Rai is the most widely admired type of Algerian pop music. It incorporates both traditional regional musical forms and western influences such as electric guitars and the verse chorus verse song form. Rai means "opinion" in Arabic and refers to the anti-fundamentalist tone of the lyrics of some of the artists. This has lead to the murder of one of the more popular artists, Cheb Hasni. Other artists such as Cheb Khaled choose to live in exile in Paris. (Cheb means "young man" and is a kind of title for Rai singers, like MC in hip hop or Ranks in Dancehall).

Rai music, especially live performances or recordings of live performances, is very bouncy and clap along friendly. Often it's corny as hell (At times hearing a Brian Adams style love ballad sung in a language that I don't understand is the peak of humor.) But sometimes it achieves just the right mix of this spooky Arabic (what a beautiful language) wailing and professionally rendered pop and it fucking well rocks. Good Rai music makes use of the violin in a pop context in a really cool way, which is a rare thing.

Recomended artists:
Cheb Khaled
Cheb Kader

RAI or Radiotelevisione Italiana is the Italian state-run group of radio and tv channels. a former monopoly. There are three RAI tv channels: Rai Uno, Rai Due, and Rai Tre. There are also RAI radio stations and a RAI internet portal.

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