Yassin Alsalman, better known by his stage name The Narcicyst (or Narcy), is an Iraqi intellectual, journalist and Hip Hop MC. Originally from Basra, he was born and raised in Dubai. Now settled in Montreal, Canada, Yassin’s life experience has afforded him an appreciation of cultural politics that extends beyond linear and essentialist conceptualizations of both the Western and the Arab World.
He began his career as part of a Hip Hop trio called Euphrates, along with Nawar and Nawaf Al-Rufaie. The two brothers had been Yassin’s childhood friends and worked together as a production team called Sandhill, providing the musical backrdrop for the group’s two LPs (A Bend in the River and Stereotypes Incorporated). The group also contributed to the soundtrack of Voices of Iraq, a documentary featured in The Georgia Straight and Time. Euphrates disbanded after Nawaf’s unexpected passing on November 26th, 2004. Yassin has since pursued a solo career, recording 4 mixtapes and a studio album.
Rapping in English and occasionally in Iraqi Arabic, Yassin’s lyrics address some of the social, political and cultural issues of our time, including the 9/11 attacks, the US-led invasion of Iraq, Islamophobia and the Israeli occupation of Palestine. He has performed in live shows across Canada, Europe, the United States and the Middle East, often backed by a live band and vocalists. He has also opened for a number of high profile acts like Public Enemy, Busta Rhymes, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Non Phixion, Madlib, A-Trak, Brother Ali, DJ Vadim, Dead Prez and Afu Ra to name a few.
A graduate in political science and communication studies, Yassin completed a Masters’ degree in media studies, focusing on the identity politics in Hip hop poetics, specifically looking at the lived experiences of Arabs in North America. As part of his thesis, he recorded Fear of An Arab Planet, along with fellow Arab American MCs and producers Omar Offendum, Ragtop and Eccentric.