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Image for Building a Movement: The Story of Muslim Hip Hop

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Building a Movement: The Story of Muslim Hip Hop

1 hour
First broadcast:
Sunday 21 July 2013

When you think of Hip Hop you probably imagine videos with flash jewellery, big cars, scantily-clad girls and money...lots of money. But in the UK, the USA and across the world, Hip Hop is being used to express many rappers love of Islam.

In 'Building a Movement: The Story of Muslim Hip Hop' 1Xtra takes an in depth look at this growing scene and meets some of its biggest stars.

From the USA Quadir Lateef, Def Jam's Amir Sulaiman, Brother Amir and Missundastood break down the deep links between Hip Hop and Islam, from the old skool artists such as Big Daddy Kane, Rakim and Public Enemy, through to contemporary acts including Lupe Fiasco and Mos Def, or Yasiin Bey as he's now known. All these successful and established performers openly rap about their faith.

In the UK Rakin Niass from Mecca 2 Medina, Nomadic Poet of The Planets, Native Sun's Mohammed Yahya and Reveal all explore the history of Muslim Hip Hop on these shores and consider how much it's changed in its short life.

'The Story of Muslim Hip Hop' details how two, often misunderstood, cultures have come together. Artists discuss whether music is even allowed by the religion, as well as looking at some of the challenges many of them continue to face.

As each Muslim artist looks to balance their religion with their art, we hear how most want to guide a generation by using rap as a platform. Girl group Poetic Pilgrimage, former gang member Muslim Belal and Manchester's finest Brother D explain how they combine Islamic beliefs with beats, using rhymes to praise Allah, keep young people on the straight and narrow, and speak out against injustices committed against and by Muslims.

Muslim Hip Hop is leading us back to the roots of real Hip Hop, where consciousness reigned supreme and tracks proclaimed real messages. For many, Muslim Hip Hop is the voice of the voiceless.

Music Played

5 items
  • Image for Madlib

    Madlib Funky Blue Note

    Shades of Blue/Madlib Invades Blue Note, Blue Note

  • Image for Brother Ali

    Brother Ali Best@it

  • Image for Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

    Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and The Furious Five The Message (feat. The Furious Five)

    The Message, -

  • Image for Lil' Kim, Da Brat, Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez & Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes

    Lil' Kim, Da Brat, Missy Elliott, Angie Martinez & Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes Not Tonight (Remix)

    Not Tonight (Remix), Undeas/Big Beat

  • Image for Kanye West

    Kanye West Jesus Walks

    Jesus Walks, Roc-A-Fella


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