The contemporary music of Taureg is impossible to separate from the historic and political struggles of the people who not only made the songs, but those it was made for. Bombino, one of Taureg's more recent acts to attract international recognition, has experienced this first hand, witnessing the Niger government's 2007 attempt to outlaw music (and the guitar in particular) to quash any chance of rebellion along with the execution of fellow musicians.

Yet Bombino never turned his back on the instrument that gave his people hope and as a result terrified a government. This rebellious spirit has been consistent throughout his music with his lyrics directly addressing the struggle of his people. Much like the music of fellow Taureg band Tinariwen, Bombino's music draws heavily from traditional Taureg music styles with call-and-response vocals and handclaps incorporated into the percussion to exemplify the sense of community and belonging that the music evokes. Bombino once remarked that he didn't see the guitar as a weapon, but rather a tool to uplift a community and build a better future.

Perhaps this is why, despite the struggles of the Taureg people's past, there is a jubilant optimism to Bombino's music. His style of playing - which he dubs "Taureggae" - brings an infectious, danceable groove that seems to be as much influenced by funk as it is by western rock acts like Jimi Hendrix. This, combined by the percussive thrust of the music makes something that begs the listener to move, to get up and free themselves. Three albums in, and several world tours under his belt, Bombino's music remains as powerful and vital as the day he first picked up a guitar.