Lust vs. Loss – How Marwan Moussa’s Series of Tracks Shahr 2, 12 & 5 are an Accurate Depiction of Love
Egyptian Rapper Marwan Moussa’s distinctive tracks are no shock to any of his listeners. One aspect that gives an edge to his songs is his skillful choice of words in expressing his emotions. In his three tracks, Shahr 2, 12 & 5 released in that order, he seems to take his audience through his painful experience with love in a particular relationship from the past. From Shahr 2 all the way to Shahr 5, Moussa takes you through different emotions that reveal the rollercoaster of intensity that comes through falling in love.
In his first release, Shahr 2, the artist starts the song with “nefsy bas fi hega gideeda tesaheeny men el nom b dehka.” Here, Moussa expresses the initial butterflies of any relationship, whether it’s waking up to a morning text or receiving a call after midnight. His feelings intensify as seen in a verse from Shahr 2, “mahadesh edany el ehsas da ablek.” He continues to infatuate this connection with his lover as he separates it from anything else he has ever felt before. In his final song, Shahr 5, the rapper sings “mosta7eel kol leila ba3deeky,” desperately expressing the finality of his love and how nothing comes before or after this particular experience.
This lust quickly turns into loss. Throughout all three songs, Moussa explicitly describes the pain of losing someone you love. In Shahr 2, the artist describes this feeling as a sickness in his stomach. There appears to be a consistent reference to “el oda el dalma” that they shared together, where he now aches for her presence in it. His agony escalates very quickly as he delves deeply into the “hazza” in Shahr 12. He describes this shock as something that makes you see the grave and hope to be inside it. More so, a shock that awakens your thoughts and kills your words. Here, Moussa beautifully articulates the agony in his loss as he compares it to a feeling of silenced deadness. This shock is symbolically presented through his reference to a mobile’s vibration, as he still desperately anticipates “hazet el mobile 3al fagreya.”
As the meanings in the songs evolve, so do Moussa’s feelings, as he continues to express his inability to move on. In Shahr 2 he talks about “rasayel adeema menawara [lelto],” and then tells this mysterious lover “mehawesh gowa alby kol el beny w benak” later on in Shahr 5. This is a familiar feeling to anyone who has experienced heartbreak, where old texts are re-read and memories of the past are recalled. The peak of his heartache is seen when the lyric “daya3t hega ghalya” is reinforced twice in his second track, Shahr 12. Moussa continues to linger on what could have been in his words “law kanet sabet nafsaha w rohna fel donya el tanya,” and again in Shahr 5 “law te3ood el ayam tany”, shining light on the illusive “if only” that come with break-ups. The fantasy of “el donya el tany” is an authentic metaphor of where love takes you, a whole other world that Moussa is unable to let go of.
Love is a frustrating, yet beautiful experience, and Moussa expresses this exact irony in his tracks. Sometimes you meet someone and it’s a feeling like no other, a feeling that erases what you used to think love was, and redefines your idea of it. The rapper’s meticulous and vivid choice of words are so telling of the painful shift from lust to loss. The swiftness and ease by which a love story comes to an end is a paradox to anyone who has fallen in love. In his words of Shahr 5 “hekaya entahet b kelma,” Marwan Moussa takes you through the absurdity of love and its loss, an experience that is indeed a “hazza.”