Over the past three years, Mazen El Sayed, aka El Rass, has risen to the forefront of the contemporary Arab hip-hop scene. He stood out, along with a few others, for his focus on the Arabic language and poignant criticism of contemporary societies. Whereas hip-hop might have been his starting point, El Rass (meaning The Head) managed to expand beyond it to other genres, and is quick to assert that he is not limited by any one of them.
In late 2013, Medrar.TV visited El Rass in his Beirut studio, where he worked on his second album featuring a range of Arab musicians. In this interview, El Rass speaks of his beginnings and influences, that have shaped his music and ideology to date.
Amira El Masry translated the interview into English.
[This video was produced by Medrar TV and is featured in partnership with Jadaliyya Culture.]