Hip-hop star Qusai launches new album at Okaz “Kollana Salman” celebration

Hip-hop star Qusai Kheder, center, poses with fans behind a prop during Saudi National Day celebrations at Okaz Theater in Jeddah.

Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH - Okaz Organization for Press and Publication celebrated the Kingdom’s National Day by hosting Saudi hip-hop star Qusai Kheder who launched his latest album “Saudi” at Okaz theater.

The national day celebration, “Kollana Salman”, was attended by Okaz Director General Waleed Qattan, sponsors and dozens of audience members who enjoyed a live performance of songs off the new album.

Audience members broke out in cheers when Qusai rapped national patriotic songs. After the performance, Director General Qattan honored Qusai and the sponsors of the celebration.

The final performance of the night was a classical Arab musical performance on the Oud by musician Tarek Abdullah. A photography exhibition was held on the sidelines of the event that showed different photos and portraits of the Kingdom’s landscape. The gallery was created from the ingenuity of the photographers and artists from the Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts in Jeddah.

Speaking during the event, Qusai said he choose the special national occasion to launch the motivational, patriotic, respective and positive album to disprove the negative stereotypes typically associated with hip-hop and to show that rap can be used for positive reasons away from bad language.

The first song on the new album is “Saudi”, a song that celebrates patriotism and nationalism. The second song is called “The Teacher” a song that honors educators; “Entrepreneur” is about supporting budding entrepreneurs in the Kingdom; “Etihad” is a song supporting the Saudi Premier League football club that is based in Jeddah and finally “I Am Bilal” tells the story of Bilal Ibn Rabbah.

Speaking after his performance, a thrilled Qusai said: “I feel full of honor and pride. Thank God after working hard all of these years to highlight the art of hip-hop culture in the Middle East and Saudi Arabia, I have succeeded and it feels spectacular to see the audience here sharing the joy of the National Day with me and I’d like to offer my best wishes to our nation on this very unique occasion”.

Audience member Moudi Abdulghani said she was impressed with both performances and offered a heartfelt congratulations to the country on the special event.

“On this lovely occasion, I wish our country long peace and prosperity and wish the best of luck to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense.”