Abu Nurah (Massachussets/LA)

The son of Mexican immigrants, Daoud Ali Chavez (born David Chavez), grew up in Los Angeles’ notorious Pico-Union neighborhood and went on to graduate Cum Laude fromHarvard. After graduation, he converted to Islam and took the MC name, Abu Nurah, meaning “Father of Light” (also “Father of Nurah”, the rapper’s first-born daughter).

Abu Nurah’s music has been featured on Democracy Now‘s War & Peace Report and his song, “End the Occupation“, received an honorable mention in the Expressions of Nakba competition.

Abu Nurah’s debut album, “Don’t Be a Citizen,” has already been widely praised as a classic of the conscious Muslim Hip Hop scene, which includes groups like Native Deen and The Brotherhood. The album “promotes a revolution of thought, urging listeners to stop thinking like ‘citizens’ who don’t question what they’re told by their leaders.” His second album, “Say it Loud,” pays tribute, in spirit and title, to the legendary James Brown’s revolutionary song by the same name. The album pulls no punches, with topics ranging from a reclamation of the term “jihad”, to a story about a kidnapped Pakistani woman who winds up at the infamous US prison in Bagram.

Whatever your political or religious orientation, you can’t deny the lyrical excellence and strength of Abu Nurah’s message. It deserves a listen and some self-reflection on the meaning of citizenship. Thanks to Abu Nurah’s commitment to spreading his music, it’s all free online (though you should make a donation or cop the CD if you like what you hear).



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  1. June 14, 2010 at 2:37 am

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