Sabry Hassan Mahmoud, aka African Soulja, is a rap artist on the rise hailing from Cairo, Egypt & Mannheim, Germany.  Since 2005, he’s remained a consistent presence on the scene, compiling an impressive list of opening shows for major artists such as: Busta RhymesSean PaulLil’ ScrappyPaul WallDJ TommekFard.  We had the chance to speak with African Soulja in this exclusive interview where he tells us about life in Germany, his thoughts on the current state of Egypt, his upcoming mixtape, and…”groupies”?  Check it out!

How is life as an Arab living in Germany?

I can’t complain. Of course I’ve had my problems, as you would anywhere.

Life here is very different from Egypt, but it’s what I’m used to, as I was born and raised here.

Have you experienced any discrimination?

Most definitely. More so when I was a teenager though. Lately is has become less of a problem for me.

Racism is everywhere and everyone will most likely experience it at least once in a lifetime, but I’ve always been able to deal with it quite well, in my opinion.

What is the German hip hop scene like?

The German hip hop scene is large and well established; it’s a huge market. In the last few years there has been a flood of new hip hop artists arising, which unfortunately has been reducing the quality of the song content of the majority of tracks out there. I have many friends and associates in the German hip hop scene and am a part of it myself, although I always preferred travelling and performing my music internationally.

Do people in the music scene treat you differently because of your ethnicity?

Not really. I enjoy being different and the hip hop scene in Germany is very diversified ethnically.

What are your long term goals?

I would like to continue traveling as much as possible and supplying good music to those in demand. Beyond that, only Allah can tell.

I will be relocating to Egypt in June which will bring about many changes. From there, I will change my focus to Saudi Arabia and Dubai and see if I can get something started there.

What inspired you to start recording music and to really pursue being a rapper on a professional level?

I recorded my first tracks at the age of 14, and right there and then, I knew what I wanted to do and have been pursuing it since. I came up with “Succeed or Bleed” to describe my dedication to music. I got it tattooed as a permanent motivation to keep putting in work towards success.

Where is your favorite late night spot to eat after finishing a live performance?

I don’t have a favorite spot. I usually find myself eating a snack at some gas station bistro. It’s hard to find good food late at night in Germany, so the best spot would be at my place.

Tell us about your latest project “Re-Feature Clash: The Bootleg Massacre Vol. 2″. What producers and artists will it feature ?

“Re-Feature Clash: The Bootleg Massacre Vol. 2″ will be similar to Vol. 1, very versatile, many remixes and features. I have included some of the same artists I have been working closely with in the last couple of years like: Hype One, J. Dizzle, Wonda Prince and Young Chryme. There’s more to name but I don’t want to spoil the surprise!

I am anticipating its release in May or June.

What do you enjoy most about hip hop?

Groupies! I’m just messing around. I enjoy the culture of it. I see it every day and can relate entirely to it.

What do you enjoy most about being a rapper?

Groupies! Yes, groupies make being a rapper a very lucrative profession! On top of that I feel we rappers are in a possession of power in the form of a microphone. We are able to put thoughts into words and reach out with those words and possibly touch/influence some people, hopefully in a positive manner.

And the fact that I get to travel as part of my job is a huge bonus!

What are your thoughts about the current situation in Egypt?

I think it was important to remove authority of Mubarak. The course it has taken could not have been predicted and there is still a rocky road ahead. I don’t think it should continue as is with its current government. I regret seeing how people must die to attain freedom and it pains me witnessing Egyptian brothers killing one another. I pray to Allah for a positive change and I will do what I can to help the situation.

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