Singled Out: "The First Thing [The Beat] Made Me Think Of Is The Shawshank Redemption"

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 7:05PM

Written by J. Bachelor for Hasan Salaam

[SOHH highlights a hot single each week and offers a unique look at the record. After Chicago newcomer Rockie Fresh describes his "Breakthrough" with Houston spitter Chamillionaire, New Jersey MC Hasan Salaam explains the power of music with his new track, "Musical Chairs".]

The song that I love the most from my new project is called "Musical Chairs." I was at [yearly music festival] SXSW with Immortal Technique and Rugged N Raw and Da Circle, there were these kids that were handing out CD's that had beats on them. Well, they handed me a CD and I played it when I got back to Jersey.

The beat was just amazing: It was like a break beat mixed with a very mellow sample. It was just this crazy juxtaposition of sounds, you know?

The first thing [the beat] made me think of is the movie The Shawshank Redemption. They got this sample from the film where the actors were talking about how important music is, and its funny cause when I heard the beat I was having a discussion with a homegirl about how if it wasn't for music there are so many things I would've never done.

l have been to alot of places in the world that I've been to. Music is my life. So I wrote that down. Then I wrote the verse for it and I couldn't finished the hook, because I can't sing worth sh*t. I throw a little harmony down every once in a while, but I don't consider myself a singer in any sense of the word.

The song is just about the importance of music, not even just rapping. As a kid I would perform for my mother when she was sick. That's how I started. On some [wearing] tubesocks, doin' the Moonwalk to Michael Jackson when she wasn't doing well.

I have that same feeling when I do a show. Even if they're complete strangers, they're not anymore once I start to perform.

Hasan Salaam is a rapper from New Jersey. Popular on the underground Hip Hop scene, his latest project, titled Music is my Weapon, is set to be released on December 6th. In addition to making music, Salaam is a champion for social and civil rights. All profits from Music is my Weapon will go to help fund schools and set up medical clinics in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa.

Check out "Musical Chairs" below:

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