surprising phenomenon, considering France's history as colonial master of Algeria and other areas on the African continent. There is even a large Spanish influence in raï's sound (after all, Spain is right next to Morocco, and like all North African countries it borders the Mediterranean). Raï is truly a form of global music, and it is definitely not just "Western music plus Algerian music." In the case of raï, the whole is much, much greater than the sum of its parts.

Censorship of Raï Music

Throughout the course of raï music's development and commercialization in Algeria and France, there have been many attempts to stifle the art form. From lyrical content to the album cover images, raï has been a controversial music. Religious identity and transnationalism function to define the complexities of Franco-Maghrebi identity in France. This complex identity is expressed through raï music and is often contested and censored in many cultural contexts.

In its early development, raï music was frequently performed by women in mixed gendered settings. In 1962, as Algeria claimed its national independence, expression of popular culture was stifled by the puritan nature of Islamic reform. Gross, Joan, David McMurray, and Ted Swedenburg. "Arab Noise and Ramadan Nights: Rai, Rap, and Franco-Maghrebi Identities." Diaspora 3:1 (1994)] During this time of drastic restriction of female expression, many men started to become raï singers. By 1979, under the ruling of president Chadhli Benjedid, raï music became popularized and was embraced by Algerian youth. As the music became more popularized amongst youth, it remained stigmatized amongst the orthodox Islamists and the Algerian government. Termed "the raï generation," the youth found raï as a way to express sexual and cultural freedoms. An example of this free expression can be seen though the lyrics of the late Cheb Hasni, in his song, El Berraka. Hasni sang: "I had her ... because when you're drunk that's the sort of idea that runs through your head!". [ [http://www.freemuse.org/sw9434.asp Freemuse: Algeria: Cheb Hasni - popular rai hero assassinated ] ] Hasni challenged the fundamentalists of the country, and the condemnation of non-religious art forms.

Raï started to circulate on a lager mainstream scale, via cassette tape sales, TV exposure, and radio play, adding to the national economy. However, as the music mainstreamed, its audio and visual content became more tamed by the government in hopes to reach a larger audience. In essence, the government attempted to "clean up" raï's content and image to adhere to the religious beliefs instilled in Islamic Algerian culture. Tactics such as audio engineers manipulating the recordings of raï artists were used to tailor a conservative image of raï music. This tactic allowed for the economy to profit from the music by gaining and expanding conservative audiences. The Muslim belief system not only affected the way listeners received raï music, but also the way the artists, especially female artist, presented their own music. For instance, many female raï artists do not appear on their album covers in accordance to religious views and traditional standards. Such patriarchal standards pressure women to inhibit the private realm of society. This standard is reflected in the conservative representation of female raï artists, or even the lack of their images, on album covers.

Chaba Aicha

Modern Rai singers put the word cheb (young man) or chabas (young woman) before their names – a bit like MCs in rap and dance music. In the past, women who performed traditional love-songs were widely disapproved of, and were associated with places where alcohol (forbidden in Islamic law) was sold or used. Even now, performing Rai is something of a rebellious thing for young women to do. [ [http://www.oxfam.org.uk/coolplanet/ontheline/explore/journey/algeria/music.htm Oxfam's Cool Planet - On the Line - Virtual journey through Algeria, music + dance ] ] Chaba Aicha is the only young unmarried woman to sing rai publicly today, stating that rai is the music of women who have lots of experience in life. Women without husbands have traditionally sung rai to support their children. In her performances, she would be very modest: close-cropped hairdo and total rejection of feminine clothing. Aicha did not want her face to be used on the cover of her cassette, but record companies insisted that she did. Whenever she does appear on the cover of a cassette, she is always accompanied by her husband and is fully clothed.

Other Famous "raï" artists

*Aziz Bo Walam
*Bellemou Messaoud
*Chaba Fadela
*Chaba Zahouania
*Cheb Abdou
*Cheb Bilal
*Cheb Hasni
*Cheb Hassen
*Cheb Kader
*Cheb Mami
*Cheb Sahraoui
*Cheb Saidi
*Cheb Zhiri Younes
*Chebba Zahwania
*Cheikha Rimitti
*Khaled (called Cheb Khaled early in his career)
*Mohamed Lamine
*Rachid Taha
*Reda Taliani
* Raïna Raï
* Chebba Zahouania
* Cheb Nasro
* Cheb Hassen
* Mohamed Lamine
* Chebba Kheira
* Reda Taliani
* Cheb Bilal
* Abdelhafid Douzi
* Hamid Bouchnak
* Cheb Abbas
* Cheb Zahouani
* Cheb Hanino
* Malik Adouane
* Tarik Lamirat
* Cheb Hakim
* Mohamed Junior
* Cheb Najim
* Cheb Wissem (Tunisian Raï)
* Cheb Lahbitri
* Cheb Rachid

See also

* [http://www.festival-rai.over-blog.org Blog of the National Festival of RaÏ Songs]
* "Raï" is a movie from Thomas Gilou, 1995
* Arabesque-pop music
* Arabic pop music
* [http://www.bahdja.com/ Listen to raï music (fr)]
* [http://www.rai-algerien.com/ The raï music (fr)]
* [http://www.wikimusique.net/index.php/Raï Raï by the author of Wiki Musique]
* [http://www.musiqueray.org Music Rai]
* [http://www.melody4arab.com/en_view_artist.php?id=109&type=country Rai Music (En)]


*Morgan, Andy. "Music Under Fire". 2000. In Broughton, Simon and Ellingham, Mark with McConnachie, James and Duane, Orla (Ed.), World Music, Vol. 1: Africa, Europe and the Middle East, pp 413-424. Rough Guides Ltd, Penguin Books. ISBN 1-85828-636-0

Further reading

"Running with the Rebels: Politics, Identity & Sexual Narrative in Algerian Rai", by Nasser Al Taee of the University of Tennessee (http://www.echo.ucla.edu/Volume5-Issue1/al_taee/altaee.pdf, retrieved on 22 November 2006)

"The Social Significance of Rai: Men and Popular Music in Algeria", by Marc Schade-Poulsen, copyright 1999 University of Texas Press.

*Peter van der Merwe (1989). "Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music". Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN.

* Bezza Mazouzi "La musique algérienne et la question raï", Richard-Masse, Paris, 1990.

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