Q. First off thank you for this interview. If possible could you give us your thoughts on our magazine “I Am Hip-Hop”?
It’s a pleasure good sir. I am also thankful for this opportunity to get in touch with likeminded people around the world and especially London / UK. I say likeminded because I am feeling what this mag and No Bounds is about. I also try spreading positive vibes and messages with my music even while shining spotlights on difficult topics and situations. I want to bigup your drive and motivation to promote goodness and to give alternatives to the mainstream media.
There are easier paths to choose but I think ours is necessary and important.
Q. How powerful as a tool do you believe hip hop is within the context of educating the masses?
It educated me and still is doing that every day. I am a very small part of “the masses” so I guess it really is a powerful tool. The problem is more that “HipHop” as most people experience it is manipulated corporate pop music in a fake dress. Does it have anything to do with HipHop culture? Homeboy Sandman might say “not really” To educate the masses you must reach the masses. Just compare clicks on youtube of a real ill HipHop piece with a strong positive message and a blingbling joint which is pushed by big companies. Of course the latter has a bigger effect on society.
On the other hand I recently have seen in Senegal that HipHop there really has a big effect on the public and politicians fear the truth rappers are spreading. I think it depends on how bad the situation is in a country. If people are really suffering they are more open to be educated through HipHop. In Germany I think at the moment our living standard is still too high. People do not want to hear about problems all the time and rather have mostly meaningless club music to party to. People here want to forget. Peace especially to all exceptions.
Q. Your latest album is entitled Worldwide Rap. Could you explain about the concept of this album?
I made this album to make a sign. I gathered 76 artists from all across the globe who rap and sing together in 29 languages on my beats. So much hatred is planted every day that I wanted to just show proof that no matter where you are from or what color your skin is we can create something positive together. Still a lot of people do not understand this. Hopefully they come across this project and start to question their attitude. I got to know so many lovely people from all over world and every day there are new ones coming into my life. I can only recommend planting positive seeds to reap positive things in the future since it made my life way more enjoyable. So once again props to I Am Hip-Hop mag!
P.S.: I still got a couple 2xLPs and CDs left Holler!
Q. Working with 76 different artists from across the globe…how did you manage to get around the language barrier?
Most of the people were speaking at least a little bit of English. Only with a handful of artists I had to involve their friends or my own people. So actually this was not too much of a problem
Q. In December you went on a human rights tour in Senegal. What were the aims of this tour and what effect if any did it have on you and on your music?
Sister Fa which is also featured on Worldwide Rap made a CD called “Paix et Sécurité” (Peace and Security). On each of the 11 songs we focus on one human right. Ca. 40 artists from West Africa participated since they felt the need to educate the people about their rights. They said people know what their duties are but they do not know so much about their rights. So the aim was to inform them and empower them. We made concerts, press conferences and media emissions to promote these songs and messages. It really was a great experience. I participated in a song called “xam sa bopp” (know yourself) which turned out pretty powerful. I think we reached a lot of people and I could also made a lot of people smile. For me the whole tour was a very enriching experience. I basically got to know three different situations in one day:
1. Walking around alone in Senegal being the only white person.
2. Walking around with a group of Senegalese (Black) people.
3. Walking around and performing on stage with some of the most known HipHop stars of Westafrica.
So from one minute to the other people’s perception of me would totally change which was an interesting experience. I also learned a lot about working with NGOs etc. We had to pre-finance the whole trip and production and at some point ran out of money and could not do all the concerts we want to. We still haven’t got any money back so we are all still struggling. Still I am proud of everybody involved that they all sacrificed for a good cause and for social change. Also I want to give a big thanks to the fans that donated a little money for our trip which made everything a little easier. Peace and Love
I would not say that this trip changed my music but it reassured me that it is important what we are doing and that people are thankful that somebody is helping them.
Q. What can we expect from LMNZ in the future?
I am putting the finishing touches on my 2nd album “Anders als die Besseren” [ (meaning — different from the better ones) a wordplay on “Besser als die Anderen” (better than the other ones)] at this very moment. 2 days ago I shot a video with UK rapper KC Da Rookee whom I was a fan of since I was 13. So a childhood dream came true for me I also was in contact with Poetic Pilgrimage and Logic from the UK to be featured on this album but in the end it didn’t work out. Hopefully it will in the future I enjoy a lot of music from the UK! Other features are Nosliw, Bajka, Gunman Xuman and other international guests. The lyrics are mainly in English and German; I am rapping and producing it. A couple of other languages are mixed in here and there but not as extreme as on Worldwide Rap. I will put it all out in the next months so stay tuned
Other than that I am doing more projects with Sister Fa and my crew Le Mélange (me, 1 singer, 2 B-Boys and a female dancer). Get at us for live shows or projects. You can check me out on www.worldwide-rap.com or connect with me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LMNZ.Music. As I said I am always happy to connect with likeminded people so feel free to holler
Peace and Love and thank you for your attention. LMNZ
Latest posts by Arash Sharifi (see all)
- PODCAST ALERT | ARASH THOUGHTS (@Arashthoughts ) — DISCUSSING RACISM, STRESS, HOPE AND MORE. — March 12, 2018
- Interview: Who is Salome MC? — December 9, 2016
- Interview: In Conversation With Soweto Kinch (@sowetokinch) — October 13, 2016