Do You Remember the Time....

Its Saturday. I couldn't find anything to watch, so I search for documentaries on Netflix. Now, I'm watching a documentary called, "Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme." This documentary won many awards such as the Urban World Film Festival Award, L.A. Independent Film Festival Award, and the Kodak Maverick Award. It features some folks you might know, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and freestylers such as Supernatural and Juice.

This film took me back to a time when I truly loved hip-hop. It took me back to a time when I had mixes of underground rap on lime green transparent audio tapes. It brought back memories of watching my uncle practicing his skills on the turn tables. The drama of hooking it up. Oh, and the woopins for messin up my moms records.

It took me back to a time when I would walk to the park with my uncles and this huge boom box that had a record player at the bottom. We thought we were cool but sounds pretty ridiculous in retrospect, LOL! and learning to break dance on cardboard boxes. This film took me back to a time when I ran home from school to watch "Yo, MTV Raps." -Driving my family crazy doing the "Ed Lova" in public.

I remember writing down the lyrics to this song and memorizing them:

I remember my B-girl days at "The World Beat Center" in San Diego, rockin' Cross Colors and it was all about the boxers!
I remember Friday Cyphers at school. And the first and last time I choked. (Salamz to Liquid Sunshine-My whole crew took Shahada, Mashallah.)

This is the wonderful energy behind art. It touches and inspires individuals in so many ways. Art can take its admirer to feel its beauty, its pain, its experiences, the anger of social injustice. The artist has gained a form of freedom by releasing what was once carefully cradled within and sharing it with those who will love it and protect it just as the artist does or crush it without regard. An artist is by definition is unique in style, presentation, and many times message. It is this passion that the audience feeds off of. Example:

X Clan... Everyone has an opinion, but truth be told in the mezcla of information, X Clan forced me to research my "blackness"~Africa~ my first glimpse of Islam. I always tell my children "Take what is good, and leave the rest." (of course if it is within the guidelines of your deen).

Many times you sit and listen to a CD and it's awful- Ask yourself WHY, awful. It lacks passion, energy, and sometimes a complete thought. I have heard some songs that sound like the recitation of the alphabets over a random beat. We all know that some of the best artist are on the underground which allows them to stay true to themselves and not true to the dollar. This film gave opportunity for me to reflect on my relationship with hip hop, how hip hop influenced my journey to Islam, and it brought back some really good memories.


~This is not a share story

Kareem Ali

Never posting the wackness!!!

Sheikh Terra feat. Soul Salah Crew - Dirty Kuffar

Okay now time for your opinion...Tell me what you think! I saw this and I had many thoughts but I will share Sunday...You have until Sunday to post your thoughts.


I believe that hip-hop is one of many art forms and outlets of self expression. Artist have taken a lot of time and energy to create a piece that truly represents how they feel or are feeling at that particular time and the product was not intended to reflect you. Not one of us is unanimous character or temperament. This may not reflect your opinions, but it is obviously the opinion of someone else.

I personally do not know first hand or second hand how it feels to have my home blown up or for some other government to decide that I can no longer live in my country because they want to live here. I don't know what it is like to have my school destroyed because teaching me to read is terrorist training. I understand that these injustices ignite anger but as Muslims we are given the tools to deal with these feelings.

In all parts of the world, your community, and even your masjid, you will find the good the bad and even the ugly regardless of Shahada. In general individuals deal and express pain, anger, and loss in many different ways. Some may find it harmless while others find it harmful. Bottom line is that we have to express ourselves in manner that is pleasing to Allah t'ala.

As many Americans wouldn't want Bush to represent them in a dodge ball tournament, I wouldn't want this video to represent Muslim Hip-Hop. This video gives any anti-Muslim group ammunition. As Muslims we should carry ourselves and our deen with dignity. We must rise to the religion and stop humiliating ourselves.