Hip Hop in the 21st Century


The Rise Of Satanism In Urban America

“Hip Hop” in the 21th century has taken the position of heavy metal in the 80’s. To the conscious observer the clear references to “satan” are evident and the indirect references are abundant. From Kayne West to Outerspace hip hop has traversed the boundaries of moral action and life affirming values, it is a realm where moral consciousness is obscured and human being has no worth. Today hip hop celebrates musically and honors poetically idolatry, occultism, illicit sex, theft, drugs, materialism, death, killing and now homosexuality.

Claiming the status of a new global religion as the singer Erika Badu has claimed it is a demonstration and affirmation of the ignorance (jahiliya) of old that was celebrated by “poets of the age of ignorance” who resided in the Arabian pennisula before the emergence of Islam. What hip hop managed today was to universalize the values of heavy metal across ethnic lines making “necrophila” a way of life.

Something many Muslims have a difficulty in facing is that Islam as a notion no longer carries the weight of a transformative concept in hip hop. 50 cent’s claim to recite a “Ghetto Qur’an” is a sign of the triumph of  “far fetched ta’wil” and the celebration of supreme “kufr.” The Ghetto Qur’an he refers to is his words put to music making himself a prophet who is giving revelation to the people. This as a theme is not uncommon in hip hop, the claim to prophecy. The task of the da’ee today is how to present the Qur’an as a way to transform the personality molded by hip hop in the 21st century, inspired by the way of satanic being in the world. Lectures and books will not be sufficient to transform the necrophilic personality nor soften the heart inspired by satanic values. What is needed is a righteous patient teacher who imbibes the Qur’an and is aware of the culture of death celebrated by hip hop.

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62 Comments

  1. J says:

    Ustadh Yasir Qadhi said:

    “…Music is haram…Music is a powerful medium that moves the body and stirs the soul (literally and metaphorically). It is…detrimental in the long run, and only the Quran can move you in a pure and dignified manner.”

    Fi Aman Allah

  2. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Dear Sean:

    Many thanks for your important words and nasiha. I'm sure that it comes from your love for your brother and concern for his Hereafter however sublte threat of losing fans is not something becoming of a da,i. I would have to disagree with a number of points made:

    1. I don't think stopping a dicussion is ever healthy. Please, let's not assume that because we differ we are not brothers and don't have the upmost love and respect for each other. One thing we try to do here at the site is encourage such discussions in order to foster comfort and openess amongst ourselves. I'm in no way looking down on the practioners of this craft, but know full well the nightmare that exists therein.

    2. You contention that Africa Bambatta and the Zulu Nation led to some type of social tsunami is telling. The Como years and the Cotch years in NYC were some of the worst. Far from uniting gangs or turning the hood on its head, it was more like a quick high that had very little lasting impact on folks, except keeping them from faith. In fact, it was the late 80's that witnessed the Gang boom that exists until today. Once, when I was giving prison dawa, a warden said to me, “I'm sorry you can't come more. The only things that works with these folks is Faith.” I'm proof of that, it wasn't the Zulu Nation, Rakim, KRS ONE, PE or PARIS that changed me, it was the first time my eyes rested on al-Fatiha and I went to the masjid and met a great scholar that I started changing.

    3. I was in no way trying to speak for Black folks because, hello :), I'm not one. To say that Hip-Hop or the hood undermines a certain race would undermine the very argument Salman presented above. The hood, as you well know, is much larger then a race and includes a large amoung of ethinicities.

    4. Warnings and threats about losing fans has never really bothered me. If people are going to throw in the towel over one opinion I hold, then they are free to do so. I would much rather have brothers and sisters who, even when I'm wrong which is a lot, stick with me, advice me; not offering subtle threats about losing out on the Imam's top 40 list. Imam Malik said, “There is no good in fame.” Thus, such advice would embolden me to hold firmer to my positions; fearing that not doing so would be to please you and not Allah. An important Usoli axiom says, “A person is not abandoned for a position he holds.” Thus, I would hope that you would exercise more sabar with your brother.

    5. As for the harsh language and style. It is well documented that the Prophet as well as the early scholars would use such a style if there was a general need and I felt there was. Perhaps you could respect my cultural background a little more; learn to apperciate where I'm coming from as well.

    Keep in mind that these forums are cold with no emotions or blood; if what I've said above came across harsh, please excuse me. I wrote my words ith nothing but love and fraternity in mind. Please, let's encourage such dicussions and not shut them down.

    SDW
    In Taipei

  3. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Salman:

    Many thank for your points and ideas. I've certainly found them benefical and hope and pray we can continue. The scholars of Usol noted that 'the custom' of a people is not an independent source of Islamic law. That is the opinion of the majority save the Malikis. The latter do so exercising a number of conditions that would shrink the overall ideas of Dr. Umar's important essay. Let me clearly state that I don't agree with his contentions, but hold him as one of my teachers, a scholars and an older brother.

    SDW

  4. Sean says:

    Wa Alaykum as Salam,

    Masha'Allah. Thank you for your excellent response. You are right. I do apologize for suggesting that you stop addressing this topic. Insha'Allah people like myself don't waste too much of your time. :)

    As for your well stated points:

    1. Agreed.

    2. I certainly did not contend that “Africa Bambatta and the Zulu Nation led to some type of social tsunami.” You are inflating my small point to make it seem absurd. I would not have made such a grand declaration, as I avoid speaking that way. I simply said “they saved lives.” I was objecting to the nature of your sweeping delcaration that they did “nothing for the hood.” If since the time Bambaataa began his works in the early 1970's to today, even one life was saved, if one child was fed, if even one person found Islam, I think its errant to categorically say they did “NOTHING for the hood.” (CAPS are mine) I am not one to tell you about balagha (rhetoric) or nahu (grammar), but words like “none,” “never,” “nothing,” are very strong words that absolutely exclude all exceptions even tiny ones. I don't think you can make that statement regarding Afrika Bambaataa and the Zulu Nation, no matter how many mistakes or shortcomings they had, or how ridicuously exaggerated their impact is. That was my only point, and I was simply suggesting you use more “measured” speech so the essence of your point is not obscured by disputes over the “facts.”

    3. Yes, yes. You are correct. “The hood” is more than just black folks. Good point and correction. I guess the essence of my point is that there are many people who's experience of and thirst for art you will not be able to understand. You state, again with grand, declarative words, that hip-hop has “NOTHING to offer.” (CAPS are mine) Is it possible that there are some tiny exceptions to that sweeping statement. Must every artform be explicitly teaching and talking about Islam. Is it possible that for some people, who you may not completely understand, that clean, halal, beautiful music nurtures their soul? Many Blackamericans say music is an intrinsic and essential element of their cultural fibre, part of their very identity. (And of course some don't say that, there are almost always exceptions.) Is it possible that one confused Pakistani teenager's iman was strengthened by Native Deen's “I Am Not Afraid to Stand Alone?” Even a little bit. :) Again, it is your sweeping “never,” “nothing,” “none” lanaguage that I find fault with, when there are exceptions that you know of and some that you could not understand.

    4. I am not sure where you got the “Warnings and threats about losing fans” from. Did I mention anything about that? I don't think I did at all, even by subtle implication. Perhaps you were referring to a different poster. But I will say that you have an important message to deliver about the dangers and problems of music, particularly hip-hop. I think it is good if you frame your delivery so that it may be received by the most amount of people as clearly as possible. Of course, no pandering or compromising, just clear, measured, precise, and compelling speech that characterizes Islam's greatest scholars.

    5. I do not see “harshness” in your language or style. I think its fine. I simply think you should refrain from problematic and ultimately distracting sweeping declarations (as mentioned above), and leave out the excessive details of lurid stories like Old Skool one you related above. I love and respect your style, and hope I and many many others continue to benefit from it.

    I am very impressed by you and am not in the least taken aback by your opinions. Your adab with those who disagree with you or attempt to counsel you is superb. Please forgive me for sloppy words and approach. I pray that Allah blesses you immensely for your efforts.

    Your student,

    Sean

  5. Haq says:

    Salaam Sh Suhaib,
    Hope your well. I just want to clarify your position on Music, are you making Ruju' on your position that Music is allowed? Meaning for leisure and in moderation etc… or do you still hold it as permissable but your main point here is using it as an effective means of Da'wah? Please clarify, as I recall you from this website, as well as in one of the Risalah al-Mustarshideen dars you mentioning it is ok.

  6. Dawud Israel says:

    To whoever else is interested in this debate:

    We've been having this debate for a while too on Facebook. Brother Dash, the poet is one who is really been trying to get into this issue- the usage of poetry as a tool and also the arrogance seen by “Muslim hip-hop artists.” Just recently, br. Zakariyya King just posted a great deal of information on another event that happened in the UK. It was a debate between two speakers on music being halal or haram.

    The Facebook note is here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=220326
    You can view the debate here: http://www.media.alwahy.com/action/videolist/vi

    I would remind everyone to be open-minded. I personally HATE HIPHOP but I am STILL interested in using music/poetry for the deen, or using beat-boxing. If you oppose hip-hop you might want to look at this: http://muslimology.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/… Ultimately, we have issues in our community in expression and we need the arts because they INSPIRE us in our faith. We need to nurture the arts. But we need to be careful because hip-hop is probably not the most 'pious' or even effective way to do so.

    “My point is instead of focusing on these things for social change, why not present focus on learning our religion first. If the Prophet censored Umar for reading passages from the Torah saying, “If Mosa were alive today, he would have no choice but to follow me.” What would he say to a Muslim youth who listens to Hip Hop in order to draw nearer to Allah?

    The response of some Muslims is telling: “Are you saying we just spread our message pure and simple?” The reality is that we have moved from a position of yaqin in revelation to doubt. That last question is proof of that. Now we are encouraged to understand Islam through Hip Hop, through Liberalism, through Post Modernity and through feminism. When are we going to invert the process and understand our surroundings with revelation?”
    -Sh. Suhaib

    I agree! We have so many things going on distracting us from Allah: Facebook, technology, sports programs, all these ideas and things going on, and we are sooo inundated and flooded and bombarded with advertising and all sorts of cultural issues- ultimately, we are CROWDING OUT ALLAH from our lives. This is the real issue- some would say these are our new gods- not because we acknowledge them as our gods but because they are given more attention than we give our Lord, Allah SWT. I don't know if I should call it “shirk” but its very close to shirk, because we are associating partners with Allah in weird ways- such as not going to Hajj because fear of swine flu (the god of science or modernity, what if you stayed home away from hajj and got sick there and died!). Really…I think we are in or near a new era of shirk….

  7. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Sean:

    I would agree that such sweeping words were the not the best choice. I appreciate your sabar and excellent council; I pray that Allah will bless our love as brothers to blossom until we find “the perfect beat!”

    SDW

  8. Suhaib Webb says:

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Haq:

    It is great to see your name here. I was planning to drop you an email and see how you where, but you beat me to it. I really have no issue with the arts, my concern is that we are paying too much attention to Hip Hop; hoping that it will lead to some type of spiritual revival. I would rather see our energies used towards other things instead of trying to be the halal Jay Z or the Imam Tupac. That being said, I respect those who follow a different opinion and hold them as dear brothers and sisters.

    SDW

  9. Peace all.

    I am a Poet & Emcee who has recently come into the knowledge that Satanic ritual has infected and, in fact, taken over mainstream Hip Hop. It has become overwhelmingly evident that souls have been sold in exchange for the wealth of the wicked and, what’s worse, our children are lining up to follow the same path.

    I must say that I am deeply saddened by such wisdom because Hip Hop, at its finest, has helped to build me into the artist, father, teacher and man I am today. I am also a Christian. And all of the information I have received about this thus far has come from teachers of the Holy Bible. So, I am pleased to find further confirmation of the works of our almighty God through this post and I intend to follow all links provided here. Many thanks to you Sh. Suhaib. I have a great respect for Islam and believe that many of my fellow Christians can learn much from the discipline of the Holy Qu’ran.

    I was initially skeptical because Satanism has always seemed like a ‘white folks’ thing but books like “Behold a Pale Horse” put me on to Masonic ritual and the Illuminati many years ago. So I wasn’t too surprised to see Lil Wayne and Jay Z throwing up Baphomet hand signals. But, as a fan of “conscious hip hop” I was truly disheartened to see that transcends the obviously ignorant to some of my favorites like Outkast, KRS-One and even Mos Def who, I believe, quotes ‘salat’ on his album. I don’t know any of these brothers personally I cannot confirm their Satanic association but I cannot afford to take that chance and must turn my back. The bible says if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out for it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. Mark 9:47. I suppose this applies to ears as well.

    Many thanks. And may peace be upon you.

    d

  10. Barry Winters says:

    Hi. Coming from a concerned Christian standpoint I must say rap music especially gangster rap is a complete disgrace. Rap music to my understanding pretty much took over where heavy metal started in every single way. Here is a mass produced and highly profitable tool of the media and the corrupt and wicked big time corporations that operate it. It is a tool of the Devil for sure.

    Rap music, as of late, not only openly promotes drug abuse, violence, and sexism, but has went so far as to openly promote Satanism, the occult, and devil worship within it’s contexts in order to truly exploit and corrupt our all ready struggling and troubled youth.

    I, in fact, was appalled and disgusted to discover that my younger cousin had been communicating with a truly twisted and deranged individual who goes by the name of AXIS SALLYBOY X. who I truly believe is the Devil Satan Lucifer incarnate himself.

    This AXIS SALLYBOY X. promotes and preaches what he refers to as HIP HOP SATANISM, which in my opinion is a deliberate attempt to purposely corrupt and enslave our all ready troubled and struggling ghetto youth. It’s bad enough openly demonic disciples such as AXIS SALLYBOY X. have been corrupting white middle class and suburban youth with heavy metal music all these years, now he comes for our youth??? It is our duty as concerned moral people, Muslim or Christian to stop such nonsense before it really gets out of hand.

    Good thing I even googled the topic of “HIP HOP SATANISM” to see if such a horrific vile and openly sacrilegious and blasphemous abomination even exists. That of course brought me here to this forum thank God. AXIS SALLYBOY X. and other such demonically possessed and evil minded “human beings” must be stopped before it’s too late. Thank you and God Bless.

  11. Jamaal Charles says:

    As salaamu alaykum dear brothers and sisters,

    Most of those (rappers) who assimilate with the religion of Islaam such as Mos Def, KRS One, Ghostface Killah (and the rest of the Wu), Ice Cube, Talib Kweli, Common, Busta Rhymes, Eve, Papoose etc don’t have ANY connection to Islaam.. They follow the The Holy Koran of The Moorish Science Temple of America, Nation of Islam, Sufism, the 5 Percenters, the 10 Percenters, Rastafarianism, Black Greek Fraternities (Boule), W.D. Muhammad, Baptism etc..

    Rapping about kufr (acts against Allaah’s will) and shirk (paganism), promoting alcoholism, gang violence, drugs, and generally, the destruction of the foundations of the world (the family unit).. Their “so-called” lifestyles contribute to the success of jewellers, car manufacturers, clothing as well as international record and clothing companies.. We all know that they (the rappers) are not in control of their lyrics and appearance, so they have adopted a career of being a slave or jester; they have, in fact, submitted their will to their record companies..

    I love the work you have done in this article, may Allaah bless abundantly for each person it passes.. I just think your use of the word “necrophilia” was extreme, then again, these minds are shaytaani and morals (Al-Furqaan) is not even in sight..

    Our youth are in great need to learn the life of Muhammad sallAllaahu alayhi wa salaam, his behaviour, his trials, his closest companions and his journeys.. The sunnah of our youth without such knowledge will be the sunnah of these rappers, they may even impersonate the “Muslim rappers”.. When they know Al-Mustafa salAllaahu alayhi wa salaam they will love him, this is the same as being a fan of a rapper (a fan always wishes to know everything, the more s/he knows, the more s/he loves)..

    Peace, love and respect

    As salaamu alaykum

  12. Assalamu alaikum

    Zulu Nation did play a role on my eventual conversion (not, non-sensical, non-English-word “reversion”)to Islam. Read how at the following link:

    http://khalilpr.blogspot.com/2008/08/zulu-nation-popmaster-fabel-shukri-and.html

    Khalil

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