Saudi authorities have ordered the arrest of a female rapper, identified as Ayasel Slay who appeared in a music video for her song Bint Mecca or Girl from Mecca, stating that it is offensive to the customs and traditions of the holy city.
The video which was uploaded to Ayasel’s YouTube channel –but has since been removed- featured her rapping about her pride in being from Mecca, where the Kaaba is located. She was seen rapping in a café with a group of smiling children as her backup dancers.
Mecca regional authorities tweeted that the governor had issued orders for the arrest of Ayasel Slay and the video production team. ‘’Prince Khalid bin Faisal of Mecca has ordered the arrest of those responsible for the Bint Mecca rap song, which offends the customs and traditions of the people of Mecca and contradicts the identity and tradition of its esteemed population.’’ the tweet said.
Mixed reactions on social media have trailed the decision of the Mecca governor. Some comments had racial undertones that were directed at Ayasel’s Africa origins with the hashtag #You_Are_Not_Mecca’s_Girls while others rejected such comments.
In June 2018, a rapper called Leesa A released a video where she celebrated her country for lifting the ban that prevented women from driving. The viral video was, however, well received unlike Ayasel’s music video.
Recall that Saudi Arabia, under the watch of Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has, in recent times, implemented socio-economic reforms including giving women the right to drive and inviting Western pop stars to the conservative kingdom.