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The African Rolling Stones

Nass El Ghiwane is a Moroccan musical group established in 1971 in Hay Mohammadione of the poorest areas in Casablanca.

The older ones will probably remember their song Ya Sah which appeared in the first The Last Temptation of The Christ (1988) -which, by the way, was shot entirely in Morocco.

Initially, the group was composed of five members : Laarbi Batma (the charismatic leader), Omar Sayed, Boujmîa Hagour, Mahmoud Saadi, Allal Yaâla & Aziz Tahiri.

Their music, which still inspires many generations, incorporate a trance aesthetic reflecting the influence of Gnawa music. Their music was also inspired from AïtaMelhounHmadcha and Jilala.

Drawn from the Moroccan poetry and Sufi texts, their lyrics are a way of portraying the society and of criticizing the political system.

Well-known for their political engagement, they’re from the Moroccan generation who’s been influenced by the Hippie Ideology.

Martin Scorsese, the director of The Last Temptation of The Christ and Gangs of New York, used to nickname them as The African Rolling Stones.

Even after the death of Laarbi Batna, Nass El Ghiwane still have a huge place in the heart of every Moroccan citizen.

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