Category: American Muslim


 

fergie

Well…

We’re still here.

Enjoy the day off everyone.

 

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Mel-brooks

It’s the weekend!

It’s also Mel Brooks’ birthday.  Even if I’m not terribly focused on comedy in my art right now, I am focused on the world I live in.  Mel Brooks remains one of the best to have done it.

My personal favorite of his will always be ‘Blazing Saddles’ (of course), but this week I was reminded of ‘The Producers’, and this particular number.

No particular reason…

Have a good one gang…

 

 

faith

My Ramadan goal this year wasn’t as dramatic as the past few.  I didn’t focus hard on improving my Arabic; I didn’t donate all my excess material stuff to Goodwill.

I came into the holy month in awe that I’ve been able to live my life without destroying ‘my life.’  I’ve also been aware, for quite awhile, that there’s still a lot of middle ground between the ‘highlight reel’ (social media), and my private relationships with family and close friends.  One of the many things I’ve admired about Kaepernick is he recognized quickly that while people mostly respect ‘quiet and serious’, if you allow the vacuum between your words and your deeds grow too large, you risk your message getting flipped into something completely different (looking at you, league I don’t plan to give any more of my money too for the time being).

I wish I had a better term than this, but I adopted a ‘Plus One’ attitude the past few weeks.  Without being phony about it, I made myself more accessible to my neighbors, I hung out with my co workers a little more off the clock, things like that.  There’s really no grand scheme here beyond being more consciously proactive that the person I want the world to see my as is in line with how I treat everyone around me.  Changing the world is cool, changing the world around me feels right, right now.

I appreciate the calls and texts from everyone who didn’t ‘see’ me the past month.  I’m looking forward to what comes next.

Onward.

 

shaykh

The official answer to it all is, ‘It is the will of Allah.’

If I go before I resurface next month, Surah 2, verse 286 should be on the front of the program: ‘Allah imposes not on any soul a duty beyond its scope.’

When my mind is quiet though, (which is often now), I feel incredibly fortunate.

At least once a day as of late, I’ve felt overwhelmed with gratitude.

A lifetime (really two lifetimes at this point) worth of experiences that let my family and my people live vicariously through things I could do and places I could go has turned on me; now I have feelings of guilt that I’ve come out of the other end, and somehow, for all the honest mistakes and reckless things I’ve done, I avoided the backbreaking choice that would have put me into a hole I couldn’t climb out of.

This will sound absurd to some, but I don’t know sometimes how I’ve avoided doing anything to turn my bloodline permanently against me.

This will sound absurd to some, but I don’t know how I avoided being reckless to the point of turning my Muslim people against me forever.

The people who don’t represent the same thing I represent but who respect what I’m about; I am embarrassed on a daily basis by how flush I am in genuine relationships.  I continue to do better, but I’ve also come to accept it’s just impossible for me to spend time with everyone I’m cool with.

Leading into this Ramadan, I’ve also accepted that if the law of averages hasn’t derailed me yet, I don’t intend to ruin my own plans.

The peak version of ‘Malik Aziz’ is somewhere in the spectrum between post Mecca Malcolm (part of the world Ummah but sensitive to the concerns of the community I was born into) and Denzel (no desire to be ‘a minister’, but I can use my life and my art and my reputation as the best possible selling point of the type of person my community is capable of creating).

24/7/365 now I hold myself to that standard.  There’s not a lot more to be gained by wondering why life seemed to wait for me to catch up to what I’m trying to achieve.  It’s just time to go for it.

All praise is due to Allah, only the mistakes have been mine.

 

 

livingcolour

One more song…

This is darkly comic now, but in my deep dive of Malcolm’s life there was a 48 hour period last week where I was listening to the full audio of ‘Message to the Grassroots’, and ‘the Ballot or the Bullet’, then Kanye went public calling a slavery a choice and I swear…

Sunday I’ll go into detail about where my head is at before the social media fast.

Have a good weekend.

 

 

Sam-Cooke-ls_3166067k

Liquid lunches and reading and getting up a little bit earlier…almost that time.

I’ve already heard this ‘sign’ from three different places this morning.  Good time for it to be the Song of the Day.

Enjoy.

 

 

wutang

How about some music?

I already had this one earmarked for today, then a few more answers/solutions I have been seeking turned in my favor, and now it’s officially a mood.

Enjoy!

 

 

prt

Ramadan 2018 is within range.

I have a lot to say, but still a month to go, so for today, patience…

And we party walk…

Enjoy!

 

talib_kweli_t750x550

Monday.  Still in a very lyrical, hip hop mood.

And I can’t believe this hasn’t been a Song of the Day before, but that gets corrected right now.

Enjoy!

 

 

roxanneroxanne

Even for someone like me who’s more or less the same age as hip hop, it’s hard now to imagine the early days, when even people who saw money couldn’t imagine millions of dollars.  When it was a neighborhood thing and not a worldwide culture.  ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ does an excellent job of reminding you of the origins and a lot more.

If you don’t know the story of one of the first women of hip hop, this movie is a nice introduction.  Aided by performances from Nia Long and Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali (I’ll never get tired of saying that), ‘Roxanne Roxanne’ shines most as it reminds of the additional hurdles a female MC had to (has to?) overcome on top of trying to get ahead in a male dominated industry.  Need muscle when someone tries to screw you out of money?  Have a baby?  Just to name two.  The hip hop lover in me also loved the fairly organic way some other names of hip hop were integrated into the story without taking it over (Marley Marl, UTFO of course, Biz Markie, and another young kid from Queensbridge by the name of Nasir…)

Definitely worth seeing if you’re a hip hop historian.  Now streaming on Netflix.