As the globalization, commodification, appropriation, hybridization, and indigenization of the originally African American Hip Hop Culture become conspicuous, so does one of its offshoots, Islamic Hip Hop and Muslim rap. Assessing and responding to this emergent art form, which oddly couples Islam and rap, is worth the endeavor to understand scores of today‘s enamored global youth of the five pillars of Islam and the five pillars of Hip Hop and their infectious appropriation of both the religion and the art form as an aesthetic alternative to fight anti-Arabism with Islamism and Anti-Islamism with
the Arabic language of the Quran, and engage in discourses against hegemony, racism, islamophobia, and reactionary traditionalism. This study is based on an assortment of Moslem rappers, bloggers, their fans and detractors, born or living in the US, Europe, and the Maghreb, who share normative commonalities and identity affinities.
It is couched in a postcolonial/postmodernist/ multicultural theoretical framework which posits that the new agency is in the inclusion of new voices previously kept silent; the affirmation and reclaiming of one’s identity; and the decolonization and healing of one’s mind through art and faith. As subordinate people, conscious Muslim rappers are using a theory of Islamic precepts to rap back to the center and the powers that be with diversified--both positive and negative but mainly Afrocentric and pan-Islamist messages and rebuttals to Eurocentric discourses and values. Moslem rappers are no longer
ashamed of their Moslem or Arab heritage and no longer feel the cultural cringe of viewing Eurocentric especially American achievements and values as necessarily better.
|Keywords:||Islam, Hip Hop Culture, Rap, Islamophobia, Racism, Globalism, Proselytism, Identity Politics, Youth Protest|
Assistant Professor, Department of English, University of Sousse, Tunis, Tunisia
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