5 Ways This Iraqi Hip-Hop Artist Is Changing The Narrative Around Arabs

    Narcy = Neo-Arab Rebel Called Yassin

    Yassin Alsalman, artistically known as Narcy, formerly The Narcicyst, is a hip-hop and multimedia artist of Iraqi origin, who grew up in the UAE and Montreal.

    His goal is "to humanize our experience as Arabs, as Muslims, or as Others... because a lot of times when people present us, they present us in an extreme, polarized version."

    Here are five powerful ways he's doing just that:

    1. Through hip-hop (or as he defines it: "Highly Intelligent People Hovering Over Politics").


    His music reflects his reality as an Arab and Muslim growing up between cultures, in a post-9/11 world. He just released his new album, World War Free, which he described as a "narrative-based record, best listened to in its entirety."

    View this video on YouTube


    His song, "Hamdulillah," was featured in Fast and Furious 7.

    He also has an all-Arabic album.


    This is a beautiful track for the children of Iraq (featuring his grandfather reciting poetry).

    2. By producing a short film.

    View this video on YouTube


    He told BuzzFeed that the message behind the film, Rise, released earlier this month, is to remember to not put your financial gain above your creative gain, or "your money before your soul."

    3. Through prose.


    He wrote a book called The Diatribes of a Dying Tribe. Jadaliyya called it "a manifesto of sorts: on bicultural identity, on globalization, on hip-hop, on hip-hop culture, on politics, on poetics, on resistance, on peace, on war, on frustration, on calm, on family, on adolescence, on Arabs in the West."

    The book received praise from Talib Kweli.

    Reading this Diatribes of a Dying Tribe by @TheNarcicyst it's fantastic. Now where can I get that Fear of An Arab Planet

    4. By expressing himself through fashion.

    5. By co-founding an art collective.

    His message to readers: "Don't believe the hype and take time to listen to people of different backgrounds. The thing we have the most in common is our differences, and if we embrace that I think the world would be a better place."