The hugely popular DC-based Muslim hip hop group Native Deen have over 110,000 Facebook followers alone. And one of them, Aisha Ali, says she can’t go to sleep without listening to their songs. So when they release a new music video for a song called “Our Earth,” the diaspora is bound to listen.
Taken from the album “The Remedy,” this gentle environmental tribute diverges widely from many hip hop songs by referencing the importance of recycling and making smarter consumer choices. “What have we done to our earth,” the band asks in the song’s chorus, “When will we open our eyes and change the way we live our lives?”
A greener way of life
Deen is Arabic for “Way of Life” or “religion” and the band was started by Joshua Salaam, Naeem Muhammad, and Abdul-Malik Ahmad – all Muslim men born and raised in the District of Columbia. They adhere to traditional way of dress and incorporate Islamic teachings into their music while still maintaining something of a young appeal.
Their fans live as far afield as Detroit and Jeddah and have been eagerly awaiting the release of this epic music video, which features the young men in space suits, questioning the impact that humanity has had on our one and only planet, and what we can do to heal it.
Native Deen believes that every human being on Earth should feel responsible for taking care of the Earth, according to their official release. “We are all here to enjoy the fruits that it bears and take shelter under the shades that trees provide us and breathe the oxygen released into our atmosphere…Every man, woman, and child has something to be thankful for.”
Children play an important role in the hard-hitting music video, which reflects the burden we and our parents have left for them, a burden that is well illustrated in the video.
“I see her shivering shaking; cause of all of the mess we are making; But I’m feeling my people awaken; And were headed in a new direction.” But this is a feel-good song that is designed to inspire fans, not to alienate them even further, so the group’s hard messages are followed up with tools for action.
“I’ve started to change the things I buy, I’m making adjustments to my place; I know that change it starts inside, recycling, watching what I waste; And now my voice I use to shout, when these companies try wheel and deal; Every atom’s weight of good will count, to ease pain that she feels.”
Although Native Deen’s music is not earth-shattering, not that I’m an expert, it is compelling and the band has great intentions.
It seems healthier to have kids listening to this group than some of the thugs that call themselves hip hop artists. But more importantly, it is extraordinary, historically speaking, that there can be a Muslim hip hop band in the first place. And that they have taken it upon themselves to spread messages of environmental stewardship that apply to people from all walks of life.