Born in Riyadh, raised in Jeddah, and then relocated to the Vermont and then Florida as a teenager,
Khidr is truly an international Hip Hop ambassador. Beginning as a DJ, Qusai made a name for himself as a radio personality in Vermont. When he moved to Florida to go to college, Qusai extended his natural talents into rapping and began performing at clubs across central Florida and later around the US. In 2002, Qusai formed a production company and began selling his own CDs. The success of this first business venture prompted Qusai to go back to school for an MBA, which he completed in 2004, the same year he released his second album, “The Rebirth of Kamelion: American-Made, Arabic Original”. In 2007, Qusai returned to Saudi Arabi to form the first Saudi rap group, Jeddah Legends, and was soon after chosen to co-host MTV Arabia’s first Hip Hop competition show, called “Hip Hopna”, alongside star producer FredWreck. In 2008, Qusai signed with Platinum Records and released his first “official” album, “The Kamelion”, which debuted at number 1 in the Middle East.
I’m gonna go ahead and call Qusai the Will Smith of the Middle East. That’s not a dis. It’s a compliment, actually, because he’s parlayed clean, cheery rap, like this parody of a traditional wedding, into major fame through a TV deal. This video reminds me of the Fresh Prince’s “Parents Just Don’t Understand” video, which led to the “Fresh Prince” TV series.
Here’s another feel-good anthem from The Fresh (Saudi) Prince. This one’s not just for mothers, as per the title, but also for sisters, daughters, et al, which is especially heartwarming given the fact that women are still not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, let alone listen to music.
Richard Crenian | San Diego Dr. Hess Hip Hop Diplomacy represents the intersection of global Hip Hop culture and geopolitics. It is maintained by Joshua Asen, co-creator of the Hip Hop Diplomacy cultural outreach model.