September 9, 2019 0

From Rakim To Drake: A History Of Arabic In Hip-Hop Lyrics | Genius News


JACQUES: The Arabic words, invocations and
prayers of Islam have appeared in hip-hop since the very beginning. There have been numerous MCs, Muslim or not,
who have used the words in their proper context. FERG: No, I’m not Muslim. My grandfather was Muslim, but I’m not Muslim. It was just another way to say all praise go
to God you know what I’m saying. I mean at the end of the day there is one
God right? There is one energy. JACQUES: Although not all of the religion’s
1.6 billion congregants speak Arabic, the language is inherent to Islam. And its prevalence in hip-hop aligns with
the music’s birthplace, New York City, which was also a hub for the Nation of Islam during
its peak in the 1960s. According to the Pew Research Center,
of the nearly 4 million American Muslims, 20% of them are black. SPIKE LEE: Hip-hop had a lot to do
with introducing Malcolm X to the young people. It was through the music of Public Enemy,
Chuck D, through the music of Boogie Down Productions. JACQUES: Hip-hop has also included odes to
other leaders like Louis Farrakhan of The Nation Of Islam. JACQUES: …and Clarence 13x of the Five Percenters,
a Nation of Islam offshoot. JACQUES: The most common references are used
to acknowledge God. Here are a few. JACQUES: Bismillah means “In The Name of
God.” It is the first word in the Quran. Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, begins all of his projects with this phrase to dedicate his work to God. Other emcees use it to invoke spirituality
but in different contexts. JACQUES: Allah translated in English means God. Islam is one of the three, monotheistic, Abrahamic religions, alongside Christianity and Judaism, all of which worship the same God. MCs use Allah and God interchangeably. JACQUES: Allahu Akbar is *not* a curse, in
fact, it translates to “God is the greatest.” MCs use it as a way to give praise to God
or call Him to mind in times of need. JACQUES: As-Salaam-Alaikum is a common greeting
amongst Muslims that translates to “peace be unto you.” The response is “alaikum salam,” and in rap it’s used to indicate friendship and
brotherhood. JACQUES: Inshallah translates to “God Willingly,”
while Mashallah means “God Willed It.” The former is used in hopes of a positive result, while Mashallah is used to give thanks for a good outcome. JACQUES: I’m Jacques Morel with Genius News, bringing you the meaning and the knowledge behind the music. As-Salaam-Alaikum!

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