Rai is one of the traditional folk singing genre, originally derived under the Algerian music. Rai music is more of a way of vision, or as the word ' raï ' is explained: expression of opinion. The rai algerian musical genre was first performed by Algerian poor and urban communities; that needed to express their opinions and sang subjects about sufferings, disappointments, complaints, and revolutionary topics and taboo subjects.
Cheb is the title given to the male rai singers who sing this type of music and women rai artists are given the title "Cheba". They used to be given the title of Sheikh and Sheikha when this type of Algerian music emerged in western Algeria in the City of Oran, in the late nineteenth century.
The rai is a local music that uses very simple lyrics and melodies using rhythmetic instruments like Nay. Then, the Rai songs were influenced by the French and Spanish music; in the 1970's, musical instruments like the violin, guitar, clarinet, and piano were used in a new generation of Rai Music to mix the traditional rai with the western Algerian music.
Cheb Khaled is among the first generation of rai music and he sang about love, which usually is rare among the rai arabic songs. The Rai music spread among the world in the eighties thanks to the Algerians singers Cheb Khaled and Cheb Mami.