Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ayesha Malik's Poster Presentation

I, first, demonstrate the uniqueness of my work by explicating how Islam played a role in the development of Hip Hop as a cultural movement, from a linguistic perspective. Islamic ideology evoked lyrical inspiration for many artists who are part of the Hip Hop canon (e.g., Wu-Tang Clan, Jay Z, Lauryn Hill, Yasiin Bey, Talib Kweli). Despite this, the incorporation of Islamic references into Hip Hop Nation Language (HHNL) is scarcely studied.

Continuing from there, I included the four distinctive patterns of Islamic influence in HHNL that my research discusses: (1) word formation in acronyms and backronyms like “C.R.E.A.M.” (Cash Rules Everything Around Me) and "ALLAH” (Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm, Head); (2) slang such as “peace, God” and “wassup, G”; (3) the use of spoken Islamic Arabic features and inclusion of Quranic verses; and (4) speech acts that reflect Islamic teachings in songs like Lupe Fiasco’s “Muhammad Walks.” Next, I discuss the implications of this project and how this research would be significant in the world beyond academia. I explain how the stereotypes and attitudes associated with both Islam and Hip Hop are dangerous, while also discussing Islamic HHNL as a form of conscious discourse and an expression of community and identity. Lastly, I explain the way in which I conduct my research and include an example of what my data set might look like. I examine Islamic influences in the lyrics of various Hip Hop artists who have a direct religious affiliation to Islam or an associated act. I also use videos of interviews with some of these artists discussing their use of Islamic influences for additional data. --Ayesha Malik

Poster Presentation
AALCI 2015

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