Islam and the sects that follow its tenets are shrouded in mystery. Still, in Hip-Hop, the ways of the religion collide with lyrics and lifestyles to help establish part of the culture's foundation. AllHipHop.com wanted to know more, and ever the jet setters, we traveled in late February to Rosemont, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, for Saviours’ Day, a weekend-long, annual observance of the birth of Nation of Islam founder, Master W. Fard Muhammad.
As part of the trip, AllHipHop.com would show off its warm working relationship with the Nation of Islam by co-hosting a youth town hall discussion entitled “Our Generation Accepting Responsibility," focused on young people taking ownership of their lives and futures. Though the panel, moderated in part by AllHipHop.com CEO Grouchy Greg Watkins, was missing a few key people, the ones who were there showed and proved that Muslims "got it goin’ on" in music, business, and the community.
There was co-host and rapper Yonasda Lonewolf, singerRaheem DeVaughn, Wu-Tang CEO and RZA’s brother Divine, conscious rappers Cormega and Jasiri X, Rev. Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, MC and businessman JT The Bigga Figga, and more. Even RZA Skyped in from his film studio to share some wisdom with the youth and tell why he aligns with the Nation of Islam, particularly with regards to their business discipline. Watch the video clips below for a peek at some of the event’s standout participants:
JT The Bigga Figga has been missing from the recording game for a while until now. What we found out at the town hall discussion is that he’s found an innovative way to make money off of music he recorded years ago. In the clip below, he drops the craziest, most helpful knowledge ever for young hopefuls in the music industry:
Rapper Jasiri X holds it down for the conscious brothers, bringing his strong Pittsburgh work ethic to his rap hustle. But, what he may be best known for is his willingness to shine light on the ills of society and especially some of his peers in the industry. Here, he tells why Saviours’ Day was high on his list of to-do items:
The ladies love Hip-Hop, too, and AllHipHop.com was privileged to meet one who is a vocal and vivacious representative for the culture she adores. Activist Lah Tere talked to us behind the scenes of the discussion about her unique brand of Hip-Hop elevation in New York City:
One of the panel discussion's best lessons was that everyday people can do monumental things when they combine passion and innovation. We learned that Brother Enoch of the Hip-Hop Detox organization is one of the true stars in our community, as he explains how he uses Hip-Hop themes to steer youth in the right direction:
There’s more coverage to come from AllHipHop.com’s visit inside the Nation of Islam’s Saviours’ Day. Check back in the coming days for the next “Examining the Nation of Islam Through Hip-Hop Eyes” feature! Visit www.noi.org for more information.
Artwork by Demont Peekaso