German and Saudi rappers collide at Jeddah Hip Hop Jam
Rolf Theodor Schuster the German Consul General held a “mind-blowing” Concert put on by German and Saudi rappers at his residence on Wednesday night, according to The Saudi Gazette.
The “Jeddah Hip Hop Jam” organized by the German Consulate General in cooperation with Universal Legends Entertainment was a cross-cultural event which featured well-known German singer and producer Max Herre and Saudi rapper “Qusai” who co-hosted MTV Arabia’s Hip Hop Na music competition in 2007, hosted the two latest editions of Arabs Got Talent and won the epithet of Middle East’s Hip-Hop Ambassador, the pair were accompanied by talented local hip hop crews “J-FAM” and “Run Junction.”
The Artists channeled a mixture of emotions through their music ranging from concern for the latest socio-political development in the region to the Arabic and Muslim culture.
The concert showed a rare acknowledgement of Saudi artists’ level of maturity and their ability to portray their exact socio-cultural context without suggesting stereotypical hip-hop rhymes as well as allowing deeper understanding of the German hip-hop tradition which is somewhat influenced by the Middle East.
After the live performances, a three day workshop took place which involved 60 young local aspiring rappers and producers. The workshop enabled the upcoming musicians a chance to personally meet and share experiences with the likes of Herre and Qusai.
Qusai, Herre and J-FAM who recorded a song together premiered their collaboration at the event on Wednesday night.
The concert was opened by the energetic and Saudi-based acts Run Junction and J-FAM, both crews paid a musical tribute to Jeddah creating a pleasant atmosphere for the following acts such as German rapper Herre who enthusiastically shared information about his 20 years of experience in the music industry.
According to The Saudi Gazette, Herre said: “I find inspiration in personal experiences and the society that surrounds me. The social consciousness demonstrated in these years by young Arab citizens who took action to defend their rights was a great stimulus for my creativity.”
“My music finds its roots in the hip-hop but also embraces elements of reggae, soul, funk, indie and jazz. I like to experiment and I truly believe that music is an ideal tool to channel one’s emotions. Unfortunately, I still perceive sometimes a sort of prejudice and stereotype surrounding the hip-hop.
"This musical genre is too often labeled as aggressive without any knowledge of its roots, lyrical power and positive vibrations.” He added.
Herre said he was impressed by the local Saudi talent and encouraged the rappers to come out with their original stories.
“I always tell young talents to talk about their lives and experiences exploiting the lyrical potentialities of their native language instead of imitating American rappers. Another determining factor concerns interaction. Before competing, it is important to be united through a common networking platform. It’s fundamental to go on the Internet, search for other rap crews from the region, country or town and exploit any networking occasion.”
Qusai entertained the enthusiastic crowd with some of his popular hits in both English and Arabic.
Qusai, explained the concept behind his third and latest album. During a recent interview for the iconic American Magazine Rolling Stones, Qusai said: “I believe the millennium is the true change that started in 2011 when Arabs woke up and started to express themselves. And change is certain; it happened, it’s happening, and it will happen. It’s inevitable.”