…and a few spoken word artists. Let me know if you think someone should be added. I do, however, reserve the right to add them or not. I don’t like to add anyone I’m not somewhat familiar with. See my MA thesis, which features some of these musicians, on the “Performing Identities” page (at the top of the site).
Native Deen: Native Deen really needs no introduction. They are one of the most popular Muslim groups in the US right now. Here’s their official website. You can find their tour dates here, buy their CD’s, watch their videos, and read Joshua Salaam’s blog. The videos to “Small Deeds,” “Intentions,” “Labbayk,” and “Stand Alone” can all be seen here.
Seven8Six: The Pakistani-American boy band. Visit their official website to read their bios and buy their CD’s. Mp3’s from their first CD are also on emusic.
“Meccah” (Music Video)
“Dua” (Music Video)
“Meditate” (Music Video)
Ani: A Malaysian-American pioneer of American Muslim pop. She also has an interfaith album. You can listen to her music, watch videos, and buy the CD’s on her site. Her Mp3’s are also available on emusic and calabash if you have accounts there.
Kareem Salama: So far the only Muslim country singer that I know of. I don’t even like country music, but he’s fantastic! I’m hoping to get his CD’s if I make it to ISNA this year. You can visit his site to buy his CD’s, read his bio, listen to his songs, and see his tour schedule.
“A Land Called Paradise” (Video by Lena Khan)
“Picnics & Sunshine” (Not his video, I don’t think)
“This Life of Mine” (Live)
“Get Busy Living” (Not his video)
“Generous Peace” (Not his video)
“Baby I’m a Soldier” (Live)
Nader Khan: A relatively new singer from Canada, and a very talented one! Here is his site, where you can preview the tracks to his new album.
Taj Amir: An American Muslim soul singer with a beautiful voice. His myspace doesn’t seem to be working, but here’s his bio at MHH.
Dawoud Kringle: Plays in a style he calls “Mystic Jaz,” which is similar to Western New Age music but also uses Eastern instruments and techniques. Visit his site to read his bio, listen to clips, see his tour schedule, and buy his CD’s. Some of his Mp3’s are also available on emusic.
Haero Dizaye: Also called simply “Sister Haero,” she is a Kurdish-American rapper. Check out her myspace, many of her raps are really good!
Shaykh Ahmed Tijani: Is a licensed shaykh (spiritual guide) of the Tijaniyya Sufi order and a fabulous singer. He is originally from Ghana and lives in Chicago. Shaykh Tijani sings in both Arabic and English, incorporating vocal styles from the Middle East and Africa as well as the African-American Gospel tradition. Unfortunately, he no longer has the English songs up on his site, but you can read his bio and hear some of his songs in Arabic.
Kevin Germain: Many of you in the blogosphere know him as the author of Acoustics and Sufism. You can hear many of his songs on his blog. He sings poetry written by himself and others in English and Turkish.
Sonz of the Crescent: One of the first American Muslim rap groups. Along with Native Deen, they got their start in MYNA Raps. Check out their material on myspace.
“Dream” (Music Video)
“Knockin Down Your Door” (Jam session)
“Indiana” (Jam session)
Project26: An alternative rock band from California. So far, they seem to be one of the only American Muslim groups who perform in this style, and they’re quite good. Their website’s down right now, but you can hear their songs on myspace. I’ll add that I first heard them a few years ago, and they have improved considerably since then, so I am expecting even better material from them in the coming years!
“Always” (Music Video)
“Dosti” (“Friendship;” Live, originally by Junoon)
“Can You Hear Me” (Music Video)
Amir Sulaiman: One of the best known American Muslim spoken word poets. Quite an outspoken brother, too. Some of his Mp3’s are available through emusic. Here’s his site.
Jamila Firdausee: Is a fashion designer, spoken word artist, rapper, actress, and radio host. Buy her CD and see her tour schedule on myspace.
“Chi Town City Life” (Music Video)
The Words and Poetry of Tasleem Jamila Firdausee (Compilation)
Sister Eloquence: One of the first spoken word artists I heard, and still my favorite. You can hear some of her material on MHH.
Liza Garza: A singer and spoken word artist who sings in Spanish and English. Visit her site here.
“My Everything” (Live)
“Make it Through” (With Amir Sulaiman, not really a video but a great song)
Live at Black Lily (Philly) (Reminds me a bit of Lila Downs in this one)
Live at Poet Trees and Grassroots (Partially in Spanish; still reminding me of Lila Downs – that’s a good thing, by the way!)
BeLikeMuhammad: Is the director of independent record label Remarkable Current and a gifted DeeJay. You can hear his stuff on myspace and buy CD’s at the Remarkable Current site. Also check out some of the other artists while you’re there.
“The Refinery” (Remarkable Current annual showcase)
Dawud Wharnsby: He’s produced many contemporary nasheeds for children and adults, with and without instruments. He’s a very gifted lyricist. Visit his official website to read articles and interviews, find his tour schedule, and buy his CD’s.
“Midnight” (Extended Music Video)
“Can’t Take it With You” (Music Video; with Zain Bhikha and Abdul Malik Ahmed)
Tyson: One of the newer American Muslim rappers who have become popular in recent years. I missed his performance at ISNA a couple years ago, which I heard was really good. Here’s his myspace.
“Deen Tight” (Music Video)
Ms. Latifah: Spoken word poet and rapper from Atlanta. Excellent! Check out her myspace.
“Radio” (Not a video, but a great song/rap)
“Don’t Recite” (with Raef, live at Poetic Vision Tour)
The Travellers: I saw them at ISNA a couple years ago, and they are very good!
“Salu Salu Salahteyn” (Live)
“Ya Taybah” (Live)
“La Ilaha Illallah” (Great beatboxing!)
Sound of Reason: Ok, so maybe I expanded this section from strictly US-based musicians just so I could include them… Anyways, here is their site.
“Shoulder to lean on” (live)
Raef (Son of the Nile): An alternative rock band from Maryland. I don’t know too much about them, but here are some videos:
“Turn to Allah” (cover of a Zain Bhikha song)
“Robin Hood” by Saad Omar
“Tala al badru” with Native Deen
D-Clique: A new pop/hip-hop duo. I don’t know too much about them. Here’s their myspace page, where you can hear some of their songs.
For more musicians, as well as some from Canada, UK, South Africa, and other countries, see the MuslimHipHop Database.
Article by Brother Ahmed James on hip-hop and music in his experience