StrangeLove (loop) by HaZ published on 2012-06-21T18:48:10Z Hassan El-Gendi (a.ka. HaZ) is a multi-talented rapper who describes himself as an artivist (activist/artist). Using witty, controversial and politically aware lyrics, he explores the inner angst of being “raised in the ghetto but not raised by the ghetto.” He got his first professional break performing at Carnegie Hall with KRS-ONE. Since then, he has also shared the stage with rock icon Roger Daltrey of the legendary Who, M1 of the revolutionary rap duo Dead Prez, and Sabac Red of critically acclaimed underground rap group Non Phixion. Born and raised in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, HaZ perfected his skills free-styling in ciphers around his way, eventually earning a name for himself by performing at block parties. While in high school, he was accepted into an award-winning youth performance program called CityKids Repertory Company. HaZ not only performed with CityKids, but he also was involved as a youth activist with the organization, where he went on to serve as the director for its socially conscious youth coalition program. HaZ’s experience with the program helped to shape how he looked at his coming of age in NYC and how he could voice that experience with an aggressive and compelling style. HaZ would continue his activist work with IMPACT Repertory Theatre as its Associate Producer, writing and producing songs with and for the young people of central Harlem. The work he created with and for IMPACT has appeared at the United Nations, the Apollo Theater, the Million Family March, and the New York City Marathon. HaZ’s lyrics have also appeared on NBC, CBS and Nickelodeon television stations, and in the HBO film, “Disappearing Acts”. HaZ is also an accomplished actor having most recently appeared as Uncle Sonny in the independent film production “Punching at the Sun”. As multi-faceted talent writer, HaZ has also written songs and jingles for television (Nickelodeon’s “The Big Help” Promos and ABC’s “Citykids”—in which he also starred) and radio (spots for Sprite and Baccardi). HaZ has also experienced success a television writer, co-writing a short film for Comedy Central with award-wing writer/director Jamal Joseph (Black Starz!’s Hughes Dream Harlem and FOX’s Ali: An American Hero and New York Undercover). HaZ has also co-produced a track with Mr. Joseph for the Tupac tribute album “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” featuring an all-star roster including Russell Simmons, Quincy Jones, Mos Def, Q-Tip, and Geronimo Pratt. HaZ is currently working on a Hip Hop Theater piece based on his life.