When you talk about hip hop the first thing that will pop in your mind is Tupac Shakur. Indeed the hip-hop culture is rapidly growing. It erupted from the West and is now coming to the East. Maybe you don’t know but Beirut has become the hub of hip-hop.
The Lebanese capital has it’s very own amazing and full of talented hip-hop artists. Though they were hidden and were not popular as other singers or artist in the country all thanks to Salim Saab, a French-Lebanese radio host and a journalist who went to the streets of Lebanon and documented the Beirut hip-hop scene.
Salim Saab made a movie dedicated to this culture called “Beirut Street – Hip Hop in Lebanon” the movie is focused on Lebanese hip-hop.
The journalist filmed all types of Lebanese hip-hop artists, beatboxers, rappers and other artists that were grooming the music culture in the middle eastern country. The movie is just not confined to hip hop but it has add-ons like different cultural art forms including graffiti.
The films shows how Lebanese are expressing themselves in a way that was never popular in their culture before. The films focus on the fact that their culture is peaceful.
Salim Saab did an amazing job in showing the world the new and bright side of Beirut which was never covered before.
Viral Karo got a chance to interact with the artist and asked him who he is and are his future plans:
We asked him about how rapping became his passion
He said: “I started as a rapper during the mid-90’s in France. I dropped 3 albums between 2004 and 2008. In the meantime, I wrote for several Hip Hop magazines such as The Source France and Tracklist. And between 2006 and 2008 I studied at the “Ecole Supérieur de Journalisme” in Paris which is the world’s first school of journalism. In 2010 I started hosting radio shows such as Aligre Fm in Paris and since 2013 in Radio Monte Carlo Doualiya, Pan Arabic radio based in France, but we broadcast in all the Arab world. ”
What was the motivation behind making a documentary on hip-hop
He said: “In 2016 I decided to make a documentary about Hip Hop in Lebanon because I wanted to put the spotlight on Lebanese artists, rappers, dancers, and writers (Graffiti artists) and show a positive side of Lebanon. These days, Arab countries suffer from a bad image so it’s important for me to spread positivity, hope, and art. The movie came out in April 2017; it was screened in Lebanon (French Institute, Radio Beirut, Station…), Jordan (French Arab film festival), Egypt (Cinema Zawya) and France off course. Soon in Berne ( Switzerland), Vienna and other cities.”
“For this movie, I did almost everything by myself because I didn’t have any budget to bring a team. So I filmed all the artists, did all the interviews etc… And for the video editing I worked with a friend of mine.” he added.
Salim is working on a new documentary and will soon unveil the details about it. He said while describing himself:
“Each of us is unique and we are all different. I’m free; I don’t want to live in this modern slave society. I’am what I’am, Salim Saab, rapper, journalist, radio host, movie director, Lebanese, French, Hip Hop activist… All these things build my identity.”
Here is the trailer of his move: