The ongoing civil unrest in Egypt has inspired a first-generation Egyptian-American to use his head and raise money for the victims suffering from excessive violence in his family’s native land.
Brooklyn-based rapper Gliffics, whose moniker is short for Hieroglyphics—the first documented form of communication—designed a trendy snapback hat that pays homage to the royalty in ancient Egypt. An emblem of a pharaoh rests along the front of the hat, while his Individual logo is placed on the back.
“I wanted to give back the best way I can,” Gliffics told VIBE. “I just couldn’t sit here and do nothing. I can’t fly over there…there’s too much turmoil. In order to do anything I had to come up with an idea.”
Gliffics decided to designate proceeds from purchases of the headwear to Mercycorps, an organization that aims to improve services like healthcare, education and energy in the embattled country. Gliffics emphasized the importance of partnering with a company that was not assisting the military.
“I wanted to back up [Mercycorps] because I knew that they have a very good reputation, they’re very credible and they’re not aiding the military," he explained. "That was something I was afraid of by going through other organizations.”
In recent weeks, the North-African country has tallied more than 600 casualties and more than 4,000 injuries according to their Health Ministry. Retaliations continue to commence, following the July 3 coup that ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Political indifferences have sparked the enormous amount of bloodshed, marking the largest amount of deaths in the Arab republic's history.
As an artist first, philanthropist second, Gliffics continues to pursue rapping in addition to his fundraising endeavor. He says being part Egyptian has its advantages and disadvantages in the hip-hop community. “A lot of people want me to make a political record. People tell me all the time, ‘You need to make a political record or a conscious record about what’s going on in Egypt.’
He continues: “The truth is, I’m not that kind of rapper. I just want to make good music, fun music, something people can have a good time to. I haven’t mastered Bob Marley music.”
His most recent offering “We Take The Night” is a mellow tune, equipped with catchy lyrics and a set of visuals where the NYC skyline serves as the back drop. In early June, Gliffics collaborated on a motivational song, entitled “Aim For The Sky,” in conjunction with VH1 and EMW music.
“If there’s a way for me to give back, “he says “I’ll find it even if it’s not laying it down on a song.”
The limited-edition pharoah snapback can be purchased for $25 via Gliffics' online website, gliffics.com. —Christopher Harris