New Jersey rapper Hasan Salaam presents the Alex Ghassan-directed music video for “Father’s Day”, his new Craig Rip-produced single from , Hasan’s Viper Records full-length out now featuring Immortal Technique () Kendal Good, Maya Azucena and Drue Davis as well as production from Snowgoons, DJ Static, Denny Carson, Remot, dj INSITE, Hezekiah, Beatnick Dee, Crossbone T, Southpaw, and Douglas G. Simpson & Kareem Knight of the Aqua League. Hasan has performed live on NBC, Fuse, CSPAN and PBS. All profits from his 2012 EP () were used towards his “It Takes A Village” project which funded a school, clean water well, and medical clinic in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. A community organizer, he works with troubled youth, and helps run a monthly food and clothing drive in Jersey City, N.J. Hasan has taught “The Socio-Political Importance of Black Music in American Society”, a self-created lecture, at universities across the country. Also a master fetish trainer and sex educator, he speaks at shelters – specifically to abused women – helping them reintroduce sensuality back in their lives. Hasan is a Sexpert blogger for Calexotics, a sexual wellness and novelty website, and recently founded his own erotica/fetish company, Sensual Noire/Jet Setting Jasmine, as well as opening his first fitness studio, Body Altitudes, in Florida. After touring with Brother Ali and Immortal Technique, Hasan Salaam was signed to Viper Records. “We as human beings are naturally flawed,” Hasan says regarding “Father’s Day”, which addresses his relationship with his father. “But if you can find some way to connect with family, do it. It’s worth fighting for. He says “deals with life in so-called post racial America where being a person of color is still treated like a crime.” .
How would you best describe your music?
Honest. I'm a barber shop philosopher. Music, politics, family, life and bullshit. I give my everything to this HipHop so you can hear that in every bar. I'm not here to be some character or caricature. I'm me unapologetically. #OGJM- Hate me or love me, only God judge me.
How did you come up with the concept for Life In Black & White?
I've always been into photography, on both sides of the camera. I realized that black and white photography makes us pay attention to all the grey area in life. Being that I am half African-American and half Caucasian things unfortunately have always been presented to me with color lines. In some situations it's forced, in others I have to choose. The fact is, these constructs and walls are man-made, not from the most high, because that grey area is what makes life possible. All of my albums are mapped by Allah's mathematics. 1. Knowledge 2. Wisdom and 3. Understanding. This is the third and final album of this trilogy. My first album began with a vision and laid the foundation. This album shows the realization. I wanted to show all of the grey area in my life.
Since becoming an artist, how has music changed or influenced your life?
Music has influenced me from day one. My mother, grandmother, GeeGee and father all had music on almost all the time. So depending on who I was with I got exposed to different music. Add the street and school into that, and I've heard it all and absorbed it into my music. My mother had that Motown, blues, pop and soul influence on me, plus she's cool with jazz musicians and worked at John Harms Theater for a while, which got me to see amazing performances. I can't hear Bill Withers without thinking of GeeGee, or Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis without thinking of my grandmother. My Father stopped listening to music after the British Invasion so he plays nothing but jazz and doo-wop. From hiphop to rock, reggae, country and house, I fuck with some of everything. Music is my life for real.
Tell us about the experience of digging wells in west Africa.
We used all the profits from my "Music Is My Weapon" project to build a fresh water well, medical clinic and fresh water well in the village of Djati, Guinea-Bissau, West Africa. I had the honor of being the first artist from the U.S. to perform in Guinea-Bissau. I worked with my brother Raj FLoW, Hip-Hop Harmony, Cobiana Records and Big Up GB to make it happen. We got to teach a creative writing project connecting kids from Harlem and Queens to kids from one of the SOS schools in Bissau. Besides the food and clothing drive, we do in Jersey City, NJ. It is the greatest thing I have ever been a part of. If I die today I can be proud that I used my music for something that benefited more than just me.
If you could have the world’s attention for one minute straight, what would you say?
Take a look in the mirror, now take a look at your neighbor. That's the most high looking back at you. Treat yourself and others as such. No matter how multiple our differences, I can guarantee that our similarities are more important in the grand picture of it all. PEACE