Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What do Hip Hop and Islam have in common?

Michael Rass (; Seven, Boo, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
"When I can finally drive and have my own car, I'm going to trick it out!" FEMEN protest advocates for women's rights for drivers in Islamic countries (

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - We have already seen that one can be a Buddhist and a gangsta rap fan, even going to extremes enjoying heavy (death) metal. But what do Hip Hop and Islam have in common? The World's Marco Werman speaks with passionate radio host Big Hass (Hassan Denawi), who has made it his mission to bring “true” Hip Hop to his country.
First of all, What does "Hip Hop" mean? Hip means "to know," to be hip, to be in on it. Hop means "to move," to dance, to get involved. So Hip Hop is quite literally about "conscious movement," at least it was originally. These modern rappers, who are more about the money and conspicuous consumption, are almost the antithesis of Hip Hop.
"Get hopping if you're hip to this jive, my b@#$%)(s!" (ABCNews/AP)
Jesus was Black says Bible (Rev 1:12-18)
Rooted in the poverty created by the USA's unspoken class-warfare, class-consciousness arose. American Islam in the Black community had more than a little something to do with that. Hip Hop's astounding popularity worldwide owes something to artists who are now more about bling-bling than the original thing. (We're looking at you, Kanye). So it goes both ways. 
There is still room for elevating consciousness, remembering Tupac and senseless Black-on-Black violence that supports the status quo, reading Michelle Alexander, modern slavery in America, and not caving in to the caricatured mass media representation of Black and urban culture in America.  

Asian Buddha statues with African features?
Buddhism, with its emphasis on freedom, wisdom, and compassion for our fellow beings -- and Islam, originally a religion of peace, have much in common. Of course, one would never know that watching TV or FOX News. Fortunately we still have the street, each other, and public radio like Pacifica and Public Radio International and its offshoots.

"Can you believe this brother, sister?"
(TED Talks in English) Big Hass on Hip Hop culture and Islam

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