You don’t even know what your own self feel , you think you suffer … Look to the sufferance you give to the others . You are loosing every thing till you’ll lose yourself .

El Rass’ signature style is an animated fusion of classical Arabic — an idiom seldom employed in rap — and contemporary wordplay gleaned from the Lebanese streets and elsewhere.

“I’m trying to create a new terminology in describing my music but without imposing it on others,” says El Rass, who also works as a journalist and, improbably, was previously employed as a banker in Paris (a job he loathed).

From his viewpoint, there is a kind of continuum of language and purpose from early Koranic verse to today’s Arab-language MCs. The Arabic word taaliq (a commentary), he notes, has the same root as the word muallaqat, which refers to the first pre-Islamic poems.

An emphatic on-stage performer, very much the angry poet, El Rass draws material from the ancient and the modern, the spiritual and the worldly.

“We are all made from the same steel,” the Lebanese hip-hop artist proclaims, “but the blacksmith is rotten.”

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