read in: 12 min
By Hass Dennaoui @Big_Hass
Culture is a powerful tool that defines humanity. It is a fragile phenomenon, as it doesn’t remain constant. Always apt to change, cultural patterns are continuously evolving into products of people interacting with each other and into universal changes – politically, socially and economically. The youth is the most affected demographic division as it is the future of the next century. We are not exactly living in a problem-free world; therefore shouts, revolutions, and demands are the youth’s main motto. The right to live in decent circumstances summarizes the people’s goal. What sort of medium enables them to convey their emotional bruises?
The principal means of expression is music, through leaving-nothing-implied lyrics. Essentially, Hip Hop is an intelligent music genre and movement, charged with truth, reality and freedom. Intoxicated by the mainstream money making rappers, Underground Hip Hop has managed to rise and reflect its true essence and purpose.
“Leish Hip Hop?” (Why Hip Hop?)
Hip Hop is a culture and form of ground breaking music and expression. Hip means ‘to know’ and ‘to be aware and updated’. Hop stands for ‘to move’ and ‘to act upon’. Basically, it is an intelligent movement and we can also call it a conscious movement. The so-called Hip Hop we listen to on the radio has polluted the true essence and purpose of ‘real’ Hip Hop. Money-oriented acts, thirsty-for-publicity ‘artists’, ridiculous lyrics and no real flair. Hip Hop was based on lyrical prowess and was created upon four elements: The MC, The DJ, The B-Boy, and the Graffiti Artist. These parameters have faded away and have almost gone extinct in the mainstream music industry. Although these elements give Hip Hop its character and reputation, popular artists tend to choose the money and corruption path. Why Hip Hop? Still we ask ourselves, how is our world today? While there are crucial issues jeopardizing humanity, some are singing about shopping, ‘bling-bling’, women, cars, clubbing, and about more explicit matters such as sex, drugs and violence. No offense to every-now-and-then little fun but Hip Hop’s main purpose is to deliver awareness not foolishness and vulgarity.
The rise of a new era for Hip Hop is paving the way of the neglected youth towards freedom. Proof of this new age are underground artists with revolting, solid and intelligent lyrics such as – from the Arabic Hip Hop Movement – Shadia Mansour, LOWKEY, The Narcicyst and Omar Offendum. They are gliding against the thickness of the loud and frivolous mainstream industry. Political corruption, social decay, economical demise and humanitarian neglect are agents to causing the world to shake out of its shell and revolt against the system. The revamped version of Hip Hop embraces all ethnicities and all social status; it is in fact a universal means of expression, translating true life’s struggles and experiences into poetry. The underground scene avoids the mainstream, which constrains the outbreak of the ugly truths surrounding the world. The artists of the new era exercise their right of freedom of speech and excel in transmitting important issues through deep meaningful lyrics and ear-catching beats. To portray this point, Hip Hop was used in the recent Arab revolutions, which took place in Tunis, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria, to convey the youth’s message. Moreover, there were some tracks that were done in collaboration with foreign/Western artists.
This could imply the awakening of the West and its concern and support towards the broken sides of the Arab World. Let’s not forget that Hip Hop has planted its seed all over the world, no exceptions. Individuals with power to influence and high-level of intellect and education are leading this humble cause of setting awareness through music, more precisely through Hip Hop. They are the ones composing, recording and transmitting. Young, they recognize the problems and issues that need immediate attention and they hold within the faith in change. Positivity and reality in revolutionary acts give confidence to the crowds.
Going back to the main question “Leish Hip Hop?” (“Why Hip Hop?”). It is the name of the first real Hip Hop show on a FM Radio Station in Saudi Arabia. I, Hassane Dennaoui, a.k.a Big Hass, am the show host of this ground-breaking unique show. There is no doubt that breaching the mainstream in this manner threatens its fake stability and egocentricity. Underground Hip Hop is revolting in words and in actions. It is only a matter of time for it to shed enough light on the issues of the world and for people to really listen. Strong in its entity, Hip Hop cannot pass through without giving it attention or a listen. It is in its formation to impact, to shock, to aware, to explain, to describe and to plead…
BIG HASS @Big_Hass
Hass Dennaoui (aka Big Hass) is a young Saudi citizen working in the media industry as a Regional Media Manager in a local digital media company – He is the founder of Re-Volt, an online radio blog, since October 2009. (www.revoltradio.blogspot.com)
Re-Volt came together as a result of numerous questions in mind about mainstream music, its effect on the youth and how it was lacking cause, awareness and intellect. The Internet being the strongest and main means of communication nowadays, a blog was an ideal vessel to transmit this ideology. His main emphasis was to follow/support the Arabic Hip Hop movement.
After much determination & hard work, he managed to launch Saudi’s First “real” Hip Hop FM Radio Show on newly opened local station (MIX-FM). The show “Laish Hip-Hop?” (meaning: “Why Hip-Hop?”) airs on a weekly basis & it showcases local & Arab Hip Hop artists that don’t usually get FM/TV exposure.
This video, featuring Big Hass, bears witness to the expansive affect of Hip Hop!