Hip-Hop of the September 11 Generation
Published by: Indiana University Press
How do Muslims who grew up after September 11 balance their love for hip-hop with their devotion to Islam? How do they live the piety and modesty called for by their faith while celebrating an art form defined, in part, by overt sexuality, violence, and profanity?
In Representing Islam, Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir explores the tension between Islam and the global popularity of hip-hop, including attempts by the hip-hop ummah, or community, to draw from the struggles of African Americans in order to articulate the human rights abuses Muslims face. Nasir explores state management of hip-hop culture and how Muslim hip-hoppers are attempting to "Islamize" the genre's performance and jargon to bring the music more in line with religious requirements, which are perhaps even more fraught for female artists who struggle with who has the right to speak for Muslim women. Nasir also investigates the vibrant underground hip-hop culture that exists online. For fans living in conservative countries, social media offers an opportunity to explore and discuss hip-hop when more traditional avenues have been closed.
Representing Islam considers the complex and multifaceted rise of hip-hop on a global stage and, in doing so, asks broader questions about how Islam is represented in this global community.
Introduction: Anthem of a Generation
1. Songs Rather Than Screams
2. Something that is Ours... and still Authentically Islam
3. It is... a Problem of Human Rights
4. She Reppin' Islam and She Gives it a Meaning
5. Enemy of the State
6. Keeping it Real... Keeping it Cool...
"This is a very important topic, handled skillfully, which will make a major contribution to sociological and anthropological studies of Islam, cultural studies, religious studies, and global studies. . . . While there is a growing literature about Hip-Hop in American society or in other particular societies around the world, Kamaludeen's study is unique with the broad perspective it takes presenting data on Muslim hip-hop artists from various contexts, both Muslim minority and majority conditions."~Timothy P. Daniels, editor of Performance, Popular Culture, and Piety in Muslim Southeast Asia, Hofstra University
"Since Post-9/11, being a Muslim youth comes at a huge expense, often with the suspicion that one is a Jihadist or terrorist. In resistance to this stereotype, hip-hop expands its platform to include the counter-narratives of Muslim youth who comprise a hip-hop ummah. Professor Nasir's pioneering study provides a multitude of refreshing perspectives that address the complexities of representing Islam across ethnic and gendered identities by Muslim youth whom he dubs the Hip-Hop of the September 11 generation. Inspired by the struggles of the African American experience, the author further notes how Muslim youth creates rhymes to express issues and concerns respective to their communities. A welcomed addition to hip-hop and popular music studies!"~Cheryl L. Keyes, author of Rap Music and Street Consciousness, Department of African American Studies, University of California at Los Angeles
"In this important and timely new book, Kamaludeen Nasir showcases the breadth and diversity of Muslim hip-hop around the globe, from female hip-hop hijabis to Muslim hip-hoppers in Sydney, Palestine, London, Kabul, Yogyakarta and elsewhere. Through rich discussions of lyrics, artists and scenes, Representing Islam demonstrates the organic links between Islam and hip-hop culture, and Muslim hip-hop as a vehicle for the September 11 generation to express their everyday concerns."~Sujatha Fernandes, author of Close to the Edge: In Search of the Global Hip Hop Generation, The University of Sydney
"In this unique study of young Muslims who represent the September 11 generation, Kamaludeen has opened a new window on the diverse worlds of the Muslim hip-hopper. Through a detailed study of this musical genre across several societies and many years, he has developed a powerful sociological insight into Islam's relationship to popular culture. Muslim Hip-hop, constituting a distinctive global musical culture, is now an important component of new Muslim identities. As a result, the book is a major corrective to existing misrepresentations of Islam."~Bryan S. Turner, author of Religion and Social Theory , The Graduate Center (City University of New York)
"This original and stimulating new study illuminates the complex worlds of Muslim Hip-Hop in different countries from France to America to Australia to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Racism, rights and interpretations of Islam are central but in so many fluctuating ways in the competitions and variations of consumer culture. Debates and questionings are everywhere: Over the place of music in Islam, relations with the world of nasheed (religious songs) groups that have their own followings, finding paths to being pious and cool with styles of dress and fashion that achieve both but may be demonized by opponents. And what is or should be Islamic entertainment? In the chapter on gender, Hip-Hop Hijabis deal with real attacks and conflicts. The range of material is most impressive. Kamaludeen writes in depth on all these many issues and with a genuine understanding of and respect for the artists and their varying styles. A truly excellent and highly readable book of great contemporary interest."~Michael Gilsenan, author of Recognizing Islam, David B. Kriser Professor of Anthropology and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at New York University and Emeritus Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford
"Kamaludeen Mohmed Nasir's important contribution to the field most certainly gives the reader a theoretically insightful and empirically thorough account of the Muslim side of this development. Representing Islam: Hip-Hop of the September 11 Generation is highly recommended to specialized readers interested in Muslim popular culture, religion in general, globalization as well as avid hip-hop heads interested in the global impact of their culture."~Anders Ackfeldt, Lund University, CyberOrient
"With Representing Islam, [Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir] has produced an important sourcebook on global Muslim hip-hop in all its shades and a valuable sociological study of Muslim youth culture in the post-9/11 world."~Philipp Bruckmayr, University of Vienna, Die Welt des Islams
"The book, written in an engaging, accessible language, is a significant contribution to the field of Muslim popular culture and will be a very useful source for students of global hip hop, globalization, youth culture and contemporary Muslim cultural expressions."~Jeanette S. Jouili, Syracuse University, Global Hip Hop Studies
"Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir's Representing Islam argues that hip-hop is for the September 11 Muslim generation a route to freedom of expression, looking at how 'young Muslims [. . .] have embraced and appropriated hip-hop music as their anthem in response to the surging Islamophobia following September 11' (p. 2). . . . This is a solid contribution to hip-hop and popular music studies within Muslim culture and beyond."~Sikelelwa Anita Mashiy, University of the Western Cape (South Africa), Popular Music
"Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir's Representing Islam: Hip-Hop of the September 11 Generation . . . sheds new light on understanding and interpreting the articulation, manifestations, and implications of and about Islam in this globalized and digitalized age. . . . A strategic and critical engagement between the micro and macro persoectives in sociology of Islam, Representing Islam is recommended to all students and researchers interested in Islamic religiosity, Muslim popular cultures, and research design in social hermeneutics approaches"~Martin Jiajun He, Nanyang Technological University, American Journal of Islam and Society
"In the burgeoning realm of hip-hop studies, Representing Islam is an ambitious project to address the subject from a Muslim perspective: the exponents, the style, the areas of contestation. This book should be consulted for anyone interested in cultural studies more broadly, from street art to fashion, and of course music and subcultures. It will no doubt be a key text in what must now be recognized as a discrete field of study."~Adam Geczy, Journal of Asia-Pacific Pop Culture