Music A revolutionary poet or a symbol of the disintegration of the people’s home: there is a heated debate in Sweden over whether the music of the convicted rapper Yasin Mahamoud can be played

The verdict is part of a trial by the so-called Vårby network, in which a total of 30 people were charged.

In Sweden let’s now talk about rappers. Hip hop artist Yasin Mahamoud was sentenced on Wednesday, July 14, to ten months in prison for plotting to kidnap another artist.

Also another popular rapper, Haval Khalil, was convicted. He received a two-and-a-half-year sentence for robbery and aiding in abduction. A third, anonymous rap artist, was acquitted entirely. Both Mahamoud and Khalil have denied their guilt.

The victim, whose name has not been made public, is also a rap artist. The convictions are part of a trial by the so-called Vårby network, in which a total of 30 people were charged.

Crimes have thus moved from the lyrics of the artists to the real events. This has provoked a heated debate in Sweden, for and against, even before the judgments were made public.

Slightly exaggerated, there are two different perspectives, says music editor and writer Nicholas Ringskog Ferrada-Noli Dagens in Nyheter. Others call for a harsh approach: the criminal is a criminal and the artistic expression of such a person has no place in society. Others, in turn, romanticize Yasin Mahamoud, see his songs as a kind of working literature or a significant social reportage, and place Mahamoud as a heroic figure in oppressed art.

Yasin Abdullahi Mahamoud, 23, of Somali background, is from the immigrant suburb of Rinkeby, Stockholm. He is also known as Yasin The Don and Yasin Byn, which refers to Rinkeby. In the songs, Mahamoud’s background and growth environment are strongly present.

In recent years, Mahamoud has been one of Sweden’s greatest artists on his albums 98.01.11 and More to Life. In Spotify, Sweden, Mahamoud was the fifth most listened to last year, and 98.01.11album ranked third on the charts. In total, Mahamoud has 52 million listeners on Spotify.

Both Mahamoud and Khalil were nominated for the Grammis Prize for Sweden’s Oldest Music Industry this year, Khalil as Newcomer of the Year and in the Mahamoud categories Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Lyricist of the Year. In the hip hop series of the year, he was awarded.

In addition, Mahamoud, who performs under the name Yasin, was awarded in March Sveriges at the Radio P3 Guld Gala in the Artist of the Year and Hip Hop of the Year categories.

Mahamoud and Khalil were unable to attend the awards events as they sat in custody awaiting sentencing.

About crimes the rewarding and nomination of accused rapists at gala prize places has aroused in Sweden also harsh criticism.

Mahamoud’s verdict has raised questions about whether the awards he received should be withdrawn and the artist’s music boycotted on the radio. Does not answer Musical Director of Sveriges Radio Anna-Karin Larsson.

“These are very tricky questions and it is important that we look at each individual case carefully. [–] The quality of music is our priority. ”

Of course, artists have been convicted of crimes before, pointed out DN Björn Wiman in March. However, the distinction between the artist and the work is not, in his view, as straightforward as many – referring to Anna-Karin Larsson – think.

“It’s a different thing to listen and a different thing to reward,” says Wiman, who thinks the art made by a criminal shouldn’t be elevated better than others.

The case of abduction the pre-trial had a “music-themed connection between several individuals”, and the lyrics and music videos of the songs was used in the investigation as aids to determine, the way different people knew each other.

In Stockholm, for example, many rappers are strongly connected both to their own residential area and to various criminal networks, and this is also reflected in their music. Because of this, artists are seen as acting as a kind of mouthpiece for heavily armed gangs.

“The Swedish rap world is currently very fragmented, with several popular artists playing significant roles in several criminal networks, according to police,” says a long time ago. a journalist from SVT who looked at Swedish gang crime Diamant Salihu.

However, the sentences handed down to Mahamoud and Khalil are unlikely to reduce their audience, Salihu speculates. The general public may be affected by the verdicts, but Spotify’s auditions, for example, show that Mahamoud still has a very loyal fan base that listens to him despite the verdicts and the negative attention revolving around the artist.

This is also influenced by the fact that both Mahamoud’s and Khalil’s lyrics are largely built around crime and the lifestyle associated with it. The fact that they have committed crimes has therefore not come as a big surprise.

Mahamoudin the career will certainly continue after the verdict, says Nicholas Ringskog Ferrada-Noli. He thinks Mahamoud will release new music soon after his release – just like the American Gucci Mane made in 2016 when releasing their success album Everybody looking two months after his release from prison.

“A lot of fans are definitely looking forward to what kind of new music he has [Mahamoud] publishes and what he will say in it. They are very interested in hearing his perspective on the events, ”says the music reporter, P3 Din Gataprogram producer Petter Hallén.

This, instead, is unlikely to happen with Haval Khalil, as this is simply not as artistically gifted as Yasin Mahamoud, Ringskog Ferrada-Noli reflects.

Yasin Mahamoud should not be seen as a better sign of the collapse of society than as a revolutionary poetic character, says Nicholas Ringskog Ferrada-Noli.

“He’s a 23-year-old dude convicted of a crime. He is also a talented artist. Man is never just one thing. ”

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