Interview: The Narcicyst
A passionate representative of Arabic hip-hop, The Narcicyst is truly paving the way to awareness on important issues. As opposed to rapping about money and women, his talking points range from the Arab Spring to religion, race and identity. Not just a rapper, the Iraqi-Canadian MC is also a journalist, public speaker and co-founder of ‘The Medium’ - a multi-media company. The Wrap Up's Line Rindvig caught ‘Narcy’ for a little chat…
The Wrap Up: Hi Narcy! How did you get into hip-hop and how is it received in the Arab world?
Narcy: Music is really just one medium that I use to communicate my specific experiences of being Arabic. My company ‘The Medium’ is taking a multi-media approach to sharing experiences through the arts. Hip-hop is becoming an important and intelligent place in the Arab music scene; I believe in the coming decade it will be recognised as one of the most influential genres. Hip-Hop was the first voice of dissent I started hearing through my teens. We really began voicing our opinions in the late nineties about who we were, or who we thought we were! Now it has fully blown and it is still growing.
TWU: Which seven words from your song ‘Hamdulillah’ [praise be to God] mean the most to you?
Narcy: Seven is an interesting number - good question! I would say: Bismillah [in the name of God], Blessed, Humble, Proud, Pray, Classy and Condemned. I think you can use all seven words in any context of life. I say classy because the way we represent each other can be very un-classy at times. Yet ‘classy’ is the only way we should be as people.
TWU: The video for ‘Hamdulillah’ features Jay Electronica and others; can you tell us about the concepts behind it?
Narcy: The video came through in a very natural way. We didn't intend on reaching out to anyone specific, we just let it naturally take its course. Ridwan Adhami and I approached 'Hamdulillah' as both a visual time capsule and a media project. We reached out through our social media to videographers around the world to shoot fellow Muslims, musicians, community builders and social movers. Footage was sent to us from around the world and we ended up with all these beautiful people, man. It was a beautiful experience; everyone was an equal in that video.
TWU: ‘#FlyOverEgypt’ represents the struggles in many middle-eastern countries at the moment. Why did you choose to cover Egypt?
Narcy: ‘#FlyOverEgypt’ was about having a bird’s eye view of the world and being aware of what is going on around you. It is about the world rather than Egypt specifically. In Arabic, people call Egypt 'Um Il-Dunya', which means ‘the mother of the world’. I really wanted to touch on the political experiences we are all sharing as well as the personal fears we share around the world. 2012 has been an interesting year of shifts worldwide; I chose Egypt because it is the heart of the world in my opinion. Of course, just as Egypt is important; so is Iraq, Palestine, America and England. However, the significance of Egypt in our history as human beings has been paramount to our understanding of civilization.
Look out for the second part of this exclusive interview coming soon…
Stay up to date with Narcy on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/thenarcicyst
Words: Line Rindvig (@Rindvig)