Friday, February 27, 2009

cheikh lo - sante yalla

This has been in heavy rotation in my car these days...

From the liner notes:
For SANTE YALLA (Thanks to Almighty God) the recording location moves back to Dakar. Stylistically the track is Cuban but with an unmistakable West African lope. Cheikh began playing music as a child and like so many West African musicians of his generation first started to play along with Cuban 78 rpm records. Guillermo Portabales' 'El Carretero' was one of the most popular records and ‘Sante Yalla’ bears echoes of that song's slow guajira rhythm. Cheikh dedicates the song to "my nephew N'Dongo Lô, N'Diaga M'Baye and Eva M'Baye who have left us. May the earth be light for them. The devotional chant is sung in the name of the Almighty and it accompanies each person to their final resting place." There is a superb slinking guitar solo from Lamine Faye and Cheikh's trademark harmony vocals open up the chorus.

see also:
cheikh lo
catching up
a saint in the city: sufi arts of urban senegal

Sunday, February 22, 2009

what's new with i.m.a.n. (inner-city muslim action network) in chicago

new muslim cool

Hamza Perez left life as a drug dealer for Islam ten years ago. Now, after a devastating break-up with his first wife, he moves to Pittsburgh's tough North Side.

In a rundown building surrounded by crack and crime, he helps start a new community for African American and Latino Muslims. Like Hamza, many are ex-gang members who are using hip-hop culture to take their religious message to the streets, slums, and jail cells of urban America.

Raising his two kids as a single dad and longing for companionship, Hamza finds love on a Muslim networking website and seizes the chance for happiness in a second marriage. But when the FBI raids their mosque, Hamza and his community come face to face with a whole new set of challenges, and have to choose how they respond.

While he continues his rise as part of the provocative rap group Mujadideen Team, Hamza starts reaching for a deeper understanding of his own faith -- leading him to some surprising new relationships with Christian and Jewish allies.

Setting Hamza's story in the context of young American Muslims' emergence among the deep dividing lines of the post-9/11 world, New Muslim Cool gives audiences an authentic, intimate, and fresh view of life in one of the world's most rapidly growing and least-understood communities.

See also: Interview with Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, director of The New Muslim Cool

heru tv interview

heru refill


"Babylon Is"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

immortal technique: point of no return

Parental Advisory

deep cover revisited

I've blogged about the film Deep Cover before but it has been on my mind again these days... mainly because a few weeks ago I bought Immortal Technique's album The 3rd World which samples several scenes from the film.

So first I'd like to say that IMSDb has posted a script for Deep Cover which is more readable than the one I linked to before (but further away from the actual film).

Secondly (since a number of people seem to find their way to Planet Grenada seeking answers to this question) based on this latest album, it doesn't seem as if Immortal Technique is actually Muslim. He does often express solidarity with the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. and is highly critical of U.S. foreign policy in the Muslim world. On top of that, he seems to show a certain amount of appreciation for Islam (after a fashion). But, on the other hand his comments on lifestyle issues tend to be inconsistent with Islam.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

gaddafi wants caribbean in africa

Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi has said he would like a United States of Africa to include "Caribbean islands with African populations". Col Gaddafi, speaking in Tripoli as the African Union's (AU) new chairman, said this could include Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. The Libyan leader also sympathised with Somali pirates, describing their actions as self-defence. Last week he said that multi-party democracy was not right for Africa.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in the Libyan capital says Col Gaddafi's critics believe he is too erratic to be chairman of the 53-nation AU. A week into his appointment his agenda for Africa is expanding and his views remain as controversial as ever to some people, she says.

see Gaddafi Wants Caribbean in Africa

1st puerto rican astronaut

black iraqis make their political debut in provincial polls

Black Iraqis make their political debut in provincial polls

speaking of love...

and Rumi... I just found out about a local group of Mevlevis and will possibly start attending some of their gatherings. At this point I'm still a little cautious about them and I hope they are more traditional than New Age-y (e.g. see Why Gurdjieff's "Fourth Way" Teachings are not Compatible with the Mevlevi Sufi by Ibrahim Gamard). We'll see how things go.

Friday, February 13, 2009

more room for rumi

Tonight I plan to go to a Rumi/whirling dervish event analagous to one I went to several months ago where I met a buddhist sufi. Should be interesting.

Monday, February 09, 2009

sarah silverman on kabbalah

I sometimes wonder if the practice of Sufism will wind up like the practice of kabbalah and become a Islamic-but-not-Muslim celebrity-ridden New Age fad (audhu billah) Let's hope not.