KARACHI: Much celebrated for calligraphic designs, Islamic art now takes a modern turn with the streak of rap music. Native Deen, a Washington, DC based group focuses on combining the hip-hop and R&B elements with Islam-themed lyrics.
The group’s aim is to highlight issues confronting Muslims living in the US, according to their website.
The trio of Joshua Salaam, Abdul-Malik Ahmad and Naeem Muhammad teamed up in 2000 and has been addressing the issues of Muslims in the US ever since.
The band has marked their presence with a limited set of musical instruments permissible in Islam, only to create percussions as the members rap. The lyrics featured in Native Deen’s songs range from Islamic concepts from Eid to Hijab.
“Prayers to Allah be on Nabi. The messenger may peace be on thee. And all the prophets sent to mankind. We pray for each and everyone.”
Members of the band claim that Native Deen’s distinctive music has attracted Muslims and non Muslims alike. “We’ve never experienced any type of offence from anyone. I don’t think our music is offensive to any group,” said Salaam.
Native Deen is currently touring Jordan for a series of concerts and workshops scheduled throughout the week, reports Jordan Times. Having performed in about 60 cities around the world, the band’s first ever tour to Jordan has been hosted by the American Embassy.
After their debut album The Deen You Know, Native Deen has so far released two albums, the second one being, Not Afraid to Stand Alone.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 10th, 2011.