Rohan Houssein isn’t what you would expect when you imagine the word “rapper.” The socially conscious French MC/Director/painter/entrepreneur is a breath of fresh air from the norm. Unlike a majority of rappers who manipulate the “art” to make as much money as possible, Rohan is a truly inspired individual who creates his music in the name of peace and love. The former medical student visited Libya in 2011 for a documentary. During his time there he experienced the atrocities that war so easily provides. Seeing this, Rohan decided to devote himself to the art of Hip-Hop with the goal of bringing positivity to the world.
With a new found purpose, he created a label called Deysham Records. Through his travels, he picked up a new sense of life along with a new found inspiration. Rohan then channeled that energy into The World Is Yours (E.P). The EP was produced by Adeyemi.
The EP is about the deep reflection of being an artist today, culture, travels, how people are wasting time in their daily life, peace, spirituality, personal development and geo-poetry.
Currently, Rohan is working on new video clips for the EP and a bigger project called Pacific State, a reaction to the refugee crisis current conflict in Syria.
Rohan’s youtube videos have inspired the world for some time now. Most notably his video, “Pharrell Williams – Happy WE ARE FROM PARIS,” which was the first remake of the original track, “Happy,” from Pharrell Williams. Even shared by Pharrell himself, this sparked the worldwide “happy movement.”
We got a chance to catch up with Rohan to talk a bit about himself and the project.
1. Tell us about yourself?
RH – Hi, I’m 25, based in Paris at the moment but originally from Marseille in the south of France. I love 2pac, Kendrick, Common, Kanye, Lupe Fiasco and Mos Def. I also listen to traditional middle eastern music because of my Syrian roots.
2. What inspired the title The World Is Yours (E.P), is it a tribute to Nas?
RH – Travelling gave me a lot of inspiration for my art. I lived in South-east Asia last year and I wanted to share my adventures through short documentaries called “The World is Yours” on my Youtube channel. Then, I decided to make a song for the EP.
Initially “The World is Yours” is an expression made popular by the movie Scarface, and the Nas song. I just wanted to bring it back to the first meaning and encourage people to learn more about the world we live in through talking about my personal experiences from around the globe in the song.
You’re right, the way we did the hook, it’s clearly inspired by Nas. A tribute to Hip-Hop leaders who inspire us!
3. What is the EP about? – Who are the producers?
RH – When I came back to France we started our own label called Deysham Records. The EP is the first step to an album that i’m currently writing. It was produced by my friend and talented beatmaker Adeyemi. The EP is about the deep reflection of being an artist today, culture, travel, how people are wasting time in their daily life, peace, spirituality, personal development and geo-poetry.
4. Describe the French Rap scene.
RH – It’s a big scene, we can find a panel of different raps and areas. Unfortunately with success, some good rappers rest on their laurels and at the moment, I still don’t understand why so many MC’s are doing (or trying) trap music haha, just to entertain without depth. But thank God we can still find good rappers who are trying to defend the real Hip-Hop culture with true words and dope beats.
5. You say rappers are moving onto the trap sound, why do you think that is happening?
RH – I think people are “trapped” by trends, and copy successful rappers who use this style, e.g Kaaris or Booba who are very famous in France. But I have a counter example of my previous answer with Médine, a socially conscious artist who use trap in his songs. As he says, it becomes “edutainment” (educative entertainment).
6. Can you name some of the “good rappers” who are keeping the real hip hop culture alive?
RH – I would say Sameer Ahmad, Youssoupha, Gaël Faye, Milk Coffe Sugar, Disiz and Nekfeu – a younger rapper who’s debut album went gold in just 3 weeks.
Stream The World Is Yours (E.P) below on Soundcloud or buy it on Itunes here.