Hidden away offshore companies, big business interests and assassination plots have engulfed Maltese politics for years – and now, they’re influencing Malta’s music scene.
Roulette, the latest track by Maltese female rapper REA and Maltese producer Funky Monkey, has to be the hardest trap banger to be directly influenced by Maltese corruption ever produced.
REA’s lyrics directly take on some of the key issues Malta has been grappling with in recent times, from corrupt business practices affecting government, friends of friends getting what they want, and a general air of severe shadiness surrounding Maltese politicians.
The Maltese rapper has previously channelled her activism through her music and biting lyrics, rapping about things like environmental issues, and does so again on Roulette. Funky Monkey (Luke Camilleri) brings a very modern touch to the instrumental, with rolling high hats and a big 808 bass giving this track the currentness it deserves.
“It’s a song with a political message within the context of what is happening and emerging right now in this political climate” – REA
“Increasingly, we’ve come to see politicians as masters of the dark arts, as wizards and warlocks connivings in their own ends and expecting us to swallow their own vile brew. And at what cost? A less socially just society,” she continued.
The name and intro of the track itself is a reference to Yorgen Fenech, the owner of offshore company 17 Black, and Tumas Gaming, before REA continues onto a scathing takedown of the influence of “big business on the Maltese political agenda, and the need for citizens to join together against the forces of corruption and social and environmental injustice”.
Producer Funky Monkey said he wanted to show a new generation in Malta that you could make an impact using whatever you have at your hands.
“For me, the whole point is to be active with your own means,” he told Lovin Malta.
“For us, the tool was music and used as a vehicle to social change. In our previous collaborations, we focused on the degradation of the environment but because of the extent of the current situations, we felt that it is necessary to tackle this issue. The message is primarily that we need to get together and organize ourselves in the face of these crises,” he ended.
Roulette comes ahead of the launch of REA’s debut album in October 2020.