Text Messages

Or How I Found Myself Time Travelling


Text Messages is the first multi-genre collection by Montreal-based Iraqi hip-hop artist, activist, and professor Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman.

Composed entirely on a smartphone during air travel and married to artwork from comrades, Narcy’s writing speaks of the existential crises experienced by diasporic children of war before and during imperialism in the age of the Internet. Narcy’s verses span the space between hip-hop and manifesto, portraying a crumbling, end-stage capitalist society, visions for a new reality, and the myth of multiculturalism in post-9/11 North America. The wordsmith hollows and transmogrifies the grotesque excess of the West by juxtaposing McLife with images of death, destruction, and trauma in the East.

From the depths of apathetic consumerism arises a voice of spiritual self-realization that explodes the misrepresented, mythical monolith of Islam in the West and with the rubble builds healing through intelligent resistance and radical love.

“Young boys and girls trapped in Walmarts— our consumer interim camps. A family-friendly, discounted freedom. You don’t see what the Internet can’t.

Not our land or home. Not your mans or holmes. Not your towers or domes. Not your power or drones.”


Yassin "Narcy" Alsalman

Yassin “Narcy” Alsalman is a polymath. He is renowned as a pioneer of the Arab voice in hip-hop culture and one of the formative voices from the Iraqi diaspora. He is a professor at Concordia University, an award-winning music video director, an actor, and a celebrated musician. Most importantly, he is a father of two.

Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


1 – False Start – Anxious Balloons – Self-Censored Phone Chip – Us – Rap Life – Dear Father(s) – Baghdad: A Jewel the Thief Kept Trying to Steal—It … 70 $7.00


2 – Dear Jerusalem – All We Need – Picture of an Arab Man – Life Science – Street Life 39 $3.90


3 – The Q 12 $1.20


4 – Ancestor – Baby Boy – I Love You – 189 Place Du Soleil – Lovemakin’ – Montreal – Beautiful – Who Am I (What’s My name)? – It … 28 $2.80


5 – Chapter One – Chapter Two – Chapter Three – Chapter Four 29 $2.90