The Dawah of the Black Muslims in the Land of Trap Rap
You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. 3:110
The Black Dawah Network is a Muslim outreach organization that promotes Islamic values and virtues in inner-city Black communities impacted by institutional racism and the legacy of Jim Crow. Inspired by the work of Malcolm X in uplifting the Black community and following the tradition of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), our work is to empower the Black community with the message of Islam.
On October 12th, 2019, the Black Dawah Network went to “O-Block” a birthplace of Chicago’s drill rap which embodies the street life of Chicago’s impoverished Black communities. “Drill” which means to “shoot” was a musical genre influenced by Atlanta’s trap rap.
Whereas Chicago’s drill artists rap about conducting gang shootings, the trap artists of Atlanta rap about making and selling drugs. The trap refers to places where drugs are made. Trap rap artists often discuss the life of oppressed Black youth who have been ensnared into drug economy and the horrors this brings. Thus, it was only proper that on Nov, 16th, 2019, the Black Dawah Network in ATL led by Imam Bilal Stroud and Shadid Lewis gave dawah in a neighborhood in Atlanta known for trap music. The Black Dawah Network came promoting the message of Islam and calling to Islamic virtues.
“Trap rap”, is a genre of Hip-Hop that highlights the predominance of the drug economy in impoverished areas in Atlanta.
Trap artist T.I famously spit “Chevrolet’s and them gold things. Got Rolex, got Benz’s, and it’s all off of that cocaine.” Similarly, trap artist Young Jeezy states “I woke up this morning so I’m still alive 36 O’s I sold them all for five. We count hundreds on the table, twenty’s on the floor.”
In the face of state-imposed poverty, the drug economy often exists as a way for many to have the materialistic things they see rich whites have. However, trapping comes with perils. Young Jeezy eludes to this when he speaks about how the “real niggas” are either dead or in jail. The reason it is called the “trap house” is because it is designed to ensnare Black men in prisons. The white power structure set up laws and policies to give Black men harsher prison sentences for drug offenses.
Brother T..I has himself has been indicated that Black communities are refugees of the war on drugs. The war on drugs has destroyed our neighborhoods and mass incarcerated our men. T.I accurately notes that the importing crack into Black neighborhoods was part of an “operation that was intended to cripple and destroy people of color in the undeserved inner cities areas of area.”
Indeed, the lure of fast money from drugs is nothing but a trap the white power structure uses to keep Black communities trapped in prison, death at an early age or to make communities unable to combat the oppression they face because their minds are high on drugs. The white power structure seeks to trap us. The white power structure places Black people in destitute areas of poverty and makes it hard for us to earn legal money
Then they import the drugs in our community and lure impoverished Black youth into selling drugs in order to have the materialistic things we see rich white folks have on t.v. The white power structure may allow us to enjoy such fast wealth for a while but in the end, the white power structure sends their police to make us another cog in their prison industrial complex. There is a way out of this trap! The way out of this trap is hinted at on Young Jeezy’s song “Westside, Right on Time.” He spits “Got my Malcolm X frames, now I count the check, man/’Cause every time I speak, you hear my Malcolm X pain.”
Malcolm X rose from drug-dealer, pimp, hustler to a fearless Black leader. Malcolm X was pained at how so many Black people were unable to reach their full potential due to obstacles and traps the white power structure put in the way to hinder the socio-economic mobility of Black people. Malcolm X reflected that “All of us [Black men] who might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industries were, instead, black victims of the white man’s social system.” That transformation was facilitated by the religion of Islam. Malcolm X said: “The religion of Islam had reached down into the mud to lift me up, to save me from being what I inevitably would have been: a dead criminal in a grave, or if still alive, a flint-hard, bitter, thirty-seven-year-old convict in some insane asylum.” Malcolm X taught the Black community to see drugs and fornication as not simply vices but as acts of self-hate that reinforce white control over Black people.
He said, “The white man wants Black men to stay immoral, unclean, and ignorant. As long as we stay in these conditions we will keep on begging him and he will control us.” Immorality binds Black people to the liquor store, the trap house, rehab, and the prison-industrial complex. Promoting the Islamic values that will help our people out of this trap is why the Black Dawah Network gave dawah in a land of trap rap. The Black Dawah Network aims to help revitalize our communities by introducing our people to Islam and the man who demonstrated with his life how this faith can uplift our people.