The Narcicyst (Yassin Alsalman) is one of the most recognizable faces of the burgeoning Arab hip-hop movement. With roots in Basra, Iraq and raised between the UAE and Canada, The Narcicyst is an independent artist now based out of Montréal. With a BA and MA in Media Studies from Concordia University, The Narcicyst brings a critical and academic perspective to his genre, often navigating the complexities of Arab identity by integrating incisive lyrics with deftly chosen imagery. Songs such as PHATWA (an examination of the post 9/11 security apparatus), January 25th (a collaborative anthem in support of the Egyptian Revolution), and Fly Over Egypt (an homage to the Egyptian people’s struggle on the anniversary of their uprising), provide critical perspectives on current social and political narratives, and display a keen awareness of the reach and impact of popular media. The Narcicyst’s cultural production also includes written work, with his published master’s thesis Diatribes of a Dying Tribe (an examination of hip-hop as a vehicle for Arab youth identity), interviews, and a recent op-ed on post-occupation Iraq for CNN.
A faculty member at Concordia University, The Narcicyst remains actively engaged in the academic community. He recently participated in the 7th annual Trinity College Hip-Hop Festival held in Hartford, Connecticut between March 29th-31st, where he was interviewed backstage between sets.
Published on Muftah.org