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02 Muslim Youth, Dating, and Drugs

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The Baba Ali Show

Channel: The Baba Ali Show

Episode Notes

Special guest Shaan Baig joins the Baba Ali Show to discuss:

  • growing up as a Muslim Youth in America
  • dealing with Muslim parents
  • exposure to alcohol and drugs
  • choosing the right friends can make an impact
  • being inspired after attending an Islamic camp

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Baba Ali Show Episode Two Muslim youth dating and drugs and the reality pill. This podcast has been brought to you by half our deen.com and Muslim marriage website designed for those who want to find that other half privately because the only people that should know you're looking to get married or people who are looking to get married. Try half our Deen today. In today's show we have a special guest, Shawn bake a dental student who also happens to be a sketch artist, con artist know that con artists sketch artist. He does sketches around brother. No, he does skits online. I'll never mind he has no mind. Forget it. Anyways, he's not here today to talk about sketches or dentistry, but rather

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he's going to tell us about how challenging it is to grow up in America as a Muslim youth while trying to keep your Muslim identity. So go get a glass of water and get ready to take a reality pill. Let's get this thing started.

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Cultural Muslims have confused the masses and speakers are forced to be politically correct.

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Voice

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Hey, man, why y'all serious? This is just a podcast.

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Welcome to the valley Show. I'm your host Bob alley. A few weeks ago, I was backstage at an event I was speaking to one of the performers. We were talking about the zero podcast that became quite popular. So it was basically about this guy, a Muslim guy who ended up being accused for murder, but there was holes in the story. That's what made the story interesting because you couldn't tell if he was lying. Or if the prosecution was lying or the defense were lying or the witnesses were lying. There was just too many holes in the story. But you knew something was off. So it made you interested in listening to the podcast. And for me what caught my interest in the story was this is

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an average Muslim youth going through all this drama, and his parents had no idea what he was going through. They didn't know he had a girlfriend, let alone giving with drugs or having relationships in ways he shouldn't have relationships and all that kind of stuff. And it was a complete shock to the parents. But for a lot of Muslim youth. I don't think it was a big shock for them. Because to them. A lot of Muslims are going through this stuff, oftentimes to the parents. They're kind of like tell them hey, guess what, there is a youth out there, they're doing this and they're doing that and always think is somebody else's kid. The reality is, these could be your kids. Sometimes it is your

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kids and you have no idea. So today, I decided to bring on one of the Muslim youth onto this podcast so he can tell us the kind of stuff he's been through so he can tell us what's going on out there. This is Bobby Lee show. And today's special guest is Shaun Baker. Assalamu alaikum. Salaam, how's it going? Good. Abdullah, how are you doing? I'm doing just fine. So this is a very interesting topic. I think a lot of youth maybe just listen to us. Yeah, I know. And the parents are like, they're pulling out their hair wondering Oh, my what, what are my kids doing? Where are they going through? So before we get too much into it, just let's start off with just tell me how it is growing up here

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in America.

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Wow. That's a that's a huge question. I was one of like a few if not the only brown Muslim kid growing up, you know. So I'm from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is the suburbs outside of Detroit. The dangerous parts of Bloomfield

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Hills is a very nice, tame, very boring suburb. Humble me I had a very boring safe childhood. It's actually a pretty diverse or community that I grew up in. But yeah, I just remember like, not feeling completely, like I belong in like Sunday school, or in just my regular public school. You know, like, so you're, like, kind of torn in between? Yeah, yeah. I've always just felt sort of miscellaneous. You know, like, I don't feel like I completely belong in like brown centric community of like, the Sunday school or the mosque that I went to or being around. Yeah, bunch of white people. So that must be kind of hard just to, like blend in, I guess. Yeah. Everyone's parents looks

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way different than mine. Yeah. So I didn't even understand my culture that much, let alone other people. Do you come from a religious family? Oh, yeah. My mom and dad are very religious. You know, my dad always prayed five times a day and taught us that and like, hired a foreign teacher when we were younger, but and, you know, yeah, he put us in some of his Sunday school as well. But yeah, I mean, I just remember feeling like I was I was living like, some sort of double life, like there's my school life or you know, it's my secular life and then I go home and eat biryani and do you know, when you were growing up, it was it like, you see Muslims acting one way and non Muslims acting

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different way or do you see those two worlds? Not so different.

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I would say there's not a huge difference. Honestly, if I had to answer honestly, I think Yeah, just like culturally, I don't think there would be a huge difference. I think like,

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the reason I'm asking guys because you know, a lot of parents, they are so worried about what the kids are exposed to ensure public school. Yeah, they pull their kids out, or they don't even give them public school and they put them through quote, unquote, Islamic school and Islamic school for many people. They actually called Muslim school because not much Islamic about it. Except the fact is a bunch of Muslim it. Yeah, I mean, there is a Islamic school. I mean, I'm not gonna name it. Oh, no, no, we're not trying to call anyone out. Yeah, I mean, but people from Michigan will know what I'm talking about. Okay, and I bring this up, but like, a lot of the kids I know, went to a strictly

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Islamic school ended up getting into like, messed up stuff, you know, like, like, like, What do you mean, by messed up stuff? If I got caught up in like, jogs or drinking or, like, fell in with like, the wrong crowd? I mean, I don't think it has to do complete, like, Oh, it was a Muslim school. It's messed up. I think, like, there were other problems at the school, like how it was run, and like the staff that they had. And so do you think like, just because you go to a Muslim school? Yeah. It doesn't stop you from being exposed to like, the things you mentioned? Not at all? Not at all. Not one bit? No, I think it's healthy to just to like, sort of understand other people's perspectives,

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you know, and then I was able to, you know, mix in with my other Muslim friends. And I had like, a very diverse array of friends growing up, you know, from then on. But not it's I think it's very healthy to see other people, you know, so you're pretty much raised in a secular public school and on Sundays used to go? Yeah, I wouldn't go to the Sunday school at the mosque. Yeah. Okay, so the public school kids, and would you find yourself in more peer pressure situations? Because you're like, one of the only Muslim kids in that community?

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Um, or do you feel like even with the Muslim kids, you were still in those peer pressure situations? Hmm. That's a tough question. I'm sorry. I asked. I mean, it's a good question. I feel like there were just as many opportunities to do quote, unquote, wrong stuff in either circle. Interesting. I think it's worth as human beings. We're all just American born kids, you know, not that like, that's like a bad thing. But I think just culturally where we were all the same, like, I don't think culturally there was an essential or huge difference between the kids in public school or in Sunday's. Okay. So if you had to give an average age now, at what age do you think Muslim youth

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either going to public school, and the ones who are going to Sunday school get exposed to for example, alcohol? I want to say like 15? Probably, and what about drugs? Same age, probably. Or maybe even younger? But I would say on average, barely like, Yeah, 1415. Okay, yeah. separate question. What percentage of Muslim youth based on your experience in what you seen around you think are involved in like, boyfriend, girlfriend, relationships, boyfriend, girl.

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I want to say, everybody at least once maybe like 70 to 80% 70 to 80%. You see things like Muslim people are so shady about their relationships, like they don't broadcast it. So like, you wouldn't know if somebody was in a relationship. So they don't say we're boyfriend, girlfriend. They just know. I had a friend who said this. Like I was like, I don't know if we're supposed to have boyfriend and girlfriend, man, like this one friend. He's like, Oh, well, you know, we just don't call ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend. We don't put that label on it. So that's why it's fine. It sounds like was how could we do? Yeah, I remember being like, okay, yeah, that's that. That makes

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sense. I mean, I don't think that's like, 100%. Wrong, just to clarify, to like, you know, be in a relationship. But I think that it's just funny that he thought of it in that way that like, oh, the label is what's wrong. It's not like what's what's going on? You know, this is interesting, because I think people are intrigued on how the Muslim you think, and you're still a Muslim youth. You know, so sure. You mentioned right now that you don't feel it's wrong. So can you explain to the listeners, sure, yeah. I mean, I think like, there are like explicitly off limits, you know, and are stated and are very clear. I mean, yeah, I mean, I'm not a scholar, and I'm not like a master of

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fish or whatever. But as long as we're talking fully Frank here, I think it's fine to be like talking to somebody who you have, like, serious intentions with in terms of like marriage and all that, you know, because like if we're not allowed to talk to members of the opposite sex and like, get to know each other. It's like, how are we supposed to like really, you know, understand each other and like, marry somebody. It's like that that's what kids are just gonna go off and find somebody.

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He's we'll find a way to like have a relationship, you know, regardless of what kind of rules their parents put on them, you know, the man is pre wired in a certain way, a woman is pre wired in a certain way. And Allah subhanaw taala has set up rules for us based on the way he has created us. So a man or a woman, when it comes time to getting married, the rules are a bit different. It's all done within the boundaries of Islam. So but this is where the difference of opinion comes with the Muslim youth of today versus what scholars say. And the youth say, Look, I know I'm not going to do anything with her. And she's like, I'm not going to do anything. And our intention is to get

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married, so we're just going to be alone. And as we seen, human beings are human beings. And when you're alone, and the feelings are there, and the hormones are there, sometimes things can happen in reason why Islam even stops us blazing to the opposite gender, when we're not supposed to is because that's the first step, you get to eventually get to the final step of what happens. So I can't put all the blame on the youth because parents make it extremely difficult to get married. You know, the Haram is so easy. And hello, parents make you jump through hoops and run around an obstacle course. After all that, yeah, Haram is so I mean, I think I know what you mean. But just to elaborate a

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little bit more on like, Hi, Rama, so easily affect back home, if you want to have a boyfriend, girlfriend relationship, everybody and their mama knows you're having a boyfriend, girlfriend or the ship because everyone talks to everybody over here, you can go out on a date with the girl and no one has any idea and no one in the society could care less. It's just very interesting how the Muslim youth versus the Muslim parents think so differently. I think there's a big disconnection. I think the technology gap has really disconnected them, because now the kids can get away with everything. Yeah, parents have no idea what Snapchat is.

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So all they know, this is where pictures disappear. Yeah, I think my dad just like figured out what iTunes was like, I think he like just started to realize there. There you go a lot of the user name on Facebook anymore because their mom and dad's on Facebook. So yeah, the Facebook was a way that the youth used to interact with one another. Yeah, completely under the parents radar. And now since Facebook went global, and everybody's on Facebook, yeah, the youth have left Facebook, and they go on to the other means and and that comes down to, as you said earlier, as much as rules, you set the youth that want to do stuff, they're gonna go do stuff, no one exactly shady people find a way to be

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shady, no matter what, you know, like, they'll find like an avenue for what they want to do. So let me ask you a question. Yeah. If a parent is listening to this podcast, yeah. And they're concerned about their own kids, what advice would you give them? You were saying, like, oh, the parents are very strict. And, you know, they, they expect one thing of their kids and the kids have a totally different idea of what they want to do. But it just sort of made me think about, like, how I was raised, you know, like, my dad, like, he kind of like hammered in, like the rituals of Islam to us, you know,

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he would like make sure we knew how to pray and make sure we knew how to make sure we knew we understood pillars, and what do you do it? What do you do it? What are the rights, you know, and like, my mom was sort of, like, you know, she's also religious in that way, but also, like, kind of drilled into us like good character, you know, like, I always remember my mom talking about, like, you know, just like, be kind to people have good manners Be patient Don't get angry. But these are actually very important things in Islam. And we often times don't talk about the character aspect are more important than just hard and fast rules. I think they're both important to carry on your

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religion. But I think like, a lot of people don't hold as much importance to just having good character. But to answer your question, like, my, my brothers, and my relationship with with our mom is very kind of, like, very open, you know, like, there's no secrets, you know, like, my mom knows about, like any crush we ever had, like, she knows about, like, every friend, we have what we want to do with our career, our future where we want to live, like, there's no boundaries, you know, and she just, like, trusts us. I remember, like, growing up, my mom treated us like her best friends, you know, and that doesn't mean like, Oh, she's so liberal. And like, we did whatever it was

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understood. It was like, don't mess around with girls. You know, don't drink don't smoke, but my mom's like, I'm always here for you, you know, like, I'm like your best friend. So I think like that kind of relationship services, you know, not only a good relationship with your kids, but also like them trusting you and respecting you. So like, they don't do wrong, not out of like, oh, fear for you punishing them, but just like I didn't do wrong, because I'm like, Oh, I don't want to like ruin the good relationship that I have with my mom. Like, I respect her. Like, I wouldn't want to hurt her. You know, it wasn't like I'm afraid I'm gonna get in trouble. You know what I mean? So she used

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Two lines of communication. Your Yeah, everything was completely open and my mom knows, like everything that goes on in our heads, you know, like, and that sounds like it made a really positive impact to absolutely yeah. Unfortunately a lot of parents, they don't have those lines of communication open the same way. Yeah, you know, a young person can come home and say mom, dad, this happened or I was told this or I was in the parent before the kick finishes his sentence, the parent has freaked out screaming and then in the back of his head, like, I'm never gonna say this to them again. You know, I mean, yeah, crazy the sounds of the fact that your kid is coming up to you and

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talking to you. That's a humongous, huge, huge good sign, no matter how difficult their situation is. You have to listen. And if you want to freak out, go into the room, scream, hit the pillows freak out. But in that situation, you have to listen and be there for them. Because if you're not the next time, they're not going to be there thinking your parents is like a support for you not like your execution. Like to like catch you doing? Yeah, I mean, you have to be there for your kids and listen to what they have to say sometimes you'd be there as a support system, the support system of the parents is so important. And sometimes I think As parents, we don't realize that. So let me

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ask you a question. What percentage of Muslim youth Do you think have tried alcohol? Maybe 40? To 50%? How many have tried drugs? Like Yeah, probably like 50%. So we got 40 to 50% alcohol, but 50% drugs? You mentioned earlier, about 70 to 80% are in some type of relationship. Yeah. Now they don't want to call it boyfriend girlfriend anymore. Yeah. Maybe more. Okay. It's very conservative number. I think that's the part that kind of scares the parents. If my kid is going through this, and I have no idea of it, what do I do? And I think one thing you've really good that you've mentioned, is I opened the lines of communication making in such a way that these kids can come to you and talk to

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you. Now, john, the other day told me a story about you praying fudger so share that story with everybody, please. Sure. Okay, so this is back, like sixth grade. So it was like the summer after sixth grade. And I was still Yeah, kind of feeling like I was in this gray area. I mean, I still do, but probably more so back then. And I only ever prayed like when my dad would, you know, call us to pray or you know, if we're at Sunday school, or if there was no choice but to pray. You know, like, there was just like, everybody was praying. Okay, yeah, I mean, I'm not going to just like sit here. But it wasn't like, understood, or hammered into me like, Oh, you have to do this. You know, this is

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just like a given in our, in our religion. You know, it was more of like a ritual. Yeah, it was more than just like, Oh, yeah, I mean, this is something we do from time to time. And it's not really like a big part of my life. And, you know, I was just like a kid I didn't really like understand the gravity of it. So then I went to this camp in Michigan, and for like, Muslim youth, and you're in cabins, and there's like a guy site and the girl site and like, yeah, you're doing like, a lot of stuff that you would do it like a normal camp. You know, there's like arts and crafts. There's like, you go swimming you like just play sports and stuff. But yeah, the one thing that like really makes

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it like a Muslim camp is you pray five times a day, you know, I had never done that before my life. And I remember vividly in my mind, the first time I ever prayed fudger was at that camp I had only ever caught Yeah, other prayers that were just like in the house, but like Fletcher is always like, a lot of people say it's most difficult prayer to do. Because just so like, early in the morning, like you're dead tired. And I just remember, like being woken up, I think it was like, Yeah, like 430 or five or something like that. And then the act of like, all of us kids getting up together, nine or 10 Kids plus our counselor sleepy eyed and dead tired, just like dragging our feet in this

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cold. Michigan forest air. It's like hard to do by yourself, praying fudger by yourself. But the fact that we all did this together, plus the entire camp of like, you know, I want to say like maybe 200 250 people just like getting up together and going to pray was just like this very life changing moment, I think, yeah, it was this shift in my life. It started with that. fudger. But then like, no matter what we're doing at that camp, seven days of the week, no matter we're at arts and crafts, we're in the middle of the lake and the canoe, it's like, no, it's time to pray. Everybody stop what you're doing. We go and we pray at five times a day this happened. So this was this routine, this

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practice. This regimen was just hammered into me throughout this week. And I was just like, okay, yeah, this is just what we do. It's probably in the back of my mind. I think when a lot of Muslims or maybe just people in general, when they hear all Muslims pray five times a day, it sounds like this very, like overwhelming, like daunting task. But when you actually set out to do it, it's really not that hard, especially when you're doing it with like a bunch of your friends and like 200 other people five times a day. So it just became like this regular thing that we did, and it didn't feel like out of the ordinary by the end of it. It was just like, yeah, this is our routine. Now.

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This is what we do. And then I think when I came back, I had made Muslim friends and I had an awesome time. I had a lot of fun. What I really came away with was like I started praying five times a day on the law, like after that go into that camp when I was 12 years old, like I remember coming home be like, Well, why shouldn't I keep praying five times a day, right? Why shouldn't I continue that to make that a part of my routine? You know, I mean, like, I don't know

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every other kid who went there had this kind of experience. But I think like for a lot of people, it probably did. You know, it's like for a lot of us, it's like the first time you ever make that an important thing in your life.

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Yeah. So what I'm learning from you, and, and I do appreciate you coming on this podcast is that there's a big impact makes with just the people that surround you. And it sounds like that camp, you were just sort of surrounded not just by Muslims, but practicing Muslims. And that was a big difference between that Sunday school. And sometimes what you see in just back home, or wherever else, is it? Yeah, there's a lot of people that have Muslim names and growing up in Muslim families. But when you see practicing Muslims, you see, as you said earlier, not just in praying, but their character, their personality, the way they carry themselves, that kind of like, reflects upon

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yourself and it changes you inspires you. And you come back at not just a temporary fix, it feels like you're a change person. And that's really inspiring, I guess. I mean, this is I guess, the gym in this episode, and that is you have kids and your kids are going through tough situations. And those tough situations are so much more difficult when they're surrounded with bad friends. If this surrounded with the right people with the right character, and they know what's right, and you know what's wrong, and they're more likely to make better decisions. So your friends make a big impact on who you are. If you want to see who you are. Look at your companions or look at the people you call

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your close friends because they're a reflection of you. Yeah, like I remember like, okay, when I was in undergrad at Loyola, Chicago, I remember my freshman and sophomore year, I was sort of just hanging out with like, everybody. Yeah, I think the other definitely, like, a lot of opportunities to like, mess up, you know, for some reason, you know, I'm the lie, just like stayed away from it. But it's like, yeah, you're just like, away from your parents. And like, literally anything can happen at like, any time and you just have like, 100% freedom. So it's like, yeah, for a lot of Muslim kids. It's like a crazy experience. And I remember when my friends turned 21 I just remember,

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like, yeah, my non Muslim friends started to like, yeah, they just wanted to go to the club, like, all the time, like I'm talking about like, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then maybe some sometime in the week, they would just like be at the club all the time, especially brown kids, like they just love going to the club. So it's like, I like stayed friends with them. But they didn't want to just go see a movie or like just go to dinner or just chill at somebody's apartment anymore. They only wanted to do that. I remember there being like a shift in who I hung out with, I think in the middle of college, I still stayed friends with those people. But I started to drift more towards

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the MSA. And I remember Yeah, just having mostly Muslim friends by the end of college, and it was a lot easier, of course, to just focus on your religion and your prayers and this and that. But yeah, I remember feeling like very connected to Islam by the end of college, you know, just because I was those the people that I hung out with more than anybody else being surrounded by more Muslim kids. You know, by the time I was like a senior in college like, yeah, I felt more more connected to my religion than than before for sure. Yeah. Wow. So there's light at the end of the tunnel for the parents who are this thing, pick the right friends being the right group. And it makes us so much

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easier to make the right decisions. And I think that's what we're learning in today's show. And with that, I'd like to wrap up at six. Thank you so much, Sean, for coming onto the show. Thank you for sharing and being so direct, so Frank, and so blunt with us. Just go ahead. And with that, I'd like to thank our guests for coming out. Sean Big Sean, please tell us what your website is. Yeah. You guys can find me on youtube at Notorious BIG or my Twitter at Notorious BIG, or my Instagram at I like birds and you don't have a beef with Tupac or anything like I do.

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I can't. Because the notorious. Okay, anyways, for those who have no idea what we're talking about, what is this big guy? So

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just want to say once again, thank you very much for coming out. And this is Baba Ali. And you've been listening to the Bubba alley show which means if you like the show, please let me know. Go to the comments section. Go to Bubba alley. show.com. Look for this podcast. Leave your comments in the future podcasts. I can respond to those comments, but if you don't leave a comment, I have no idea what you think. Just go ahead for coming. This is Bob Ali. Thank you for listening.