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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Today's insult to Islam: Busta Rhymes' "Arab Money"

From Inside Desi:
The remix of Busta Rhymes’ song Arab Money has caused a bit of a commotion among British and U.S. Muslims. The song, which features some of the biggest names in Hip Hop - including P Diddy, Lil Wayne and Akon, and produced by hip hop powerhouse Swiss Beats - features vocals which consist of lines off Surah Fateha, from the Holy Quran. To cause further anguish, the song is a very typical hip hop club anthem, with the rappers openly boasting about their girls, gambling, drinking and money. Blogs, forums, and social networks have been fervouring with the spread of the track, with many Muslims calling the song racist, disrespectful and offensive.

Further to using the line “Bismillahi r-rahmani r-rahim. Al hamdu lillahi rabbi l-’ālamin” (translated to: “in the name of Allah, most gracious most merciful. All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds”) as the chorus, the song contains lyrics such as “…dropping bombs like the Taleban“, “sitting in casinos while I’m gambling with Arafat…“, “…while I make you bow down and make Salaat like a Muslim“, “all the girls love me, yeah pop some bubbly“.

It seems that many Muslims are angry because the verses in the Quran are very sacred, and saying such things within the same breath comes across as nothing short of inflammatory.

The casualties so far have been award winning DJ, DJ Steve Sutherland, who was temporarily suspended after Galaxy FM received a string of complaints from it’s listeners after he played the song live on his radio programme on Saturday night. The radio station has since released a formal apology, both live on air and on its website, acknowledging that the song is offensive to Muslims, and that a “full internal investigation” is taking place.

No other major UK radio station has played the song, and from the reaction received to Galaxy FM, it would be very surprising if they did. Busta Rhymes nor his record label, Universal Motown, have yet made any official comments.

Here is the video:


And the lyrics are:

Ron Browz, yes!
Oh, we back in the most amazin' way
Well, lemme introduce you to the new talk
Let's get straight to it
C'mon!

[Chorus: Ron Browz]
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,
Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen
We gettin' Arab money!
We gettin' Arab money!
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,
Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen
We gettin' Arab money!
We gettin' Arab money!

[Verse 1: Busta Rhymes]
Now, there ain't no way that you could kill the beast dead
I got Middle East women and Middle East bread
I got oil well money in the desert playing golf
Dolce shorts, dashiki with a Louie Scarf
Chest cold, diamonds make a nigga wanna cough
In Dubai, 20 million on the villa loft
And then I step up in the club and then these other niggas mad as shit
The way I make the people wanna sing the hook in Arabic!

[Chorus: Ron Browz]
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,
Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen
We gettin' Arab money!
We gettin' Arab money!
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,
Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen
We gettin' Arab money!
We gettin' Arab money!

[Verse 2: Busta Rhymes]
Seven star hotels, Maybach, movie sick
Big bitches, knock-kneed camel-toed groupie shit
Women walk around while security on camelback
Club on fire now, niggas don't know how to act
Sittin' in casinos while I'm gamblin' with Arafat
Money long, watch me purchase pieces of the Almanac
Y'all already know, I got the streets buzzin'
While I make you bow down and make Salaat like a Muslim

[Chorus: Ron Browz]
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,
Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen
We gettin' Arab money!
We gettin' Arab money!
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,
Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen
We gettin' Arab money!
We gettin' Arab money!

[Verse 3: Busta Rhymes]
See, now I take trips to Baghdad dummy
While I use stacked chips and count Arab money now
I don't need to get fresh, about to grow a beard duke
So much cake even the money look weird too
Domestic bread, and I'm broad, I'm tryna eat right
Prince Alwali, Bin Talal, Al Saul
They respect the value of my worth in Maui, Malaysia
Iran and Iraq, Saudi Arabia!

[Chorus: Ron Browz]
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,
Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen
We gettin' Arab money!
We gettin' Arab money!
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,
Alhumdulillahi Rabil A’lameen
We gettin' Arab money!
We gettin' Arab money!