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Qusai, Heart and Soul of the Saudi Hip-Hop Scene


Born in Riyadh, raised in Jeddah, Qusai Kheder is one of the pioneers of Saudi hip hop. A portrait of an artist born out of decidedly polarised cultural influences.

39 year old Qusai Kheder is one of the pioneers of the Saudi hop-hop scene. Born in Riyadh, he was raised in Jeddah and left to study in the United States aged 17 where he recorded his first tracks in a duo named Urban Legacy, before going solo.

He returned to Saudi Arabia in 2005, adopting his stage name Qusai, and went on to present the popular talent show HipHopNa broadcasted on MTV Arabia before co-hosting the show Arabs Got Talent for 4 seasons. Qusai’s lyrics are politically charged, which has made him a big hit in the Middle East as they cover family issues, jobs, the future and politics.

In a society where the art scene is still young, Qusai blends Arab cultural codes with Western influence, via words reflecting the hope—and pain—of Saudi youth.