Saturday, March 28, 2020

Edd Abbas Drops Al Moutarakam 2 & its FIRE!!!! /// Word Play Master!

Al Moutarakam 2 is the Sequel to Edd Abbas 's 1st Solo Concept Project titled "Al Moutarakam". 

Al Moutarakam 2 is mostly self produced with additional productions from @djlethalskillz , @Qarar from @soulplanelb , @stormtrap , @StickyNoizeholy @beat-heatmaker-toop and @jundimajhulwatar . 

Special guest features by Ta2irat el Rou7's own @Mahmoud-Ramadan-1 & @Zeinedin , ivory Coast's finest Tupai & Kami, Germany's multi talented artist @LMNZ and Ramallah's poetic spirit @she3rap . 

Additional sax by Bilal Tarabay on tracks (3 - 5 - 10 ) Additional guitars and vocals by CC on the track "Tajribeh ma3 CC" Additional bass guitar by @john-imad-nasr from @FareeqElAtrash on the track "elMa Zahir". 

Additional Kuts by @DjGoadman on the track "terbeyit Sheri3" Mixed and Mastered by @Jean-Madani Artwork courtesy of the graffiti artist Spaz Uno

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Islam + Hip-Hop in Unity (Article for Sole DXB Magazine 2019)

Rights to Google Images/Unknown

I was blessed to have written articles for the biggest PREMIER CULTURE + LIFESTYLE FESTIVAL in the region "SOLE DXB"

Below is the article that was published in their Sole DXB Magazine '2019, please read through it and share if you can..


Islam is the religion of peace and a code for life. The Muslim community in the US has forever struggled with misconceptions and racism, as so many people keep formulating inaccurate ideas and stereotypes of what being a Muslim is. Since society was not willing to ask the right questions and strike curious conversations, it was up to the Muslim community to dominate the dialogue and address their experiences as Black and non-Black Muslims living in the US, in order to challenge the racist norms. 

The biggest supporter of these conversations was Hip-Hop. Known to be the artform that gave a voice to the voiceless, Hip-Hop, through poignant lyricism and imposing beats, sheltered and empowered the Muslim community to stand up for their rights. Influecned by personalities like Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, Hip-Hop culture was strongly connected to the essence of Islam, from the foundation of Zulu Nation in the early 1970’s, to the “Golden Age” of hip-hop and onto the present. Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), A Tribe Called Quest, Rakim, Public Enemy, Gang Starr, Ice Cube, Lupe Fiasco, The Wu-Tang Clan, Talib Kweli and many more were some of the most prominent artists that contributed to Hip-Hop culture, however, all of these names were identified as Muslims and/or are connected to Islam. Just listening to the pioneers of rap uncovers various Islamic references, such as ‘Alhamdullilah’ and ‘As-salamu Alaykom wa Alaykom As-salam’. Being the birth place of Hip-Hop, New York was also the hub of the Nation of Islam in the early sixties. In a way , Hip-Hop became Islam's language through which it found a whole generation of voices. 

Rakim (Image by CHE KOTHARI)

These were the years that saw a resurgence of interest in Islam as a message of social justice, self-empowerment, and resistance. For instance, Film Director, Spike Lee released his epic Malcolm X biopic, and Louis Farrakhan led a million black men to Washington. The names Malcolm and Farrakhan were mentioned and their voices were sampled in thousands of rap songs. 

Rap music was filled with references to Islam, whether the symbolic interpretations of the Five Percenters, praising Minister Louis Farrakhan, when Biggie used it in his song ‘The What’ with Method Mad, as follows “.. It's the praying mantis, deep like the mind of Farrakhan” or by simply putting these words into practice, like Yasiin Bey (formely known as Mos Def), who begins all his projects and songs with the phrase “Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim” - which means “In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful". Nas in his “Undying Love” track released in 1999 had a verse that said “..To Muhammad and Allah, the most beneficial Through you, all things are possible, I know you're listenin...” Common in his song “G.O.D. (Gaining One's Definition)” said “.. Koran and the Bible, to me they all vital And got truth within 'em, gotta read them boys..” 


Islamic greetings went beyond the rappers of Muslim faith. Many mainstream artists started leaving hints of Arabic salutations in their songs. In full transparency, they were able to make Muslim accessible and friendly. In her book “Muslim Cool”, Professor and anthropologist Dr. Suaad Abdul-Khabeer introduces the conversation about the broader relationship between Islam and Hip Hop. In preparation for her book, she spent a lot of time observing people and one of the highlights was how young Black muslims were using Hip-Hop based activism, to deal with inequality in the community. Hip-Hop is a way for them to interpret the world and to find themselves in it, hence the term ‘Muslim Cool’. The more these Islamic references were spoken by popular rappers, the kinder and more approachable was becoming the image of Islam. 

That said, setbacks like the aftermath of 9/11 left many scars in the US and developed Islamophobia, so the struggle for validation and recognition is continuous. The misconceptions about “the danger of the religion” increase the gap between the status quo and a more inclusive and racism-free nation. 

“It’s important for Muslim Women to be present in places that we don’t expect them to be, because that’s where change happens” Poetic Pilgrimage which is a hip-hop duo from the U.K., and their music is influenced by their Muslim faith, Jamaican background and British upbringing. Their music has given a voice to Muslim women, and has undoubtly become a bridge between the global hip-hop community and Islam.

When two elements collaborate with each other and create effortlessly a new entity that works and stands on its own, that’s harmony. Islam and Hip-Hop come together to form the voice for peace, the lyrics to existence, the guidelines to life, the power against social flaws and the light for the youth to naviagate in the darkest times. 

The Father of Hip-Hop said it best! In an interview on Saudi’s First FM Hip-Hop Radio Show ‘Laish Hip Hop?” hosted by myself, DJ Kool Herc answered with so much conviction and confidence, an existential question about Hip-Hop culture and its relation to Islam and this is what he had to say : “ It [Hip-Hop] comes with it ... there’s a lot of stigma against Hip-Hop, there’s a lot of stigma against Muslims, we still taking hits, we don’t accept it, we need to show the positive/humble side of it ” 

I recently dropped a Hip-Hop mixtape entitled “Al Jisr” - which means The Bridge in Arabic - and it combines Arab and International rappers, in an attempt to show that Hip-Hop is a great means to bridging cultures. I requested special shoutouts from all the featured artists, including Brother Ali, who delivered a one-minute breath-taking gift of wisdom, praising the initiative. Brother Ali embodies the ultimate example of an inspiring, empowering and truthful rapper. His light is contagious, as his verses transcend spirituality and connection with others. His energy has left me speechless throughout the years I have known him, and I have yet to enjoy the day I meet this humble man, who till this day embraces the power of Islam and the creativity of Hip-Hop. 

Brother Ali

Peace and Love and leaving you with the below verses from Big Daddy Kane and Ghostface Killah. “​Hold up the peace sign, As Salaam Alaikum!” Big Daddy kane from his “Aint No Half Steppin” track dropped in 1988. “I grab the pen for revenge and let loose, see Like Muslims, standing on the block, rocking a kufi “ Ghostface Killah Investigative Reports in the 1995 record.