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Sufi Rapper: The Spiritual Journey of Abd al Malik: The Spiritual Journey of Abd Al Malik Paperback – 23 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; 1st U.S. Ed edition (23 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594772789
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594772788
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,230,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Born Régis Fayette-Mikano in 1975, Abd Al Malik formed the rap group New African Poets in the early 1990's. Following his successful career with them, he released two solo recordings, the most recent of which, Gibraltar, has garnered a number of awards, including the Prix Constantin and the prestigious Victoire de la musique. He also appears on Moby's 2008 album, Last Night. Abd al Malik lives in France.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is helpful in giving background to the excellent CD, Le Face a Face des Coeurs, giving an insight into Abd Al Malik's partially misspent youth in one of the high-rise [i.e. lost-cost] housing schemes that became a feature of the provincial urban environment in many parts of Western Europe post WW2. Having lived in a couple of such as an undergraduate, I have a sort of inside-outsider's appreciation of that Strasbourg milieu up in which the author grew. The entry into pietist [sic?] Islam and thence into spirituality is fascinating but perhaps insufficiently deep, and I was suddenly left yearning when the account stopped.
The text and translation of some of the lyrics to Abd Al Malik's above-mentioned album are valuable. However, I remain puzzled whose decision it was to render the inclusive title of one song, "Que Dieu bénisse la France", as "Allah bless France". Had the translator and/or editor understood anything of what the author meant? God knows best.
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Thoroughly enjoyed the spiritual migration / progression of author and highlighting the frustration with the myopic form of Islam or petro-Islam being taught in most mosques today to the real beauty and compassion and all inclusiveness of the faith.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Sufi Rapper? 23 Jan. 2011
By Rebecca L. Elson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This review originally appeared on The Magical Buffet website on 5/6/09.

France has ghettos, there are projects in France. I know it sounds ridiculous to say that, as if you didn't know. Here's the thing, until the riots in Paris a few years back, I was totally unaware of this fact. Press reports would say the people involved were from the "deprived Paris suburbs", but it's true, that in that moment I realized that Paris is a large city and like most large cities, there is probably some equivalent of what Americans call the "projects". It was also during this time that I learned that France has a vibrant rap scene. Oddly, the concept of French rap was less shocking than coming to grips with the idea that Paris had "deprived suburbs". Want to learn more?

Then I would highly recommend the book "Sufi Rapper" by Abd Al Malik. This book is a great read. It follows the spiritual journey of the author from his beginnings as an aspiring criminal in Neuhof, described as a "difficult" quarter, into becoming a leader in the French hip hop community, and through his discovery and evolution within the Muslim faith. "Sufi Rapper" gives the reader a look at the life of a street hustler and a musician, a history of rap music from the French perspective, and an introduction to many Islamic paths. It's like he wrote the book for me!

Abd Al Malik's writing has a lyrical, enchanting quality to it. It shouldn't be so surprising, coming from a lyricist. Seriously though....

"Despite everything, I cannot help but feel affection toward this father-child. No doubt he also served me as an anti-role model, with his fickleness and libertine habits, whose consequences we suffered. But I have never been able to nurture the slightest feelings of bitterness toward him."

....if I could write like that I wouldn't be here blogging to you people, I'd be published and an Oprah pick!

As much as I enjoyed the glimpse into the art of crime and learning about the French hip hop scene, the most fascinating part of "Sufi Rapper" is Abd Al Malik's evolution into, for lack of a better descriptor, a Sufi rapper. Any person who has been on a spiritual journey, or struggled with finding a place in their faith, will see themselves reflected in this story. Or, if you're like me, and just nosey about how people practice their faith, you'll like it too!

Crime, music, religion....I love this book!
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