Wednesday, October 24, 2007

When Religion meets Music: Muslim Pop & Hassidic Reggae

This coming week we will be looking at Religion and Music, specifically how contemporary Jewish and Muslim artists are using music to communicate ideas about religious community and identity. This week's reading, "A New Research Agenda: Exploring Transglobal Hip Hop Umma" by H. Samy Alim, focuses on how popular music is being used to bring cohesion cohesion across cultures to Muslims around the world. We will be looking at artist such as Sami Yusuf and the Danish Band Outlandish and how they try to communicate issue of faith cross culturally through their music. We will also be looking at the music of Matisyahu and how he communicates Orthodox Judaism through Reggae. Check out the following videos:

Sami Yusuf, is a rising star of contemporary Arabic Nasheed (traditional) music. His song Hasbi Rabbi is sung in English, Hindi, Turkish & Arabic and the video takes him to different parts of the world to engage with the Muslim Ummah (community) in those places.

Outlandish, a Muslim Danish Trio mixes hip hop, folk, soul and pop to create music focusing on themes of racism, social justice and religion. as seen in their video " I Only Ask of God"

Matisyahu infusion of Reggae & Hip Hop seeks to communicate his Jewish faith to a global audience as well, check out his hit song "Jerusalem".

For more information on Contemporary Muslim & Jewish music check out Muslim Hip-Hop and Jews Rock.

1 comment:

jfowler said...

In the reading “A New Research Agenda: Exploring Transglobal Hip Hop Umma” the author, H. Sammy Alim, brings to light a largely unresearch topic and leaves the reader with many questions to ponder. The topic at hand is how the Hip Hop culture is aiding in the formation of an Islamic nation without borders. Alim interviews many notorious leaders in the Hip Hop realm and gives proof of their avid following of Quran. The rappers associate themselves within the bloodline of Muhammad and furthermore similar in their method of portraying the Quran’s word because it was originally spoken. The point is also brought up that the Quran is written in a rhyme scheme further solidifying the art of rapping as Islamic. In the end, the question is how does the Hip Hop Nation help the Nation of Islam convey their religion? The author suggests more research is needed and inevitable in the future.