Hip Hop’s relationship with Islam, while undeniably present, has not been particularly highlighted within the genre. Several artists, including Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Freeway, and many other prominent artists practice the Islamic faith, even mentioning Islam in their music.
In the wake of the controversial New York Islamic center debate, as well a Time Magazine’s inquiry, “Is America Islamophobic?” (which would later lead to other media outlets proposing the same question), a Hip Hop group from Washington D.C. is making Islam the center of their music. Native Deen, a well known group in the D.C. area highlights American fear of Islam, and asserts that American focus on the religion leans towards the extremities.
“As American Muslims, we feel like our voices have been drowned out by the extremists on both sides,” said Abdul Malik Ahmad, one of three members in the group. “We have always called to the middle path, but moderate voices like ours don’t make headline news. As musicians, we know the power of music and hope to reach out to our fellow Americans through this song.”
The aforementioned song, “My Faith My Voice” attempts to bring focus to the biased portrayals of Muslims both in America and abroad.
Native Deen’s album The Remedy will release next month.