Monday, September 21, 2015

kufiyas: UK 'Islamic' rappers The Brotherz

I was very struck by the images used by this UK Muslim rap group, for their album, Extreme Gentlemen.

In an interview, The Brotherz note that "The concept of being an "Extreme Gentlemen" is still subtly conveyed based on the association of "extremism" with the scarf and "gentlemanliness" with the suit." Elsewhere in the interview, they make clear that scarf is a "Palestinian" scarf.

I discovered The Brotherz in a 2009 article ("Hip Hop and Urban Islam in Europe) by Peter Mandaville published in The Global Studies Review 5(2). According to Mandaville The Brotherz call themselves "salafi rappers." They also call what they do "nasheeds" -- they use no instruments other than percussion. But there is in fact singing, as well as rapping, on at least this track. It's certainly not "traditional" nasheed.

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