Luck- One

@strictlyBizz hits me up on twitter and says that I, @muslimhiphop1, should get hip to “What’s this madness,” I ask myself after receiving an inbox full of wackness. I go to the website and I’m completely caught off guard. I exhale with a smile. I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this brother. I graciously tweet his web address for those who follow me to check him out. No more than a minute later I get a reply.

@muslimhiphop1 uh uh. Ur not getting off that easy ukhti. Lol. Let’s hear ur thoughts. Ha ha’

Then I let him have it! No, just kidding. His music comes together so smooth and his lyrics flow together effortlessly. He spits a powerful message without demanding attention. Some artists, to me,appear to throw a mantrum (no typo) on stage. His style has a sense of maturity.

Najiyya: Where are you from?

LuckOne: I’m from Portland but I live in Seattle. I do a lot shows in Portland

Najiyya: Were you born Muslim?

LuckOne: I was born Hanif Mustafa Khan. My parents converted in the 70’s. My mom converted in L.A. She started in the Ansar Community but then she changed and my dad also converted.

Najiyya: How was life growing up?

LuckOne: We used to climb trees. We lived on the nicest block in the ghetto. Growing up in New York climbing trees, my parents were very pleasant. We were poor but when you’re kids you don’t realize it. Then we moved to Organ and then we moved to North East Portland. When I got old enough to know what going on around me I got into crime but my childhood was pretty good. My mom is a nutritionist, my dad is an actor.

Najiyya: I know your dad was an on again off again musician and I can imagine that it had a significant influence on your music, did you take on any instruments yourself outside of Hip Hop?

LuckOne: I used to play the saxophone and now I got a guitar and I kind of mess around with that. I do the clarinet a little bit. I was in the Metropolitan Music Symphony for 7 years. I did pretty well. I regularly used sheet music. When I began to live with my mom I really started rapping.

Najiyya: Do you contribute to the production of your beats?

LuckOne: I don’t make beats but because I have a music background I do a lot of arranging.

Najiyya: Your last EP went to Haiti?

LuckOne: Yes the first one did

Najiyya: Who were your musical influences?

LuckOne: Rakim, Nas, Yuckmouth, so many, I get inspired by many new rappers all the time. Musically I am really inspired by the classical music that I used to play. For example how there are different movements and the horns, how there’s a dark side. I’m really picky about beats. Dudes will send me beats and he told me I was the biggest beat critic in the whole free world. He will send me 20 beats and I won’t like any of them or I’ll like the first one and won’t write a whole song to it. I want the music to sound like a song in itself before I rap on it. I demand a lot from the producers I work with. True Theory took a look time to put together, a long time. You know how the Prophet Muhammad (saws) says things three times to emphasize it? Let me say it again, it took a long time to put this together.

Najiyya: How long did True Theory take to write?

LuckOne: 2 years

Najiyya: Do you think your time incarcerated had an influence on your music?

LuckOne: It’s one of things where the experience of being incarcerated taught me a lot. Prison says that you can have a T.V. in your room but experience makes life vibrant. I like to make my music an experience. I didn’t like Tupac until I got locked up. And one day I was like ‘yo did he just say huggin’ on my mama from a jail cell? This dude is a genius!’ The most impactful art is the art that gives you an emotion. Tupac gives me an emotion. When you listen to it you feel a certain way because he is giving you an experience. It really influenced me. So I tried to make each song more than just a song but an experience. It’s not just me rapping. I want it to be something greater than that. I hope that answers your question.

Najiyya: From your pieces what song touches you the most?

LuckOne: I would say “The real me” because the second verse is the true story of me and my celly. The “I believe” remix because that was all very personal. Songs like Palestine and Monotheism are dubbed to me, but as far as songs that are meaningful to me those are the ones that are most personal. Whenever I do “I believe” today, I get chills because it’s exactly how I feel. It’s one of those songs that people can relate to it no matter what their background is. Some criticize my music saying that I shout too much but I feel that the message and the subject matter is very urgent. If I was to do the song “Resistance” and say, “Hey, this is resistance” (in a surfer voice) it would be unbelievable. I was reading Ghandi when I wrote that. They were very urgent ideas that I felt people needed to hear.

You can hear some these ideas at . This album will not disappoint.

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