HaBZ Release New Video: Arab American Male
By: Amy Hensler/Arab American Contributing Writer
New to the music scene Ali Habhab, or more commonly known under the stage name HaBZ, is shaking up the music community with his innovative lyrics. He just released his newest hit, Arab American Male, a song that tackles stereotypes that negatively impact the Arab community. Arab American Male was released right after his debut EP “PaTHOGENS” and is far from the last thing this Lebanese-American artist will produce.
HaBZ’s music career started as a hobby when he was 14. The writing was always something he did as an outlet for his problems and insecurities, and he was hesitant to share his creations with his friends and family. It took until he was 24 years old to share his music with others, but once he did, he knew it was something he wanted to continue to pursue.
Arab American Male was written out of his frustrations that he felt towards Arab portrayals in television. He felt as though they were deeply inaccurate and offensive. Growing up, he was always confronted with the image of Arabs “as a very violent, primitive, and out to change your ways of life and that couldn’t be any further from the truth.”
These racial prejudices created an identity crisis for HaBZ and many other young Arab Americans. He wrote the song to connect with his audience to let them know that they aren’t alone. “It makes it extremely hard to develop a sense of loyalty and belonging to your country when it’s so regularly implied you do not belong in your country, to begin with. My hope with this single is to encourage younger Arab Americans to expand their horizons and begin telling their own narratives while also cluing in our non-Arab and Muslim counterparts on a struggle I feel like most never have been very conscious of.”
This identity crisis presents challenges in HaBZ’s daily life, and he often finds that he ends up overcompensating with humor to try and ease the tensions of hesitant Americans. This feeling is very difficult for him, and “it can be pretty taxing feeling like you always have to be the clown or sporting a big smile just to ensure people don’t develop preconceived ideas about you based off of references they’ve come across in the media or from some politician. But sometimes it’s just a necessary task to help undo the misinformation people are always fed.”
HaBZ also uses this feeling to create music that is innovative to combat racism. Arab American Male is a song the HaBZ hopes resonates with a lot of people. The message he hopes to get across with the song includes unity. “I hope that the majority of us that fall within the labels of “Arabs” or “Muslims” are seen as ordinary as everyone. That we’re all just people trying to figure out who we are and where we belong just like every other human out there is.”
The impact of Arab American Male is one that is truly important and combats the popular headlines most news outlets put out for people to consume. His music aims at creating emotion and familiarity in his audience. He wants listeners to hear his genuine message in every phrase. While the future is unclear for this Arab artist, one thing is for certain is that he is not slowing down. HaBZ has many more messages to share with his audience.