Channel: Boonaa Mohammed
Series: Boonaa Mohammed - What the Fiqh
Bismillah Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala rasulillah Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh walaikum salam, welcome to what the fic and this is a show where we discuss many different things we talk about, you know, the intersections of different artists or you know, imams or people who are involved in the field activist, whatever. And I'm joined with a very special brother Faisal thief is with us. I don't like him. I like him. So how are you doing? Boone? Boone Hayden brambilla good. I still think you should change it to that pro buena. buena is pronounced Bona. Okay. Yeah, I was making fun of assignments today because that's what he was saying. Yeah, I was a bro. What are you
saying? He makes fun of me like that. Yeah, but Okay, so it's more like bonafide. That wasn't my first album. Okay. Okay. Okay. bona fide Bon appetit. Okay. I've been saying buena. Yeah, I mean, that's how it's spelt. My parents didn't read English the same way they read their own language. So I only recently found out that that's your real name. It is. Yeah, people think it's a stage name. Yeah. Just a horrible stage name. I would never choose that. I actually Wish I could have. I should have picked a stage name when I first started out. Okay. To me, it was a big mistake. not picking a stage. Really? Yeah. I mean, you want to have a special identity secret identity that, you know, I
thought about going by Kenya. Yeah, but that didn't work. I couldn't use Abu Sakina nobody calls me that. That's not even it doesn't flow. It doesn't flow. No, that's not you. I actually thought like if I had a stage name, it would be it would have been locked man hacking. Are you okay? You're talking about completely different name? No, no, not not like a nickname? No, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, okay. I would have been looking man Abdul Hakeem. That would have been my stage name. No. I was like, I liked the name. Look, man. Yeah, but then it's, it's funny enough that like non Muslims can't pronounce it like, Look, man. That's what it sounds like when alarm was only that easy. Yeah.
What is the character bro?
Muna. It's got a personality to that name, but it's very unique. And even in my culture, like in the oromo language is pronounced Bona it means like,
someone who's proud. So if someone is born, right, so that means like, you know, in my culture, we were oppressed. The people themselves were very oppressed for many years. They couldn't express themselves they were allowed to speak their language openly. So it's a call yourself born Are you call your child that is like a slap in the face. The establishment is like, Oh, yeah, and what? Right? So to my parents generation, it's a very strong name. When people hear it. They're like, Oh, my God. Well, yes, your name. And then when Canadians hear the law, What a silly name. So it was a notice what it is how many lights have been able to distinguish me from other people?
As I've only met
two? No, I met three other people named when I met one. One guy. I was in my parents, my father's village and I was walking. It's actually another city called herder and Ethiopia. Okay. And I was walking on the street, my cousin pointed, I was like, Oh, this guy name is this guy's name is Bona as well. And I was like, really? He's like, Yeah, but he's a thief.
Why do I gotta be related to this guy? Anyways, there's another there's two other guys in Toronto that I know of. I never met them. Named Buddha. Anybody yet. Sam was telling me about a guy he knows in Seattle who's also a rapper named Buddha, Mohammed. Get out of Yeah, yeah. I never met him. You're not unique. Hopefully he's a good guy. I don't know. He's out there. Hopefully he doesn't ruin my name. So people don't use me for him. But hamdulillah Anyways, back to you. Okay. Faisal Latif stills. You don't know he's a gaudy moon [???].
Well, if you're not a comedy, then I'm just recite it. What's the difference? quality? reciter or is genuine, genuinely somebody who has studied 10 karats. Oh, okay. Yeah, I see that but I guess in the literal sense. I'm aquatic. Yeah. Yeah. Are you someone who just recite? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like,
I Yeah, I know, people who have memorized who have studied the 10 karats. But I wouldn't even consider them to be a comedy. Oh, like I would never push them in front of the line to lead salon. Right? Although they have much more knowledge. Their voices. Right? Like it's not the same thing, right? Whereas you Mashallah last like la?
Like, it's sweet people like listen to it, which I'm sure it can be kind of weird in of itself kind of a fitna for you know what it is? I mean, I'm sure people know you from reciting the Quran.
And I'll be honest with you, this is something that I've told other artists before when I rank like different Muslim ish speakers, performers, whatever, like the people who get invited to events,
and my experience, the you know, you have like the Imams or the shoe or talabat right, you'll have like, comedians, who can be kind of like, you know, some Muslim comedians. I find them to be not even really practicing Islam. Some of them are just kind of, they just make fun of culture. poets who are okay, I'm more biased towards them. They're not bad. But the coura that I've met that I've traveled with and been around the me some of them are the worst. Geez, yeah, man. Unfortunately you're Mashallah you're helping to bring
I'm back on track. But the ones that I've met I've met some divas man. Yeah, like and I'm saying this in the public setting just people know like course behind the scenes what kind of stuff happening, right? Yeah, that's some karate you meet them and you're like, Man, you're an embodiment of the court and, like you like, you know, this person who is, you know, oh, I need this type of thing. I need this type of chicken spice like this. You know, like on the road, I'm traveling, we're going to events are there like, you know, after the event, I want to go party, I want to go with my friends. And I'm just like, wow, this is crazy. Like, you're supposed to be like, you know, you're
half of the water. But then some people who just you know, they haven't been nice voice. They just get pushed into it when they're young. Yeah. And there's no real like taqwa attached to it. They consciously, you know, even really care about, tell me your journey of the court. And I'm interested to know how old you get, you know, associated with the Quran, which is an honor and of itself. My journey with the court and bro, my parents put me into it. I don't know you're one of these kids I'm talking about that just gets through.
Yeah, never mind. Sorry.
So, my parents put me into I learned how to read at a really young age. I learned when I was I think they put me when I was three or four. You learn how to read Arabic in three or four. Not Arabic. Just what an okay, yeah, well, I mean, like, I guess you read from the must have had three or four four. Let's take for Michelle. Yeah, by six. I had finished reading the Quran in its entirety, twice.
From the LA Mashallah. I was just a kid bro. Like, no was that you know, was that was that just I just knew that I was supposed to do it. I was like, I'm gonna do it. Or there's a shoe. Yeah.
So and this was in the US or where was this was in Staten Island, New York, Brooklyn, Staten Island. I was I was born in Brooklyn and UK represent Yes, sir. All right. Flatbush, Flatbush, here we go. Nobody Nobody listening. Nobody anywhere in Canada. Literally nobody somebody from Brampton, Brampton or wealth. Ontario wealth. Yeah. So was the same. So you so your parents had you started reading at six? And yeah, you finished the Quran twice. By the time you were six.
I live in Staten Island, New York. My teacher was in Staten Island, New York. And as private lessons. Oh, I used to go to like the typical, you know, the machine halaqa right where this teacher would sit with us. Okay, yeah, you can call it a monster. It was after school every day. Okay. My parents would drive me there. And that was it. And I humbly lie. I excelled in learning to read.
But I did not excel in memorizing Hmm, I was not good at it whatsoever, bro.
Those are two separate talents. Yeah, bro. So I am I I clearly remember I was I was memorizing sorts of audio. So like after I finished after I finished reading and whatever. My dad was like, do you want to memorize it? I was like, Yeah, sure. Like it was already read it. Like it wasn't home. It wasn't a thing. Like I was just like, I guess I'll do it. Like it wasn't really a I don't know what I was getting into. So I was like, cool. I'll do it. And then I started and I remember when I got to sort of potty alright. And I clearly remember bro. Like the teacher gave me a lesson. He said three verses bro. Korea, metal Korea. moroccanoil. Korea, alright. And I learned I literally spent all day
learning it alright. And I was like, I'm gonna do this like I had before that I was struggling. Okay, but that one day, I was like, I'm gonna do this. Like, I'm gonna get it right. Okay. And I go, I go to the teacher the next day. I don't remember anything. Oh, bro. And out of the three verses like the same word was in it like
but this is what you're six years old. I mean, I was probably like eight or something. Okay, now we're getting no problem. Yeah.
He was old. And I'm Connie is becoming an issue. Yeah, so anyways, I memorized
I don't think I finished the 13th just with that teacher.
But then anyways, I turned 10 we moved to Tampa, Florida. Okay, I live in Tampa, Florida. And I actually I was on and off with memorization throughout my life. But I actually genuinely started with the age of 12. Okay, and I finished it. I was 15. Michelle, for a portion of that time I went to Atlanta, Georgia Faruk. I did like six months there. And then I came back. Is it like then is it like an intensive program that was motherless? That was full time for all So wake up. fudger time is that I had thought a little more. Yeah. Okay. So it's full time every six months? Yeah. How many just did you complete your 10? Oh, that's a lot. I did. 10 in those six months. My first 10 Okay.
From the back or from the front. Okay. Yeah. So Baccarat and beyond. Yeah. Until when until like until.
Does that test your knowledge right now? What is temperatures? I think yeah. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. That one or maybe I just finished
the night just the night. Yeah. Okay. So then you did that in Atlanta. Yeah. And then I left Atlanta, and I went back to Tampa. Okay, and I finished it there. Had a several teachers throughout that time period. I had. Yeah. So how old were you when you finished 15 Wow. 15 is when I finished and after that
that's it bro. And then I
Have my face where I left the port on for a very long time. Because I didn't care about it whatsoever. And then I came back to a home that like, started getting a genuine love for it out of nowhere
and went back to around 1819 that age, so those few years between 15 and 1890 bad bro. You just you're just like, yeah, I'm good. Yeah, yeah. Wow. And then now you forget anything. Oh, yeah. Really? Yeah, bro. Without a doubt. How much? Do you think you would have forgotten?
Bro? Honestly, I think it's safe to say aye. Aye. Aye. I forgot more than I remembered. What does that mean? You forgot everything? No, no, no, I forgot more than more than half. Yeah, you forgot more than half. Wow. It was it was deep. It was deep times for long, deep times. Wow. Yeah, that's where my face was in that in that time period. And some people have the early, some people have it later in their life. But my mind was like right there and it's in between. and I came back to 100 on Instagram, I post resuscitations on Instagram. So that's where I started
posting. And that kind of keeps me on track. You know, people think that you're doing it for like, just to become a big website or whatever. But like you don't realize it serves as a decent means to keeping you on track or the path you want to be on. You know, so like the reminders, I post on there, put our citations and whatnot. And that that really, I think maybe was a means of me, reigniting that love for the quote on inside. shala. So it's more for you than it is for anyone else. Yeah. Wow. And so, obviously, you know, you've gone on this journey of knowledge. And mostly when we speak about, you know, being a student of knowledge, the first step really is the Quran.
Right? This is kind of the infancy of what you would take with you on this quest. So you started with half of the Quran. And then where did your Islamic Studies take you after that, bro? Islamic Studies actually haven't studied any, like deep Islamic Studies. Right now I'm in Egypt, and it's just to say the Arabic language bro.
I'm probably gonna be there for a few more months and I'm back to Tampa. But my main goal is just studying getting Arabic, just the language. But before that, you were in Medina from what I recall to learn Arabic, right? Yeah, that's it. So but you actually got accepted into Medina. Yeah. And how long were you there for? I was there for eight months. Eight months. She did like one whole year nobrow I had I did three months of classes. So what are you doing on the side?
So listen, I left Medina. I left Medina on purpose. You know people like fantasize about going to Medina. Yeah, they make like gamma Lael for like years. Yeah. into Medina. Yeah. Okay. And you just are like, I'm good. Yeah, I didn't like it, bro. You didn't like I didn't like it. Like, legit. I didn't like it. So it was I loved. So the plan for Medina was going into it straight out of high school. And I applied senior year of high school. I didn't get in. I'm
sorry, I had to prep bro. Don't do your thing. And
I didn't happen. So I went to USF. I started my bachelor's degree. And two years in, I got an acceptance. And I was like, Alright, cool. I guess I'll go two years into university. Yeah. Okay, so I left uni and I went to Medina.
And it was it. I honestly didn't have the same goals anymore. At that time. I didn't really care. I was like, it's meant it's Medina, you know, let me go. And I went to the school I went to sorry, the school and
I wasn't happy.
You know, when I'm on this path of like doing anything that has to do with the deen It comes with sacrifice, right? It comes with like hardships. That's perfectly fine. That's cool. Right? But I just genuinely Did not I could not stand it.
So what happened was, I get there we got there late in the semester. The the batch that they accepted, so we weren't supposed to start till the next semester, which was ended January. And so I chilled for that time. I took what am classes and in the machine itself machine. Oh boy. Yeah. And that was every day. And then anyways, I chilled you know, I would go to Macau like every weekend and like, come back chill. You know, maybe spend a week in Macau. What a horrible life you had bro. So that was the blessing bro. I was I was how Domaine all the time LA I lived in Medina, like two minute drive from the masjid. And it was great. I was loving it, you know, comes in. Anyways, class
time came. And I was excited to start. It was supposed to start January 20. I'm there January 20. I go to the school and no teachers show up. I'm like, okay, life strikes hell out there. You just go on strike, bro. So I go the first day, nobody came. And I'm like, all right. And there's other students there as well. It's not just me. We find out. They decided classes aren't starting till A week later. I'm like, Alright, cool. I'm not gonna come for a week. So I go back to my dorm, whatever. And I'm chilling for another week. I come back for a week later.
I get there no teacher, but it's a full class now with kids. All right. And my, my thing that I was getting fed up with was, it was just so disorganized. It was, I don't know how bad mouth in the school, right? And if I'm saying anything, it's about the Arabic school, not the kuliah or anything.
So I just brought i was i was done. Like, we had five periods. And it was just consistently like teaching not showing up. It was so bad that they had attendance for the teachers. And I'm like, mind you, like I'm from us. I'm a college student, right? I'm done like people taking attendance. So I don't care if you're taking attendance for me, right? But like, they're taking attendance for the teachers, okay? And I was tired of like, coming at seven or eight in the morning, remember what the time was in the morning, sitting there for like, three periods, no teacher, and then fourth period teacher decides to come. And then fifth period, teachers didn't come. And then like, I was just
annoyed, you know, it was just a bit too disorganized. Yeah. And then I was like, let me change classes. I changed classes. Same thing. So I was like, I'm done. Like, I'm gonna miss Medina. But I just I can't stay here. And I was also going through like another phase in my life at the same time, so it just kind of like went all together. And I just I left Wow, yeah. What do you did you hear about Medina is now offering classes online. I did. Oh, so that's another thing. And another reason it wasn't just because of the disorganization or whatever it's because I didn't like the program. Okay, that was a major thing to me. Exactly. I don't like the program bro. It was um, but how did
you not like it if you never went to it? I went to I had classes. Oh, but just the Arabic You mean you didn't like the Arabic program? The Arabic program? Okay, my sole purpose there was I want to learn Arabic. That's right. And I did not like it. It didn't like the way method of teaching do they use the Medina books in Medina? Not in class that I was in. Okay. You know, it's book I'm talking about a classic Medina books everyone uses they don't use those. Yeah, maybe not till later. I don't know about that. But right. Because there's, there's two years of it. So it's four levels. And I was in the first level. And it was just I didn't like at all and what and what are you starting from?
Like, is it is it Do they? Do they categorize people who can read cannot read Arabic? So is everyone is that? It's not that level one. Okay. If you're at that level, then they probably put you in something else. Like elementary kids class. Yeah, yeah. But other than that, it's you walk into class and it just had a column header kita and I'm just like, bro, like, this reverb brother next to me who's never like done anything. doesn't even know this alphabet. Like, what are you doing? Know? So I didn't like it. And I also didn't agree with the whole you got to learn the language and the language mentality. Like, it's not that simple for everybody, you know, and I'm not being like a
diva, you know, like, Oh, this doesn't work for me. I'm not gonna do it. No, it wasn't like that. I just don't. I think you need to have a certain level before you. But that's besides the point. I didn't like it. Okay, and I left. Okay. And then I went to Egypt, right? That's crazy, though. Because I'm just saying that because you know, for a lot of people Medina is like the goal. Yeah. Right. Yeah. What was the response from family friends when our parents were upset? They were disappointed but we got that shoe. They were disappointed they were upset bro. They
my dad didn't talk to me I think for a little bit
cuz it cuz Yeah, like you're saying well, like, Medina has a place for everybody. So I'm saying like, oh, Michelle, you Sunday Medina. Wow, someone may draw for us or something. Yeah, you know. And now where's he's in Florida? Oh, no, I'm sorry. It's like in la la. La. Yeah, but I still wanted to learn Arabic. Actually, I was done. I was done with the Middle East like I cuz I went when I went back to Florida, for Ramadan. Or before Ramadan, we were on summer break. And then I got thrown away. And I led at yesterday's mission by Memphis Memphis, right. So before I went there, I was done. I didn't care about the Middle East, Middle East. I was like, I'm done. I'm never going back.
I don't care about Arabic through and then. I don't know just being with in his company, like us company for like a month. I was like, Alright, like, I kind of want to be like this guy. So um, I came back from Milan and I decided that I want to go do the Arabic again and go in Egypt. And now you've been in Egypt for how long? nearly a year. It's gonna be a year in October. Okay, there's I have I have a stereotype of my own. Okay. And I mentioned earlier, I think sometimes ra can be especially in the community and the way they're viewed from the outside. People put them on a pedestal right so you're applauding Mashallah, you were sent to court and you must be like, you
know, you are like our gifts from the heavens. You know, the cousins of angels, bro. It's, I think, I think it depends. So I totally see why you're saying that. And you think that like they're always put on a pedestal and they are, I am, you know, at times.
But the reason I do what I do is actually because of the complete opposite. So I was actually judged a lot and like,
roll like deep stuff, you know? Like, let me give you some examples. The reason I started
My Instagram was for two reasons, right? I was actually close to completely turning off social media. And I was gonna just step away from it right before I made my Instagram, I had an Instagram, it was just to post my pictures and personal life or whatever. But I was shutting it all off. And one of my friends from the UK, he was like, yo, why don't you make a citation account was like, Alright, cool, I'll do that. So that was one reason. Another reason, which was the main driving force was just the hate that I was constantly getting. So my community, I'm not saying the community at large, just certain people don't like it when someone gets too much recognition or power, right.
So I would say, like, they don't like when someone's loved too much, you know? So they want to bring you back. Exactly. So I wasn't allowed to, like, forget, like, make a difference, right? Because that's what I want to do. I wanna make a difference, right? And I want to, I want to be a means of benefit, like, bring value, right? And not just through parameter citations. Right, but that's what I wanted to do. And I couldn't do that in the community, let alone like abroad, they wouldn't even let me lead to law. You know, I'm saying why, bro, there's this one shape. Okay. I don't know. I will not. I don't know if he's still there or not. Okay. But there was just one shift all the time.
Straight up judging me, bro. Like, and for dumb stuff, too. He would be like, facials not allowed to lead salon because he shaved his beard. I'm like, bro, what? I'm like, because I shaved my beard.
I'm not let's delete Scylla like that. You're the boy you want to you want to push too late. I can't even grow a beard. So like I was like, anyways, that was one thing. And then he will start spreading rumors about me. Like
in it deep with girls. I'm like, excuse me?
Hmm, excuse me. That's from leadership aspect. All right. Another aspect.
girls would try to approach me right in the wrong manner. Right? I wouldn't talk to them. Some of them wouldn't like that. So they would start spreading rumors. And not like little baby rumors. Like I mean, a girl once literally went to my teacher and said, I had sex with Faisal.
That's scary man. And the worst part, bro was and I've had several teachers, so nobody knows what this is.
The worst part roll was he talks to me and he's like, Faisal, listen, a girl just came and said this. I need to ask you, is this true or not true? And if it's true, you can share it with me. It will stay between us. Don't worry, okay. And I was like, it's not true. Like, what are you talking about? That's crazy. Okay. And he was like, Okay, I just wanted to confirm or deny or deny, okay.
And I wanted to know what was true, bro class finishes. And I'm on my way out of the machine right? before I'm even in the parking lot as before I was driving. And my mom, my mom came to pick me up. And she's on the phone in the car. All right. I walk into the car, homeboy is already on the phone telling her this. I was like, Are you kidding me? Wow. So like, I started my Instagram account with citations, right? Because I wasn't allowed to do anything. I wanted to spread the Quran. I wasn't allowed to do it in my community. I was like, cause I'm gonna do it in the rest of the world. But why do you think they want? Why do you feel like they? You know, it seems like they were either
putting unfair expectations on you? Or? I don't know, maybe someone was jealous? Or maybe they like what? What? What? Why would that even be a thing? Why would they try and stop you from doing bro some people would Some people love to, they would love to see you do great. You know, they love to see you do successful and they might even help you become successful. But as long as it's not more than them, the moment you approach them, they want to bring you back down, you know, and people just dirty like that. Wow. in all aspects, you know, forget money. Like goodness, even Yeah, oh, you're gonna go study? Don't Don't go there. You know, you know, like, you want to become like a student of
knowledge. No, don't do well, I mean, has it is a real thing. It is in all aspects. Yeah. And I know, I know, in my own experiences as a poet, as a writer, as you know, whatever.
There have been many I remember actually a guy who I went to school with roughly around the same I went to like a media school. And I told him, I want to do an Islamic film. And he was like, No, you can never do it. Don't even try. It's a waste of time, you know that, uh, and I'm stubborn enough that that was like motivation for me. I'm like, Alright, good. Like, this is like I needed someone to say that. So then I can actually go out and do it. If everyone was on my side, I'd be like, Oh, I'm tired. Maybe I don't want to do but I know like there are people who they almost get like a thrill out of bringing you down, or it almost makes them feel better about themselves. You know,
because they may not be doing much so to see you also, you know, about like a bum like doing nothing is like oh great for them. Yeah, right. So how do you overcome that? I mean, how do you
Kind of your community members, your family, whoever, how do you then, you know, say to yourself, okay, well, I'm going to try and make a difference, I'm going to try and do some credit in the world.
So I made my Instagram, let's just use that as an example, I use my Instagram, I started my Instagram account, right? And I posted my first citation. And
I was consistent with it, right? And I'm gonna do it, I'm like, I need to do quality, right? So I actually didn't start it until I had everything I needed.
So unless like, you know, my video was good quality. And I had I was doing it on a mic or something. I didn't want to do it. Because I don't like doing that. I don't like I don't like half assing things right, you know, so I want to do it properly.
How do you overcome it, bro? Like, because of that, I just, I, I think it's about growing a backbone, you know, I think it's about literally not caring about, like not giving a single crap about what anybody has to say about you, you know, and, obviously take that with a grain of salt as well, because you need to know how to take constructive criticism, right? Like, you can't have an ego at the same time. Because people like they either do that really well. Meaning not letting what others say or think about you get to you. Or they do it horribly, you know, and doing it well would be to where you develop an ego. And doing it horribly would be you just become so depressed and you
become just you stop your productivity, all the goals you have you like start doubting yourself, and that's doing that horribly. I think it all comes down to not you need to having absolutely zero concern with what anybody else says about you. Right? As long as you know what you want to do. And you are making your your your moves, you always have to be making moves, but at the same time surrounding yourself with those who love you, to the extent where you know, you know, forget them ever having a say anything, or ever trying to prove anything to you, right? You just know, from the vibe that they have you get from them, that this person genuinely just wants to see me do great, you
know, anything, anything I'm trying to do. I know this person has a has my best interest in mind. Regardless of them getting anything in return or not, you know, that's love, and anything that that person says matters. That's where and it bro. People always think that all my mom, that's my mom, my mom's that person, right? Or my dad's that person? Or, or maybe my my grandpa's that person. Right, bro, sometimes your family is is are the biggest people against you. You know, I'm not saying my parents are like I'm just saying, right? It's not always the people that you would expect to be the ones that you can turn to, you know, sometimes it's your complete stranger, you know. And anyways,
I'm sorry, I digress. I know, you seem very passionate about this. I mean, that was a trigger right there. Um, but I think it's important and also understanding that it's a journey, right? And especially, you know, trying to start out in the field of dow and what you're doing as a dow as well, you know, you're trying to remind people of lost power, trying to get them connected to the core. And yeah, and I think, like I said, I always had my stigmas around karate, because I've seen some kind of weird things from people. People are disgusting, bro. Like, well, I mean, I've seen i think i think the scene brings that onto people. I think it's also a very awkward situation to be
in, right, like people are fantas they're fantasizing, you know, or, like, I want to say fetishizing but they're romanticizing really what it is you're doing and and so there's a lot of like, pressure and expectations put on you as a poet it's great people think oh, this guy's an idiot that's why he's a poet right? Like I don't have the same expectations placed on me but as a person who's memorized and I have it myself I think oh, this guy's a comedy right but your regular people to you know some you meet Cora in Egypt. There's Cora who smoke cigarettes. And you know what I mean? Like, a funny story. I was I was doing a lot I wasn't doing love. I was watching a live once of a reciter
he was Indonesia or Malaysia. I don't remember what but I came across one of his videos. I don't follow him.
But I came across him doing a live alright. And my dude recited right. He had like, 35 second breath or something, right? And he recites the verse, bro, he sits back, he takes a puff
in the live stream, and he's reciting put and bro. I was like, This is brand new to me. Like this dude literally recited some verses right, sat back, took a break, and took a puff, puff, put it down and literally went back to doing it. Like what's happening here? That's That's some California lungs, you know, the crawl in California? I think they got some lungs like that. I don't know. I'm not I'm not bashing on California. But so what is it about social media? What is it about? Go ahead, grab your water. It's all it's all raw. Anyone can see anything? What is it about social media in particular Instagram,
that has attracted people because you I mean, you you take care of your account. I was asking you early on like, what do you do? And you were telling me it's all about consistency. It's all about making sure you post What is it about the strategy do you think is allowed you to become quite successful on social media? But I think,
bro, that question has so many different aspects to it.
The way I see life, right? Is anything that you're trying to do or accomplish? It does not, it does not have just one side to it, meaning it doesn't just have a art, what do I need to do side to it? It also has an eye I believe, and this is the way I approach things are is is what is my relationship with the law? Like, right? So when it comes to when it comes to, let's just say Instagram, right?
From the moment that I started Instagram, it's been a constant battle of working on myself as well. Right? So not just not just what I'm doing and how can I get it out there. But why am I doing what I'm doing? And what am I doing it for? What am I expecting to get out of it? Right? So and I think this is big people's biggest downfall, right? Because I think when you start out and you're growing, that's your test phase from a loss mount. Tada. All right, you're either going to get big for the right reason, or you're going to get big for the wrong reason. Okay? Because Allah, Allah tells us right in the middle, Armando Binion's, right, you apologize, I'm so sorry. Oh, the professor said
this in an intimate Armando vignette, actions are according to intentions. And then when the Hadeeth continues, he says, like, in paraphrasing, you're gonna get what your intention is, okay? So if your intention is not seeking the reward from Allah, you're not going to get that on the judgment. If your intention is seeking fame, you're gonna get the fame, okay? If you're seeking fame, and you're putting in the work, you're gonna get the fame. It's as simple as that. All right. So beginning my Instagram account has been a huge learning journey, that you know, where my head is at, you know, why am I doing it? Do I care about
my afterlife? You know, because Also, do I care about this life? Because what happens is like the moment people start to get the slightest bit of fame, they love the attention. And it doesn't matter who the attention is coming from, or what kind of attention it is, if you're giving me attention, I'm going for it. You know, that's some people's mentality, whether it's whether it's, whether it's a big person who you would never associate, you would have never associated with them. But just because they maybe have a couple 100,000 followers, or 100, or a few 100,000 followers, you're like, Oh, this person can be a benefit for me. What are you thinking? You're thinking this person can
benefit me in some way? Should you have absolutely nothing else in your mind? Other than how can I use this person and that's disgusting. And I think if we don't watch our ourselves as people as humans on social media, we're going down a huge spiral of the way we think, the way we act, what we associate ourselves with, there's only bro fame is the biggest fitna, for any person, whether they're doing something religious or non religious, you know, if you're doing something religious, this time and age that we live in has completely changed the game. Because before let's just talk about a pseudo knowledge right before a student of knowledge which seeks to seek knowledge, simply
for the sake of seeking knowledge, right? I want knowledge. They didn't have the test of I want to be I want to be big, right? I would even say someone like Yes, a father. Let's use him as an example. chifley Asad Burgess, Mufti, menk. All right, all these people who have studied in the past, they're there. They're very new. Okay. I'm not talking about old school like that. Are our scholars from the previous generations? Were talking about people from current time, right? Even then, I would say they didn't have the intention of their motivation wasn't going to be big one day, right? Well, there was no major outlet. Exactly. It was just it was out of it was sheer curiosity.
It was the desire of not the desire, seeking knowledge, because I don't know. And I don't like ignorance. I want to learn it. Was that close? Yeah. Nowadays, we have social media, we have fame, in the religious aspect, right? So like, you'll hear, you'll hear young people say this all the time. I want to learn Arabic. Why? So that I can so that because I want to be like the one on the con. You know,
that's their intention. And I'm yo like, if you want to benefit on that extent, beautiful, straight, but it shouldn't come from the place of or like, I want to be as big as machete and fasciae one day, you know, it shouldn't be like, I want to I want to speak like acid quality one day, you know, people even are seeking knowledge nowadays, solely for the sake of I want millions to know my name. I want to get invited and speak at big conferences. And that's disgusting. That's very sad. And that's the mental aspect of social media. Okay, the physical aspect of social media is you building discipline
literally That's all it is. Because um, people love the end goal, which is becoming bigger whatever if you want to call it that right? But nobody wants to put in the work.
And some people don't have to wrote like for example, you Mashallah your stuff speaks for itself, right? You come from a time where social media didn't really matter. I came from the time that dinosaurs actually pretty much you know, the social media done. Can you believe I remember, a time before Facebook
You get what I'm saying? Yeah, yeah, I know. You don't mean you didn't need it back in the day, your content spoke for itself. And opportunities were presented to you in a different completely different manner. Now, if you're not on social media, you don't exist. Yeah, I met so many people recently, like at this thing that we're on right now. Where they're
there, their voice is amazing. Or their, their, their poetry is amazing. And I've never heard of them. Why? I'm not on Instagram. They're not on. They're not on Instagram, right? I don't have a YouTube member. What are you doing? Yeah, like, you're amazing. You've got so much content. I've never heard of you. And I'm not a ghost. Like, it's not like I'm not active on social media. But like, I'm on my phone. I'm on my phone, bro. I should have heard about you. Right. So what was your question?
I think you answered the questions that I asked the ones that I didn't ask, which is good. I mean, this is part of what I wanted to get to, which is, you know, we'll wrap up soon. I know it's getting quite late. But
obviously social media is a fitness and we but like anything we know it has, it's good. And it's bad. It's just the way we utilize it.
But I know specifically for you know, yourself and I mentioned your social media, because it seems like you are very active on Instagram. Right? You are and I'm learning to get more active on Instagram. I see. I saw the trends I saw when Facebook was the thing. Twitter was the thing and now like those are kind of dead. The young people now they don't use those things, right? It's all on us. snapchats kind of dead as well. I feel like it's still active. Surprisingly, Snapchat. Yeah, I don't use it. I use it for very sure never got into it never even downloaded. It's I don't like it. Yeah, it's just the medium was in for me. It's It's It's different. In the moment, the moment
Instagram came out with stories. Yeah, I was I was like, exactly. I don't know. Yeah. So but but with Instagram now. It seems like there are people who exist solely online. And one thing that I've noticed about you and you know, Mashallah, you're you're very humble brother, I'll tell you this, you know, because, you know, you've been able to, you know, you've you've asked questions. You know, I remember even when you came to Ghana, that time, and you perform, you know, it was it was beautiful seeing you yet you still have a big online presence, but getting more comfortable, like, and I think it's almost unfair, because there should be a medium for you to practice and get better.
Before you go to the big stage. Right? Like you're big, you have a big name. And you haven't performed that many times, bro. I'm not as big as others, right. But I shouldn't have the following that I have put the amount of content. Yeah, because you only have really like, as of this recording, right? Yeah. Endless confusion. That's it, bro. And three covers and three covers. We're speaking from the machine from the machine side. Right, right. I guess I guess I have the following that I have solely because of plan. Well, I mean, that's not a bad thing to have either. Not at all. Not at all. And I don't ever not, I don't ever plan to not be that, you know, right if I definitely
want to be known as this quote and dude, first and foremost. And oh, he does spoken word. Oh, he also sings Oh, he was in a movie or something. You know, like, yeah, I'm not having been in a movie. I'm just saying Yeah. Is this your way of telling this? I'm just like, Loki pitching, putting it out there.
Terrorists number four, played by world renowned karate. So But Joe. So obviously, you have now this following. And you want to transfer that into, you know, real life appearances. Yeah. What has been the difficulty in that trip? Tell me about that transition. How's that been? I've been doing crime for a long time. Right? I remember. Let's use the example. I've done quite a few events where I go on at an event and I recite one and write.
I remember when I first started, most I was broke. I'm an awkward human being straight up. It comes from being
put down. It comes from wanting to do things, but not having a support system. Where you homeschooled for a year and a half. Robin and public school my whole life. Okay, yeah, I always have this thing about maybe homeschooling homeschooling. I don't know if it makes people less sick. It makes people I felt like maybe it makes children insecure or not able to, I would say some people okay, but I went to public school my whole life. Okay, yeah. But we just knew when you're doing the fifth property, that's when you were no honest.
A lot of it stemmed from home. Okay, straight up. Um, I love my parents. I have a great relationship with them now. It wasn't always like that, you know?
And that's where it stemmed from.
I wanted to play basketball. Well, that was my dream, bro. For real. Yeah, I played in high school, okay for a bit. And my dad one day he was like,
I don't want to play basketball.
And then I remember when senior year came, one of my friends soccer player. He got accepted full ride to Michigan State. Wow, for soccer, okay. And I told my dad and he was like, You should have done something. I was like, I was like, You told me
to not, you know, it's like that was one of my dreams. And like I used to draw I stopped drawing. You know, I've always been a very artsy person, right? But that got really shoved down. In my youth. I'm still young. I'm just saying like when I was younger
And now it's very difficult for me to figure myself out at 23 to figure out who I am what's what is my personality, you know? What am I like, you know?
And it's very hard for me to just freestyle who I am, you know?
So, what was your question? I digressed again. No, you got to keep me on track right now. And let it out, bro. This this Really? I want this podcast to be just raw. Yeah, I mean, like, you know, you're letting things out. And I think this is the interesting part, I think behind the scenes that people don't get a chance to see. Yeah, you know, because I obviously question yeah, because I see you as a regular person. And I know, you know, behind the accounts or whatever. There's like a guy like some people are cool. Some people are not cool. Some people are awkward. Some people are some more sociable, whatever, that's unnatural. Human beings are right. And I was just saying that, you know,
obviously now having a bit of a following Yes. And people meeting you and maybe being like, Oh, do people ask you any weird things when they first see you for the first time? Like, Oh, brother, recite this for me? Or I'll be like, bro, get out of here. No, doesn't know. You know? What about so I'm sure they they want their selfie? Yeah, that's the modern day autograph, bro. Yeah,
I don't. I don't think any bro today. Today was so awkward, bro. What was it proposal? No. I want somewhere to eat, bro. Okay, I want somewhere to eat. Uh huh. Yeah. Okay, how many say was that? Okay. I'll double check later. And I walk in. And
there was a husband and a wife. And I was just, I walked in with a friend. Okay. The couple that we saw was my friends cousins. Okay, okay. And they come up to greet my friend. And the sister goes, face Latif.
Is that you? I ignored her. I was like, Oh my gosh, bro. I've gotten into the habit where like, I purposely wear shades and hat. Oh, you're in disguise mode or what? Yeah, you can call it that kind of look like john wick. My God, bro. No, I don't.
That's his name right Kiana.
I'm saying with a shading glasses. You could kind of pass it like a knob or a special agent. Okay. I guess I'd love for some reason is it? I don't watch Bollywood? I don't know. Like, you. Probably people told you like SATs asleep. I've been getting them. I have a satisfying vibe from you. I've been getting started to slim lately, and I've been getting, bro if I had $1 for every time I got Ollie Burnett. algebra. Oh, yeah. A little bit.
A little bit at like your hair's longer. Yeah, yeah. And then I purposely tried to get away from the looks, you know, like, like when my hair over grows and mustaches or something. I kind of see it now. I didn't see before. The day was like, literally every day I'll get a comment on my one of my youth any YouTube video? Is he related to anyone that
died? I was like, bro.
Somebody was like, somebody was like, somebody was like, if they ever make a documentary about Hollywood it should play out even at Oh
yeah, I'm just remember his hair was his beard hair was a bit scruffy. Like, you know, like, a lot of mercy on him is
what happened the restaurant system was like filthy. I ignored her bro. Cuz like, I know when someone's gonna be a certain way. Okay. And
I ignored it. My brother was like, but she just said your name.
So what happened? I was like, Yes, it's me on Facebook.
And she was like, Can I get a picture? I'm like, I'm sorry. I don't take pictures with sisters. Oh, you still have that face, huh? So it changes brother. So I I said um, she was like, She's like, no, no with me with my husband. I was like, yeah, I'm cool. Brother. Her husband didn't know who I am. And I'm like, and she's like, take a picture with him. He's famous. I'm saying I'm telling you word for word. What happened? Take a picture with him. He's famous. And then he and he just he just smiles. I'm like, oh, seriously, you don't need like, are you sad to sleep? She's like, he's famous. Like, you don't need to take a picture with you. So you don't think we should have the sisters? No,
man, that's gonna it's gonna change. Don't worry. It does, bro. I used to be like that. I used to be hardcore. I've embarrassed sisters in front of family members. And I felt really bad about it. Like, even while it was happening. And then some people who I really respect I won't say the name to a big shoe. Yeah, yeah, I've seen them. You know? Okay, you have your halaal gap. Okay, so you stand here I stand here smile. I mean, it's it's the the world we live in the celebrity culture is such that like, you know, for that person meeting you might be a big moment might be something very important to them. And I also think that as Muslims, we should know, how to, I guess conduct ourselves if you
want to call it but it's subjective dude. I think I think I think a lot of times, for them it means like we internalize it differently than how they internalize it for them. You are there's no attraction there. Nothing. It's I've listened to this person. They've helped me memorize the Quran.
And I just want to enjoy and remember, remember this moment for us. It's like Oh, man, you know, she thinks I'm fly, you know, we have so I trust me, I went through that phase. I remember once a sister came with me in a restaurant, you know, and she came up and she was like, I saw her build up her courage and everything she didn't want. Okay, I'm gonna go do it. I'm gonna, she went over there. And I was sitting with some brothers. And she's like, you know, kind of take a picture. And I'm like, No, I don't take pictures with sisters. And I even had a good line. My line was, my wife really doesn't like that. You know, I'm doing this for my wife. My wife isn't she gets very jealous.
You know, it's just true. All women are like that. My wife specifically and and, you know, I just saw her being like, Okay, oh, I saw her walk back over with her head slumped down. And I'm like, Oh my god, what did I just do? I feel like I told a kid Santa Claus didn't exist, like, completely popped her bubble. And I was like, Man is this and then someone who I really respect big chef. I saw him no qualms. He's He's hardcore. Like other things. Even I don't agree with him. Yeah, he's always like, yeah, I'm gonna stand there. No problem. Shall I take a picture? It's okay. Yeah. And I was like, Hey, you did it, you know? So, I mean, definitely, there's some you know, some thought that
has to go in, bro, you asked a question. What was the question? I'm asking many questions. This is an interview. Why did I bring this story up? Because you were talking about? I was asking you, I don't know what I asked you. I forgot the question.
But look, let's let's circle around. I want to end because I know we've been here for a while now. You're now into the awkward thing. Go ahead. So you asked me how what am I doing? Right? transitioning or whatever? So I didn't ask you that. But you asked me something. I asked you something like Yeah, let's go with it. Okay.
So you I've been doing for and write for I've been on stage a lot for Korean. I remember when I first started bro. Awkward as hell. Awkward. I mean, I was that dude would just walk up on the stage. Recite, walk straight off. Would you even say son, I want to go. Wow, that's it was bad, bro. That's awkward. Bad. walaikum salam.
Sorry. Okay. Yeah. Um, and then I was like, I got tired of it. Because I I know who I knew who I was. I'm like, I know. I'm really sociable. I know. I'm like, I can be funny here and there. Right? Why am I being so ridiculous on stage? Okay.
So I would I would, then I was like, Alright, we're gonna try out a salon today.
Build up to it. Yeah. So I went Next. Next time I did set Sam. Then I said a few words then it was a sonic one. I went to LA. Yeah. You had to take one step at a time. And then I would actually start like interacting with the crowd. You know, like, how's everybody doing? Because what I hated the most bro, as a quote and reciter was you go to an event to recite, and everybody takes the decider so seriously, I'm like, bro, chill, like, yeah, take it easy. No, the best is one that you start reciting. And then you see the woman in the back slowly dropped off the convertible convertibles row. The convertibles come out, they go straight up and then woman you've gone into like, Whoa,
thank God, he's got [???] on his back baby.
Especially like weddings or something. weddings, fundraisers and fundraisers? Yeah. But, um, I got comfortable with that real comfortable on the line. But right now it's like, whatever. Like, I don't have to think about it. Like if I'm reciting at an event you asked me what am i resembled? Like, I don't know. I'm gonna just go up and yeah, okay. Um, I communicate with people, whatever. But now I'm at the point where I'm trying to re what's the word for it when you bring some back to life? revive, revive. Thank you.
I tried to revive certain things about me that have been dead for a long time. And that is singing and poetry and artistically. Yes. So now obvious. So I feel like this is what I was gonna ask you anyway, so it's gonna be transitioned into it. But so getting that experience on stage and performing in front of it is very different than reciting through different bro when you come to lead the sale all it is is a stole a lot. Even though it used to used to drive me insane. Like, you know, you don't want to sound bad. And you don't want to like make a fool of yourself or you don't want to make a mistake or you know, but it's smaller things. And definitely I feel like it's a lot
of pressure to like we're setting like definitely leading salon The first time I let slobber I forgot sort of, oh, straight up. I didn't know where I was. In fact, yeah, yeah, it was bad. But like my foot used to shake. My foot used to shake when I was leading. Like, a random just like, like a machine gun just did. Wow. And you're probably your heart's beating. Like, one time I remember a brother was leading Salah in front of me. And I was in the front row. And for whatever reason midway through, he just left and pulled me in the front. And that's the way I think he broke his will do or something or he didn't. I don't know what happened, but he fought it, bro. Is that what happened?
Okay, so imagine I had no intention of leaving salaat and there's a big machine. And I'm there like
I had actually I had a brother
in law way many many years ago, who I think it was his phrase young a young kid, I think was his first time leaving today. We legit couldn't get past a fact. Yeah, yeah. And I feel bad. I'm like, there's gonna be a long Salam and he's stuck. In fact, the hat on my Oh, we're gonna be here for a minute. I forgot where I was. I just took a guess. I think I left off here and I just went for it. And when you left, people just went back.
Pray this elegant
encounter that I'm feeling right now. So now now obviously transitioning into singing, right? What is that? Like, bro? The entertainment portion acknow with you my first time, bro. Wow, it cannot bro. It was my first time it was how many people that was like a good
20,000 people maybe like I was like what man like? Yeah, why is that my first thing? That's like being a member of the House on the first day? Yeah, legit. So it is. And I was I was I was pro I was so it was crazy to like for me big crowds like that are less intimidating than smaller crowds. It's not about I don't have stage fright. I don't care about how many people are there. You could it could have. Everybody can be there, you know, like 1000s of people. I don't care. For me. It's
it's not singing well, because I'm still fairly new to singing, right? I haven't had like, I genuinely want vocal lessons. You know? I haven't. I haven't performed or like practiced my technique. Right? I'm still figuring my voice out. You know, you're more raw. Right? Um, yeah, bro. Like when it comes to court, and it's, you know, it's just like, it just comes out. I've been doing it since you were six years old. So reciting maybe like early teens. Right. Right. So when I when you recite it's literally just using my talking voice, you know, there isn't much to it. If there's anything else to it, it's you said read I mean, the citation aspect. But in terms of using your
voice, right, it's my talking voice or your the other Only thing is like your power. No. I heard you recite, dude, you got you got some special notes. You'd be pulling out that. I didn't know. I didn't know you can get that. I didn't know you that was range like that. You got some rain. I came with time. Okay, so I have a good range. I can go low, I can go high. Right. But when it comes to singing, singing is, in my opinion, far more broader than what your voice is allowed to do. When you recite there's a lot of difference in cadence. There's pacing, there's tone, you got Bravo, you got you got masetto you got you got tempo, like ton of things, right? When it comes to singing, and you
can do things. There's like, no rules and singing, right? And I want to improve it. But when I go to stage, I'm worried about sucking. Yeah, okay. And I'm worried about I'm worried I'm worried about being lame in terms of interacting with the audience. I'm bro, I'm sociable. I'm cool. When it comes to talking to people. I have no problem with interaction like I'm outgoing. Alright. But when it comes to stage, like I don't, I'm not the person that wants to go on stage. And just be like, how's it going? Everybody? Blah, blah, blah. I'm so and so. All right. And then I was singing a song right now listen, no, bro. I want to engage with people. And this comes from me wanting to be awesome,
right? Like, I want to do good. I want to be great, you know?
However, I don't know what to say.
I mean it I was there with you. It wasn't as bad as you think it was. But I think it's just practice. Yes. Yeah, it's just practice it's it's really what you're talking about is banter. It's the stuff you say? Yeah. Between the tracks. Right. And that well, they're amazing, bro. Oh, yeah, I'm really good at You're right. I can I can be up there for a while could laugh but you know what it is? And literally, it's because I've been doing this since I was like 18 years old, bro. Not 32 now I was I was like, forget. Forget this dude's content like I don't care school your content. Yeah, bro. So much fun just watching you up on stage, bro. Yeah, but like, like, genuinely, I'm
telling you honestly, like EDS was like this, by the way, as well. As first started. He was just super awkward on stage. And I had to kind of get him in the habit of being like, okay, you know, this is what you warm up with. This is what you you know, interact, have a few jokes in your pocket. I do the same jokes everywhere I go. I have this joke I do. Where I say said I will let go when they say welcome said I want to say well, it feels like I've walked into a janazah in here. Right? And, and they love it. It's funny now right? You just you have your little jokes you throw out have one or two comments. And it's not you don't have to overthink it. It's literally it becomes one of those
things that's once you break the ice is broken you can start but it's very important though because that is how once you're able to connect with an audience on that level, everything you say after that they'll love right once people like you do like whatever you have to offer. So but that just comes from practice and I think it's actually unfair that you're starting now at akena Yeah, bro most people start out like here so fast. Yeah, like we had a we had no no we had a talent show earlier right? We have a talent show like you start off there. Yeah, we like 40 people in the room. Right? Yeah, great. You can mess up you can screw up we can boo we can clap whatever. But for you to
start here is like that's that's a lot of pressure. I'm also nervous about singing to a backing. Why go for I don't know. It's just I don't know. Bro. You could just lip sync if you want man I I'm telling you Bobby busting stuff out here and I'm like just moving my lips I'm like what's the what's the difference? People watch your stuff online. They can see it online. They come to see it in person. They won't hear the same thing. Yeah, um, don't ask me about that because I'll tell you the easy way out other people are purists right? needs to be done like the exact same way you like look dude, in spoken word. It looks so funny. But spoken word is actually for a long time. As a spoken
word artists. I was I was under the impression I could even put my work online.
Spoken word artists that are purists. They believe that unless you're seeing it and experiencing in real life in real time, it can't be done online. Like if somebody watches a video for performance is not the same, right? So there was a many years when I just didn't put my work online because it was like, that's, oh, that's not what you do. It's no, I'm telling you, that's, that's the culture, right? Obviously, singing is much different. And singing actually, I think is even more harsh, because people want to see if you can do live what you did on on the video. So there's a lot more expectations on you. So but it's one of those things that I mean, you know, with practice, I think I
think you should invest in a coach as well. I get a singing coach, someone who can help you. But you know, where can people find you if they haven't already found you bros? Instagram? Yep, at just face Latif. Okay, the word just isn't there because I don't like titles. Okay. So in case there's another Facebook with your the Justin. Justin face a little dude, who's Justin face. I like him now. So it's like, if when people give me titles that I don't deserve, I'm like, No, it's just facelifts. No but what are yours that you're just gonna share here you're working there inshallah just facelift for Okay, we'll get we'll make you just face Latif and YouTube is my name face Latif. Just face all the
words Face Face. Let's see. Okay, so just face allottee just face looks
very good. And you know what look man You're doing a great job. I know I know it's it's hard you're you're watching you grow in the spotlight which can Yeah, oh, you know I humbly lie just don't want to see you turn into like Macaulay Culkin or something you know like the
April he was on he was under pressure. He was under pressure but you know, I'm delighted you have a good head on your shoulders may like it to protect you bless you, and keep you on a straight path. inshallah, we will see you again on the podcast. Thank you very much for joining us. Thank you very much, everybody watching Take care. Have a good night and I'm wanting to lie about cats.