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Rapping with 'fear and respect' in Saudi Arabia

Published on Nov 7, 2012 11:56 AM
 
Saudi Arabia's rapper Qusai Kheder (or Khidr) poses on Nov 2, 2012 in Paris.  Making hip hop in Saudi Arabia is a bit of a tightrope act, says Qusai Kheder, self-styled ambassador for the genre who has built a niche following for his sex-and-violence free brand of rap music.-- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Making hip hop in Saudi Arabia is a bit of a tightrope act, says Qusai Kheder, self-styled ambassador for the genre who has built a niche following for his sex-and-violence free brand of rap music.

"Saudi Arabia is a very conservative country - that's where we are from," the 35-year-old told AFP before performing to a crowd of mostly Arab, largely female, young fans at the Arab World Institute in Paris this month.

"This is our culture, our heritage, and we have reasons to respect it," said the Riyadh-born young man in leather jacket, grey snood and clipped goatee, whose stage name is simply Qusai.

"But at the same time, we don't have freedom of expression, freedom of speech, so we set up limitations in whatever we do - some people for the fear and some people for the respect.

 
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