What is your Rap name? Tell us the story behind your hip-hop name?
I go by Haroon Rashid – in Arabic, that means ‘Warrior Lion’ and ‘the rightly guided’. That’s the name my parents gave me. It’s a strong name with character. I kept that as my name cause I hope to live up to it.
Has anything happened in your life that led to the decision of becoming a musician?
I’ve always been involved in music. I’ve been playing musical instruments since I was 8 all the way up until high school (clarinet, saxaphone,etc). I was a band geek. But in terms of hip hop, the Bay Area had a strong presence in the 90’s. Been a fan of E-40, Richie Rich, RBL Posse, Rappin 4’tay. But my favorite rapper of all time, just like many others is Tupac Shakur. He was able to convey a message in his music, but at the same time talk about having a good time. He inspired me to rap.
How did you get your start in the hip hop scene?
I’ve been a student of hip hop since my pre-teen days. I started off as a poet, and I loved the poetry of the ‘Last Poets’. As a Muslim, I studied how the people of my faith, in particularly people from West Africa would deliver sermons and lessons in prose; in poetry. So I wanted to do something similar and hip hop was the best medium. From Public Enemy to Rakim to Pac. All these people were dropping knowledge over a beat. I wanted people to hear my story.
Where are you from, and what was it like growing up there?
I was born in Sacramento, moved to San Jose as a kid, but grew up in Livermore. Livermore was an interesting place growing up as there weren’t too many people that look like me. Hence, there was a lot of bigotry towards me. Don’t get me wrong, more people showed me love than hate, but that hate was excruciating. So I got into it a few times. Even some of my teachers were ignorant. I’ve been called a terrorist by a couple of my teachers. So while it was tough growing up at times, I know people had it harder than I did. So I never complained.
After high school, I moved back to San Jose to attend SJSU. San Jose is where I first started performing at places like Toons in Downtown, Cafecito, etc. Little did I know, my brother was doing a little bit of production work on the low. So once he started perfecting his producer repertoire, we started dropping releases and working with a bunch of industry cats.
What do you typically rap about?
I talk about a variety of things, many of which are related to my faith. But I am a human being as well, so depending on how I feel that day or what I see, I may talk about our homeless problem that’s growing day by day here in the bay area. I may talk about love, I may talk about the anger I am feeling when somebody does me wrong. I don’t try to be versatile. As human beings, we already are.
What are your last full length releases people can go check out right now?
Most of our release have been singles. I have done songs with members of the Outlawz, such as Kastro (Remember Me, Angels), Nutt-so (Keyisha Coles’ brother and member of the Outlawz), Muszamil Outlaw (the Light, Roll Through), as well as artists like Lil Eazy E, BG Knocc Out, and many more. The songs I’ve done with Kastro and Muszamil are available to listen to on YouTube as well as other digital outlets.
What are you currently working on?
We just released our single, Angels with Kastro of the Outlawz, featuring Dawn Gun, Cabo and Muhammad McCabe. We also will be dropping a new single next month called ‘Rise’ featuring Muszamil Outlaw, Cabo and Mikial and another single called ‘Change Lanes’ featuring Nutt-so, Amaar, Lil Eazy E, Dwayne Maze, and BG Knocc Out. I love making super collaboration tracks. My collabs always catch people by surprise!
Then in the summer of 2018, we intend to drop our album, Children of Immigrants, which feature the above mentioned artists and many more. All my tracks are produced by my brother Haachie Beatz.
Whats your last visual release people can check out, tell us about it.
We just released our latest single ‘ Angels’. All the artists featured on that track speak on their personal struggles and is in a sense, a prayer. We ask God to grant us ease through all the trials and tribulations we go through. I think many people can relate to that, because whether we know it or not, EVERYBODY is going through something.
What is your ultimate goal at the end of your career?
I want to move people. I want to reach their hearts.
How can people reach you?
You can find us on IG at @haroonytunes and @haachiebeatz
and on Twitter: @haroonrabbasi
Check out our Youtube Channel as well: Haroon & Haachie
One love family.