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Moroccan Rapper Released After Hash Controversy

By: Marie Scarci | October 27, 2022

The lawyer for the rapper, ElGrande Toto, arrested in Morocco earlier this week on accusations of incitement to drug consumption, violence and defamation was able to secure his release Wednesday pending trial.

Taha Fahssi, known as ElGrandeToto, was detained late Monday after legal complaints were filed against him by musicians and others. The rapper is being held for comments he made ahead of a concert organized by the ministry that caused anger and outrage agmonst the community despite his apology on Sunday evening.

"It all started at the concert in Rabat, so I apologise to anyone offended by my words, starting with the authorities and my public who was there. The old people, the women and men who were there, the organisers", Toto says.

The 26-year old Casablanca rapper became well known in the Moroccan rap scene when he released his debut album, “Caméléon.” The 17 song long play garnered mixed reviews but achieved significant popularity on Spotify making him one of most searched arab artists across all middle east and north Africa regions streaming platforms .

Morocco was shocked when they discovered that their favorite musician, Toto had been doing something behind-the scenes which many people didn't realize. He's appears on Instagram while smoking hashish and flaunting his numerous tattoos, there's also footage of him carrying bottles of alcohol while drunk at a show which caused wide spread criticism from other Moroccans who believe he is settting a bad example for children watching these videos online.

Now his latest words are what landed him in hot water, at a press conference at a music festival in Rabat Toto says “I smoke hashish, so what?” and he went on to say “Do I get it from somewhere else? “No!”

He continued to elaborate on how it's well known that people come from all around the world to try it there. If that wasn't enough while performing he used profanity which caused more critism. After receiving backlash from this series of events he went on to apologize for his comments.

“I apologize to everyone, including the general public, the families who were there, the police, and the organizers. We are not bad people. We perform rap. Rap is not bad. It has a specific language," he states.

Despite this gesture towards forgiveness and understanding with the people of Morocco the people still were angry and took to social media. Mohamed Ginjini, a Moroccan journalist, accused him encouraging consumption at a concert organized by the Ministry of Culture and paid for with taxpayers' money.

Toto fired back on Instagram, allegedly threatening to “liquidate” and take "revenge" against the journalist. This sparks a lawsuit from Tijini and others, three musicians and a law enforcement officer, for defamation, slander as well as death threats, breach of public morality and more.

After these complaints were made and heard a Casablanca court decided Monday to take the rapper into custody. The complaints by the three musicians Abdelouahab Doukali, Abdallah Issami, and Moulay Ahmed Alaoui were later dropped but not before action was taken against Toto. Toto is released pending his upcoming trial.


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