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6Qs with Rapper The Narcicyst //

bySeif Al-Din

It may be safe to say Iraqi-Canadian rapper The Narcicyst (a.k.a. Narcy a.k.a. Narcel X) has a name for every talent, but then again it may not be. One of Arab Hip Hop’s pioneers; a writer, journalist and activist; and now an actor, Narcy is committed to taking all forms of his art to new levels — as proven by his recent inclusion in Global Hip Hop’s Best of 2009 on World Hip Hop Market.

The Narcicyst

Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis:
Sega Genesis
Favorite rapper:
A mix between Nas, Mos Def and Pharoah Monch
Pac or BIG: Pac because he was very very complicated, and Biggie because he taught you how to be free.

1. If you had one chance to collab with any artist or musician in the world, who would it be and why?
Stevie Wonder, because he changed my life. His music has helped me through grief, it’s helped me through love, it’s helped me through pain. Stevie Wonder hits so many categories in my life.

2. How connected do you feel the Arab hip-hop scene in North America is?
I think the Arab hip-hop scene in North America is comprised of the same beautiful things and the same ugly things that the mainstream hip-hop scene has. So you have this whole faction of angry Arabs, who use religion and militancy because they think it’s empowering but they don’t realize that they’re further engendering the stereotype. Then you have the cats that are all about the money who are representative of capitalism. Then you have the cats like us that are in the middle, who like to party, but are aware that the party comes at a cost. So I think it’s about as divided as the Middle East is.

3. Where’s your favorite place to write, or create?
Either on my couch, or on a plane.

4. How does it feel to have made a “PHATWA” of your own?
It feels great! I held back on making a music video for a while, because I believe visuals are very important. We’re in a visual culture as human beings, so I think that if you get the visuals twisted then you get the whole song twisted and you get the whole movement twisted. So it was definitely a dream come true for me, and having my sister direct it makes it even better.

5. What cartoon character is the best reflection of you and your personality?
A lot of people call me Tasmanian Devil. But I feel like Ren and Stimpy together, as one. ‘Cause I’m a Gemini, so I have two sides of me that always battle each other. So it’s either Ren and Stimpy or Tom and Jerry.

6. Narcel X?
Malcolm is the perfect example of a man for me, because he was changing until his last minute. He was always very critical of himself and his people. So he as a man is an example of what I strive to be like. In no way would I want to replicate that because you can’t, but he’s a huge inspiration in my life. So my writing “Narcel X” is because I’m political but I’m also very human, and that was who Malcolm was.

Every human being is a narcissist one way or another or at least at some point in their life. And I think it’s the destruction of mankind. The metaphor of falling into your own reflection is fame as well. So this thing that we strive for will eat itself alive.

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