June 09 # Shadia Mansour + The Narcicyst + Samian # Sala Rossa
As authentic as the heavily-embroidered thawb she wears whilst performing live… British Born Palestinian Shadia Mansour has independently become one of the leading female Arabian MC’s worldwide. Her natural and flawless ability to switch between rapping and singing is rapidly becoming a cultural phenomenon. Shadia delivers her taunting voice, both mournful and mesmerizing, over Arabic Phrases of loss, longing, struggle and life.
Shadia Mansour started singing at the tender age of 5 years old by appearing on various Arabic, British and American TV and radio shows. She is currently working on her highly anticipated album (yet to be titled) featuring many of the top producers of the industry. Shadia has opened up for Busta Rhymes and Mobb Deep at the Palladium Club in New Rochelle, NY. Last summer, she toured US and received a tremendous welcome in Chicago, Milwaukee and San Francisco. Shadia also took part in the Annual Pre Black August Concert in NYC with DJ Johnny Juice (Public Enemy) alongside her giving her performance an authentic New York touch.
Yassin Alsalman, better known by his stage name The Narcicyst , is an Iraqi journalist and hip- hop MC. Originally from Basra, he was born and raised in Dubai. Now settled in Montreal, he began his career as part of a hip-hop trio called Euphrates, along with Nawar and Nawaf Al-Rufaie. The two brothers had been Yassin’s childhood friends and worked together as a production team called Sandhill, providing the musical backrdrop for the group’s two LPs (‘A Bend in the River’ and ‘Stereotypes Incorporated’). The group also contributed to the soundtrack of ‘Voices of Iraq’, a documentary featured in The Georgia Straight and Time.
Euphrates disbanded after Nawaf’s unexpected passing on November 26th, 2004. Yassin has since pursued a solo career, recording four mixtapes and a studio album. Rapping in English and occasionally in Iraqi Arabic, Yassin’s lyrics address some of the social, political and cultural issues of our time, including the 9/11 attacks, the US-led invasion of Iraq, Islamophobia and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. He has performed across Canada, Europe, the United States and the Middle East, often backed by a live band and vocalists. He has also opened for a number of high profile acts like Public Enemy, Busta Rhymes, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Non Phixion, Madlib, A-Trak, Brother Ali, DJ Vadim, Dead Prez and Afu Ra to name a few. A graduate in political science and communication studies, Yassin completed a Masters’ degree in media studies, focusing on the identity politics in hip-hop poetics, specifically looking at the lived experiences of Arabs in North America.
Algonquin hip-hop artist Samian raps about the realities of life on First Nations reserves in Quebec and has a growing following on reserves and in Quebec’s cities, also striking a chord in hip-hop communities everywhere. Samian raps on indigenous people in Quebec, whose chart-topping hit ‘La Paix des Braves’, a duet with Quebec hip-hop crew Loco Locass, appeals for solidarity between Québécois and indigenous people. More recently, his collaboration with Sans Pression on ‘Premières Nations’ has helped cement his role as a key voice in the Montreal contemporary hip-hop scene. Samian is a signatory of the Artists Against Israeli Apartheid declaration issued to the public in the winter of 2010 in support of the global movement for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli apartheid.