1) Let’s start with a little background on yourself, where are you originally from?
My name is Hass Dennaoui. I am a Saudi Citizen & currently live & work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I’m the founder of Re-Volt Radio Blog which is a platform for non-commercially based music & art.
2) How did you get introduced Hip Hop and what effect has Hip Hop culture had on you personally?
I first got introduced to Hip-Hop when I heard Biggie on an FM Radio & I fell in love with the whole attitude & message of true hip hop. I then started following the likes of 2pac, Public Enemy, NAS, KRS-ONE who are real hip hop soldiers.
Hip Hop has had a huge impact on me, it introduced me to so many artists that are communicating a positive message with a cool attitude. Its like what KRS said “Hip is the Knowledge – Hop is the movement”
But we have to focus on supporting the true essence of hip hop given that so many things are now being commercialized to fit the music industry. That’s why I created re-volt , because I am revolting against the mainstream music & trying to showcase the talent I discover/interview/feature on my show & expose them to the world or at least my circle of friends.
3) There are a lot of different opinions on rap and the Hip Hop culture today. They range from it’s dead, to it’s stagnate, to it’s really poppin; Where do you see the status of Rap and The Hip Hop culture today?
Its simple, hip hop is alive – you just have to change the channel & look for it in places. Some of these places are like blogs, sites that feature & focus about the true essence of hip hop. A Good place to start is RE-VOLT RADIO www.revoltradio.blogspot.com
4) How do you think the Hip Hop generation of today can bring about change in society, thought, views, what needs to happen?
As you may have witnessed the uprises & revolutions that took place in the Middle East (Tunis, Egypt & now Libya,Syria & Yemen) have all been power to the people. Hip Hop is a voice of the voiceless & it was used a lot in communicating the youth’s. for eg. In Egypt 2 songs from Egypt based Hip Hop group (Arabian Knightz) surfaced.
Music in general is a huge inspiration & when used positively it can actually affect & change lives & also reflect on a situation.
5) What inspired you to become a Hip Hop Activist? How did you come up with the idea to do it? How do the people accept your vision?
First, I am honored you called me a Hip Hop Activist. I see myself more of a music activist in general..someone who is passionate about spreading good music around & letting people know that there is art outside your MTV top 10!
I believe the people when given 2 options they would know which one is honest & comes from passion & that’s what I provide my followers & listeners the chance to get to know an artist that they will never find on main stream media, with that being said, the Power is Shifting to the people..with the huge power of Internet & Social Media..an upcoming artist doesn’t need to be signed to a record label that dictates him..he/she is free to do & promote their music as they please.
6) What are your thoughts on the relevance of hip-hop culture as a movement? And how important is it for today's youth in Middle East?
Hip-Hop as a movement is crucial especially in the oppressed areas because it’s a way & a tool to communicate & it gives a BIG VOICE to the voiceless. The Middle East is rich of Hip Hop artists trying to make it.
Well of course there is a difference since its 2 different cultures, but that’s something you can hear & check in the case of the arab hip hop artists that lived in the West such as Omar Offendum (Syria/America) + The Narcicyst (Iraq/Canada) , Shadia Mansour (Palestine / British). They all talk about their experience living in the west & being from the east & it’s fascinating to hear that.
I advise your readers to look them up & youtube their videos.
8) Do you find it hard as an activist in the Hip Hop arena? What is your main goal and what are some of the worst things that have happened to the journey?
My goal is to have a 1 hour show on a big FM station so I can reach more people. My second goal is to be able to do shows all around the world with my connections that I have established for the past year.
Hamdulilah my journey has been blessed so far & I am getting the support I need from the artists themselves since they understand why I am doing this & I salute them for that.
9) Have there been websites that have really reacted well to your movement and reached out and supported you?
I have had amazing support from websites all over the world such as yourself & it doesn’t matter if it’s a blog, a magazine or just a site - I am open for all discussions. I have also has some TV interviews & Newspapers features+Interviews.
10) Beside the movement itself, can you tell me more details about the potential music acts from Middle East? How did you guys promote the content so far to the world so far?
The INTERNET. All this is happening because of the World Wide Web & I use Social Media a lot to promote the artist’s music in addition to great word of mouth.
11) What kind of topics usually exposed by Arabic Hip Hop Acts? Have you ever tried your hand at producing?
From Social , activism to political topics. Its never limited to 1 topic. I would love to produce but my talent is exposing the artists. I leave real art to the artists themselves J - maybe I will DJ soon.
12) We have Hip Hop Indonesia and I think it’ll be good to introduce you to them? Please check www.hiphopindo.net and please drop me your comment afterwards?
Sadly, I am not familiar with the scene in Indonesia but would love to get to know the scene & maybe organize a show there.
13. Do you mind to give some explanation on what you have exposed on your website http://revoltradio.blogspot.com and how do you manage the responses?
I manage the responses myself & I feature interviews/videos of artists I support or research.
14. Anyway do you know about my country Indonesia? If you have any plan to come here, please meet up
Like I said above. Would love to inshalla make it there one day.
15) Any shout outs or ending remarks?
Shout out to you for allowing me to be on your site & a big Salaam to the people of Indonesia “Apa Kabar” im not sure of the spelling haha. Shout out to all the artists that are on re-volt radio & the ones doing their thing spreading positive real message out there.
Please follow what I do & hit me up. See you all someday.
Salam & Respect
BIG HASS - Re-Volt Radio
I wish you all the best and we will be watching for great things from you. And we appreciate all the love you have showed us. I know there are a lot of other guys ya know they appreciate you. Everybody who knows you appreciates what you are doing and it is about time we give a little back to you. So thanks for taking this time for us and I hope you can get some of the shine you deserve for all the hard work you do. Stay in touch and thanks again. Peace!@2011aldosianturi/Photo: Big Hass