Three years ago I made a music video about a city that I had the pleasure of living and working in–Tetouan, Morocco. In the music video, based on Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind, I hoped to celebrate the city and capture some experiences. Friends contributed their energy, especially Alaina (as Alicia Keys), Caitlyn, and Maria (look for the woman with a baby). Now, as I return to visit Tetouan, I realize that the video makes for a decent orientation to Morocco, culturally and linguistically. Please overlook the sound of me rapping and the production quality (we were using a borrowed camera and a mop for a tripod) and enjoy. Footnotes are below.
Moroccan State of MindYeah, yeah I’m in Morocco, drinking tea in nice weather Right next to the palace and I’ll be here forever I’m the newest roller, and since I made it here, I can make it anywhere Yeah, they love me everywhere Usually take a walk around, say Salam to Fatima  Right there at the roundabout, she’s my Arabic instructor Two minutes from home, sweet number 16 Main Street Catch me in the kitchen diabetic with these pastries Cruising down the highway, conservative track suit  Running so slow but drivers still ‘woot woot’ Now I’m at the routiére , home of the buses, see
Now I’m crossing bridges and I brought my friends with me Say whattup to Caitlyn, Alaina, Maria Jogging up the mountain all the locals say bsaha 
Friday I eat couscous , I can eat a heap you see Tell by my appetite that I’m most definitely [Chorus] In Tetouan, Moroccan town next to the mountains There’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in Tetouan Mint tea will make you feel brand new, prayer calls will inspire you Let’s here it for Tetouan, Tetouan, Tetouan Catch me in the lane with live birds and the local cheese Shit, I eat more local cheese than any of the locals eat You should know I say Inshallah  but I ain’t a Muslim though But I got a lot of friends that kill a goat at Eid though  Welcome to the melting pot, corners where we’re selling bras Wedding gold and DVDS, home of the best pot Injilizia, Farancia, Espania , holler back For foreigners it ain’t too hard ’cause here they got a language knack Hit on you in Spanish, Hola guapa, qué tal? 
Unemployment makes it worse but words aren’t fatal Me, I got a job, ESL, I got it made For three hours a day I’m paid to parler One dollar lunches, three dollar movies Got a hundred bucks you can be bourgeoisie Here it’s a monarchy so they mean it when they say Long live the king, yo, I’m from the Gibraltar Strait [Chorus] Streets are winding, carts need minding But you can step out of town quick, the coastline is Plied by taxis  who drive you for a small fee And drop you at the corniche , don’t mind the stiff breeze Caught up in the foreign life, now you’re in style Wear a jalaba  ’cause it’s cold, to bold with your skin out There’s one street for sin, but it’s a city known for wind Flying bags, flying chairs, the city’s filled with them We like to buy our bread here, the place called Avenida Everybody comes here, like Mecca and Medina They hailed Mary to the city, not a virgin But after ten months here I qualify for born-again Came here for work, graduated to the high life Expats, locals, addicted to the sunlight Café au lait  got you feeling like a champion
But city likes its sleep, hits the sack by 9 or 10 [Chorus] One hand in the air for the small city Headscarves, big dreams, all looking pretty No place in the world that could compare Put your lighters in the air, everybody say Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! [Chorus]
 Playing Parcheesi in front of the palace seems a legitimate pastime for many men in Tetouan.
 Salam, meaning ‘peace’, is a common greeting in Arabic.
 People asked me about how I had to dress in Morocco. As in all the Muslim countries I’ve visited, there’s a ton of grey area. I felt more comfortable in long sleeves and pants. But a friend wore shorts and T-shirts on her runs.
 The French colonial history left a lot of vocabulary, including, in this case, gare routiére (bus station)
 Bsaha means ‘to your health’, and you can use it before eating or drinking, or to encourage someone who is running up a mountain.
 Couscous, referring to the dish made with granules of durum wheat and some kind of meat or vegetable on top, is usually enjoyed at home on Fridays afternoons. Friday is the traditional Muslim holy day, like Sundays for Christians. Our neighbour Fatima (yes, everyone is named Fatima) often made couscous for us on Fridays.
 Inshallah basically means ‘Allah (God) willing.’ In Muslim countries, this is very common. Will I see you on Wednesday? Inshallah.
 Eid refers to Muslim holidays in general, but here I’m talking abut the Eid that comes at the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.
 How you say ‘English’, ‘French’, and ‘Spanish’ in Arabic. These languages are all spoken in northern Morocco, but not by everyone.
 ‘Hey good-looking, what’s up?’ in Spanish. Most guys seemed to assume I was Spanish, or they just didn’t have the English to be obnoxious.
 In Morocco, you can travel for cheap by taksi kabir, or ‘big taxi’, which leaves when it has six passengers.
 From French, meaning the road along the seaside.
 The long colourful robes worn by women and men. I believe there are different terms for the different kinds of robes, but we used jalaba for the general.
 If you like coffee, you’ll like Morocco. Say Qahwa bl helib or café au lait (Arabic and French for ‘coffee with milk’), and you can get a glass of espresso with hot milk poured over it, usually at the table.