Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hip-Hop for Allah


(Cred: Michael T. Regan)

He's black, a rapper and a Muslim. "That's three strikes right there," says [Tone] Trump, who was born Abdul Sallam. It's just as hard to separate these three identities and peoples' reactions to them as it is to comprehend the diversity of voices that exists in the broad cultural stew of "Islamic rap," a relatively underexposed subgenre. There are British jihadi rappers who call themselves Sheikh Terra and the Soul Salah Crew and give shout-outs "to the OBL." There are teetotaling rappers who embrace Islam's stringent rules for personal behavior (no drugs, no alcohol) and comply with the religion's disdain for music and creative energy used outside of worship by rapping about being polite and praying.

The voices of these Muslim artists join an already crowded chorus of shrieks and bellows, all trying to answer the question: "What will the relationship between Islam and the West be?" Some say Islam is a monolithic bogeyman that's come to kill us all. Some say it's a religion of peace distorted by madmen. For Trump, it's a source of personal strength, something he uses to get through the day.
Be sure to check Zach Mortice's cover story in this week's City Paper. Well done, man.

1 comment:

Trebuchet said...

The quote light green color is BRUTAL, man. I can't read it. It's just short enough of invisible to be infuriating. Please, for the love of God/Allah/Madonna make it stop?