Bensaid denies the controversial exclusion of rappers using autotune from financial aid

Bensaid denies the controversial exclusion of rappers using autotune from financial aid

Mehdi Bensaid, the minister of culture, addressed a controversy that first arose in July by explaining the ministry’s alleged decision to prevent rap artists from receiving financial support and subsidies because of use of autotune, saying that it is a general decision that does not target a particular music genre.

The minister suggested the possibility of reviewing the decision, or adapting it to each music genre based on different criteria.

This began in July, when Fatima Tamni, the parliamentary representative for the Federation of the Democratic Left, wrote to Bensaid a question about whether to include the prohibition of vocal enhancers in the book of specifications related to supporting music and song. This issue caused a great deal of controversy in Morocco, especially among rappers.

In his answer, the minister stated that the condition of not using autotune includes all projects nominated for support, and does not concern a specific group.

The concerned committee noted the frequent use of sound enhancers by project holders during the 2020 session and recommended to the administration that this condition be added to the specifications book, which was done in the 2022 session, according to the minister. 

Subsequent recommendations of the support committees led to the addition of this condition.

Bensaid continued that this condition “comes within the framework of the annual review process carried out by the Directorate of Arts, according to the recommendations of committees made up of artists and experts representing all musical genres, including rap.”

He stated that the directorate of arts seeks the creation of quality Moroccan artistic productions.

In his written answer, the minister indicated that “competition in the field of music and song is based on sound first and musical creativity second.”

He emphasized that because they noticed that project holders used this technique to reshape the sound rather than correct wrong tones, the committees’ preference for real voices and authentic instrumentals without enhancements is a preference of merit rather than an exclusion of artists, whatever type their projects belong to.

The Ministry vehemently denied the exclusion of rap artists, explaining that it is keeping up with a group of fresh experiments that have emerged in this artistic genre and is working to schedule them, whether in its festivals or in all the artistic demonstrations and events that it organizes and that it is attempting to ensure its presence on the global artistic scene by financially supporting the genre.

Additionally, this year, the Ministry appointed two musicians who are members of the committee to support creative endeavors in music and song with knowledge of the rap genre, taking into account its musical characteristics and giving it the authority to choose projects based on the standards it deems appropriate.

 “In confirmation of the Ministry’s constant concern for the interests of artists and the conditions for their creativity, the latter will work to study the possibility of reviewing this condition for the artistic types concerned with using this technology after consulting with the relevant committees, or at least adapting it to what is appropriate for each type of musical genre,” said the ministry.


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