Monday, October 12

Film: DeenTight Click for more info

I managed to catch the London screening of DeenTight at RichMix, Bethnal Green this evening. The director was there, as was Amir Sulaiman and other faces from the faith music scene.

The film itself was okay: it documented what current Muslim hip-hop stars thought of their practise of the genre, and whether it conflicted with their religion or not. At 74 minutes it wasn't that long and I didn't nod off during any part of it (a good sign I think). The aim of the film was not to provide any formal scripture-backed fatwa on whether hip-hop (or even music in general) was halal or haraam, but to record whether or not the artists themselves were conflicted. A surprising amount were so this was quite an eye-opener, however I felt a bit let down by the shallowness of both the probing of the film-makers and the responses they received. For instance, although music in general (as opposed to hip-hop in particular) was considered by some to be impermissible, we never actually left the realm of hip-hop. I felt this was a bit limiting since the permissibility itself was always tied to the (sometimes anecdotal) effects of hip-hop rather than anything more fundamental.

But on the whole it was a good way to open the debate on Islamic hip-hop if not Islamic music in general, something which seems well overdue if the numerous claims of Islam being fundamentally a part of hip-hop from its inception are to be believed.

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