Today we are introducing a groundbreaking talent. Someone who despite having a professional career as an HR Expert and a Career Development Trainer, still managed to work on his talent and never forgot his other side. I introduce Mahmoud Mahmoud, known as Squared The Rapper.
The first question that came to our minds, and basically everyone’s, is what’s the reason behind the name Squared. Mahmoud answered “My real birth name is Mahmoud Mahmoud. So one of my friends one day said, as a joke, your name should be Mahmoud Squared (as in the mathematical symbol² ) and it became a thing ever since”.
He raps his originals, covers other rap songs, and adds his own emotionally melting lyrics to some of the most popular songs. He is quite different from the mainstream Egyptian Rap Scene.
It all started when Mahmoud was 13 years old. He used to listen to a lot of rap and hip-hop music, and tried to copy the rappers in the way they talk, dress, and rap. At the age of 15, he started writing his own song lyrics, but, quoting him, “They were terrible at the time”.
When we asked him when did you start taking it seriously?
He replied “I’ve been in love with the music, but I never really thought of taking it professionally until November 2018 when I started writing poems to express myself and the feelings I had but couldn’t convey. A year later, I decided to change the way I write to fit in a rap form since I’ve always loved rap, and finally, I created my Instagram page a month ago to share my writings with everyone else after I got inspired by a group of Egyptian singers called “@letsgobigmusic” who’re always sharing their music with the world.”
Mahmoud’s first time rapping in front of people was in middle school when he performed “My Name Is” by his idol, Eminem.
When we asked Mahmoud If he started his Rapping career for fame, business or just because he enjoys doing it. He answered excitedly “I enjoy writing lyrics, a lot! Whether I’m letting out my emotions on paper or just inspired to write about something, writing is always a go-to for me. At the moment, I’m definitely doing it just because I enjoy doing it. However, as any human being in the world, when they do something good they want everyone else to see it, so that’s what I’m working on as well. I’m trying to spread my music as much as I can so people can hear it, and hopefully if I’m good enough, it’ll evolve to become a business as well.”
When we asked him if he would have the chance to work with only one rapper, who will it be?
He answered “That’s a very tough question, because if I got the chance, I’d love to work with a lot of my favorite rappers. However, right now I’d choose Joyner Lucas.”
We asked Mahmoud about the Egyptan Rap scene and asked him to describe it in one word. He jokingly said “Autotune”
Mahmoud didn’t agree to the idea that rap can be done by anyone who can speak fast and fluent. He also added that it isn’t a must to rap quickly to be considered as a rapper. Some of the greatest rappers in history have a slow style, so it’s not necessarily about speed. Rapping is a talent that consists of content, flow, and delivery. Unfortunately, with how the Rap Scene now is, most rappers are focusing too much on the flow and delivery, but they’re missing the quality of the content. So yeah, Rap is a talent that not everyone has or can do.
Who helped you in your career as a rapper?
Rapping and performing wise, I never really had someone to teach me how to rap or how to work on my flow, lyrics, etc.. I taught myself everything by listening to a lot of different artists, and I eventually improved myself over the years. However, a lot of musicians that I follow help me a lot, maybe not directly or tangibly, but they always inspire me to pour out my heart in everything. Also, one of the main reasons behind my videos and my music is my Videographer best friend, Timmy, who I consider as more than a brother , and he’s always helping me with anything I need to make sure I present something with good quality to my audience, so I owe that man a lot!
Have you ever been criticized? And on what? And what was your reaction?
“I used to get criticized A LOT when I was young, because I was doing something different than what our society is used to, and at that time, it was a bit difficult to be understood. I dressed differently, spoke a different language, and was perceived as the “Trying to be cool” guy. At first, it used to bother me a lot, but then I got used to it and coped with it. Now because I’m a lot older, my talent has grown better than how it used to be back in the day, and with the Rap Scene growing bigger in Egypt everyday, the criticism is now much less than how it used to be.”
When we asked him who are the competitors you listen to the most?
He answered confidently “I don’t have any competitors actually. I’m not on a stage where I have competitors and people who are dissing me or vice versa, and I hope that I never really reach that stage, because I’m a peaceful type of guy. I just listen to people who inspire me and who have great music.”
Why do you prefer singing rap covers and not original songs?
“I’m actually working on my own original songs right now and hopefully will release an EP/Album soon. However, the songs I cover are some of my favorite songs, and other people’s favorites as well, so I thought why not put a rap verse in there and see if people like the mixture. The album will be around 10 songs, or 11 If we are counting the intro, and I am working on it but it’ll definitely take some time.
3al2hwa is glad to have this chance of interviewing such a talent.