An indescribable way of posing on lethal instrumentals, and aggressive flow coupled with a menacing smile in his million-view visuals… Dollypran is difficult to pin down, between confident ego trips and sincere humility. Originally from El Hank, a forgotten neighborhood at the northern tip of Casablanca, the young Mehdi Ghazoui knew he would be a rapper. “One of the biggest festivals in Casablanca was organized in my neighborhood. I attended the concerts of 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliot, Sean Paul … It confirmed what I wanted to do and what I liked.”
Since it was destiny, Dollypran is now one of the headliners of the L’Boulevard Festival, which reveals every year what the Moroccan scene does best. In September, the rapper returned for the 20th edition, and the line-up was exceptional (MobyDick, ElGrandeToto, L’Morphine, …). PAM took the opportunity to wander between the sand-colored towers of El Hank with the rapper, and dive into the heart of the wild crowd of L’Boulevard, until the trap closed on itself.
« Kolchi ki tla3 / Nari kolchi TACH / 3rafti ach radir ma brinach Chèque flosna CA$H » (« It’s going up / Everybody’s high / You know what ? We don’t want no check, we want our money cash ») chants the audience, compressed against the security barriers in front of the stage. After lending his pen to the Moroccan next gen as a ghostwriter for years, Dollypran made his lyricism, full of graphic imagery, his own trademark. On stage, the impac is multiplied the audience’s trance-like excitement is up to the lyrics. It’s hard to imagine how earlier, the night turned into a horror scene of assaults of untold brutality.
On the 30th of September, at eight o’clock, the doors of the R.U.C stadium (with a 20.000 people capacity) had to close: the organizers got overwhelmed by the unexpected amount of spectators (60.000 more!). The pressure of those aiming for the stage where El Grande Toto performed became unbearable. He even had to interrupt his show, despite numerous appeals for calm.
Inside, the stadium is on the brink of chaos. Festival-goers are now exposed to a different crowd of spectators, galvanized by the group effect and hallucinogenic drugs. They break, damage the “souk” and its stage, and they attack. The night becomes the scene of physical and sexual assaults and devastating crown movement.
A bit before 11:00, as the stadium gets calmer and the artists’ rooms are blocked, Dollypran makes his way through the crowd toward the stage, concealed under his hood. But he’s also fearing for his dad. At home, he explains to PAM their powerful relationship. The rapper wanted to honor him that night, on stage. And when his concert finally started, his dad joined him for the track « Rosita », a softer track from the Mixdeep EP. Its cover showcases a very young Dollypran sitting on his father’s lap, sporting a Brazil jersey as he did on stage that night. An emotional moment, contrasting with the mess of the earliest part of the night.
“We could not have foreseen this, not us, not you, not the festival. […] We’ve all been affected, but mostly I feel bad for every single person who had something happen to them” says Dollypran after the show, because he only realized the gravity of the event after the concert. And if the memory of this edition was tarnished, there is no doubt that Casa’s most popular rapper will get more as he ascends to stardom.
Please enjoy this new installment of PAM Meets, directed, filmed, and edited by Remi Benchebra.