Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Interview with Freeway [How He Balances Music and Islam]

Today, Freeway unleashed his highly anticipated Diamond in the Ruff, featuring collaborations with longtime collaborators Bink! and Just Blaze. Now, in a recent interview with Fader, the Philadelphia emcee discusses balancing his personal life and music.

Freeway explained how he balances his Muslim faith and making music, which many Islamic scholars a religiously unlawful practice. He recalled that his faith almost made him abandon music following his split with Roc-A-Fella, but ultimately, he made the decision to continue rapping despite many scholars' rulings.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Diamond in The Ruff: Freeway [Album]

The Philly Freezer’s new album officially drops tomorrow, November 27th [you can pre-order here], but if you head to DJBooth you can listen to the project in its entirety a day early. 


Friday, November 23, 2012

Freeway x Statik Selektah: The History Of Freeway

Statik Selektah Compiles Some of Freeway’s Best Appearances for This New Mixtape. Stream it Below and Pre-Order Diamond in The Ruff  Here...

Album in Stores Nov 27th !

Sunday, November 18, 2012

MAI's 2nd Annual Benefit Concert and Coat Drive

Last year we [MAI] collected over 100 coats for the homeless and raised $1600 for the Midnight Run Feed the Homeless affair. This year we would like to invite you to our 2nd Annual Benefit Concert Coat Drive on Friday November 30th with Special guest performances by Amir Sulaiman, Dot The One, Sumayya Ali, Diomara Delvalle and Siaira Shawn of For The Lovers Music and MANY more! 

The Poets Den and Gallery Theater in Harlem 
[309 E 108th St, New York, New York 10029]

Check The Facebook Event Page and Invite Others, Come Through and Enjoy a Night of Poetry, Music, Positivity, and Charity... Even if You Can't Make it Physically, Send Coats, Clothing and Donations to Help Those in Need. 


Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Muslim Imprint on New York City Fashion Week 2012 by: Yasmine Yasmine

Scarf & Wardrobe Stylist Yasmine Yasmine looks on as Muslim Model Najah walks the runway in a Pilar Macchione design.
Photo courtesy of Joan Bateman-Cowan, House photographer for NYC Couture Fashion Week

When you think of New York City Fashion Week you probably imagine Lincoln Center bathed in lights with gorgeous, scantily clad models strutting across runways, wearing exquisite pieces from Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Zac Posen and Tracy Reese while paparazzi and fashion icons Anna Wintour, André Leon Talley and Tim Gunn look on. And you would be right. Partially. 

A more robust description would include renowned designers Reem Accra, Joseph Abboud, and Naeem Khan, whose very names hint at the considerable yet often overlooked Muslim presence on the runways. Fortunately, this year’s NY Fashion week presentations did not require you to search high and low or follow trails left by Arabic sounding last names to find Muslim designers. 

A myriad of designers from Muslim backgrounds took front stage during the fashion world’s special month of September, including four young, American women (listed in alphabetical order) Ashley Pecolia, Nailah Lymus, Naimah Muhammad and Nzinga Knight, who showed during the week of September 6-13, 2012.

Ashley Pecolia debuted her AP for Women line at the Small Boutique Fashion Week in the Metropolitan Pavilion. The collection was filled with cheery colors that playfully suggested a spring picnic at the botanical gardens. Indeed, the models seemed to almost skip down the runway as they showcased Ms. Pecolia’s robin’s egg blue, hydrangea fuchsia, cloud-white and canary yellow garments. While Ms. Pecolia’s clothing were modest and compatible with the dress guidelines of most Muslim women I know, it was the flowing materials and classic, unfussy silhouettes that won the crowd over. 

In fact, sitting in the front row I overheard women of varying sizes and backgrounds whisper and exclaim, “I could wear that!” and “I’m going to get that.” As a stylist and friend to many designers I can attest to the fact that while comments like “that’s gorgeous” or “oooh” and even standing ovations are nice, it is when a potential client places themselves into the actual garment and owns it that a designer enjoys the most coveted and meaningful of compliments; a sale.

Designer Ashley Pecolia and two of the fashion designs from her AP for Women line. Photos courtesy of www.TheQaffect.com

Now considered the kickoff event of NY Fashion week, Fashion’s Night Out (FNO) is an evening fete in which fashion industry professionals and celebrities mingle with the public, present abbreviated collections and launch new products to support the economy. On September 6, 2012 in the heart of Brooklyn, Nailah Lymus hosted a Fashion’s Night Out and displayed garments from Amirah Creations 2013 capsule collection. 

Designer Nailah Lymus of Amirah Creations with her son. Photo by Sutanah Whitfield. Hot pink Nailah Lymus dress styled by Yasmine Yasmine. Photo courtesy of www.TheQaffect.com

While back in chic Manhattan FNO events featured many celebrities, Brooklyn was not to be outdone. Indeed, going by the flyer for the event you would not have known that Khaliq-Art’s CEO and Head Designer Naimah Muhammad was making a guest appearance, however those few who did trek out to Bushwick, Brooklyn were pleasantly surprised to meet and greet Ms. Muhammad, a (reluctant) celebrity within the Muslim community. 

If you are one of the few people who do not know Ms. Muhammad you need only attend the next Eid celebration in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles or Washington, DC and go up to the most fashion forward, modestly dressed woman there and ask her which designer she is wearing. Their response will likely be, Naimah Muhammad. 

Far from being a designer capitalizing on the trend sparked by the current fetishization of Muslim women, Ms. Muhammad has been designing specifically for and catering to the needs of the Muslim community for over a decade. In fact, to honor the loyal supporters and community who have patronized her at countless Muslim events over the years, Ms. Muhammad has vowed never to make a garment that a Muslim woman cannot comfortably wear.

To be clear, Ms. Muhammad’s designs are universally appealing and embraced by people of all walks of life as evidenced by her sold out designs featured during last season’s NY Fashion week and this year’s Afro-Punk celebration. While I appreciated Ms. Muhammad’s willingness to experiment with her previously unseen silky animal print pieces at FNO, I was glad to learn that Khaliq Art’s plans for a solo presentation next fashion week include a return to her most popular medium, denim.

Designer Naimah Muhammad. Photo courtesy of Khalid Sabree. Urban denim outfit designed by Naimah Muhammad and styled by Yasmine Yasmine. Picture courtesy of www.TheQaffect.com

Finally, Nzinga Knight was one of a handful of black designers who showed at Harlem’s Fashion Row at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Founded by Brandice Henderson, Harlem’s Fashion Row has for the last five years presented a much needed haven & platform to black designers and Muslim designers. Indeed, Knight followed in the footsteps of Jakia Handy of Ingram Talley and shared the stage with Omar Salam. Ms. Knight’s eponymous Spring 2013 collection included her 2008 Nanami and Twareg dresses alongside a black and white dress decorated with balloon sleeves, a sharply angled bodice, a ruched cummerbund and this season’s ubiquitous peplum, which were compliant with Islamic modesty.

Designer Nzinga Knight and her pale pink Twareg dress and black and white statement dress. Pictures courtesy of www.TheQaffect.com 
As a stylist who is Muslim and covers her hair, I am encouraged by the presence of identifiable Muslims on stage, backstage, and in my case, front row of NY Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week and other fashion events. And I am not the only one. As my VIP guest at Ms. Pecolia’s showing, Nicole Najmah Abraham of Najm Designs was so inspired that she has already begun investing in her NY Fashion Week debut. 

As exciting as all of this is, I cannot imagine that the Muslim community will consider the representation accurate or complete until Muslim Fashion frontierswomen like Lubna Muhammad, Hanifah Abdel-Aziz and Zahiyya Abdul-Karim take the stage and stake a well earned claim on the NY Fashion Week landscape. For my part I would love to see the magic that would surely ensue if the aforementioned designers teamed up with Jewelry designers Yumnah Najah Designs & Imani Aisha Creations, Make Up Artist Chocolate Girl Glow, Hair Stylist Kalizya Hutchinson, Models Najah A.R and Aisha A.M. and Scarf & Wardrobe Stylist Yasmine Yasmine (yes, that is me), all of whom are talented Muslim American Female Fashion Industry professionals.

Yasmine Yasmine is a Scarf & Wardrobe Stylist and Style Commentator from Manhattan New York. Yasmine Yasmine has styled for NY Fashion week, theatrical performances, public figures, presidential fundraisers, TV pilots and red carpet events. Yasmine Yasmine is also a Phi Beta Kappa whose fashion education was led by her mother, a model turned stylist, and reinforced by undergraduate degrees in Anthropology & Psychology and Ivy League graduate studies in Anthropology & Education. You can avail yourself of Yasmine Yasmine’s styling services or invite her to cover your event via her website www.YasmineYasmine.com or follow her on twitter @yasmineyasmine


Friday, November 09, 2012

Greatness of Allah [God]...

Say, "If the sea were ink for [writing] the words of my Lord, the sea would be exhausted before the words of my Lord were exhausted, even if We brought the like of it as a supplement." [Quran, Surah Kahf 18, Verse 109] 

"He is controlling the affairs of all the kingdoms. He commands and prohibits, creates and gives provision, and gives death and gives life. He raises and lowers peoples status, alternates night and day, gives days (good and not so good) to men by turns, and causes nations to rise and fall, so that one nation vanishes and another emerges. His command and decree are carried out throughout the heavens and on earth, above it and below it, in the oceans and in the air. He has knowledge of all things and knows the number of all things. He hears all voices, and does not mistake one for another; He hears them all, in all the different languages and with all their varied requests and pleas. No voice distracts Him from hearing another, He does not confuse their requests, and He never tires of hearing the pleas of those in need. He sees all that is visible, even the walk of a black ant across a solid rock in the darkest night. 

The unseen is visible to Him, and secrets are known to Him Whosoever is in the heavens and on earth begs of Him (its needs from Him). Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honor to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.)! [al-Rahman 55:29 interpretation of the meaning]. He forgives sins, eases worries, relieves distress, helps the defeated person back on his feet, makes the poor rich, guides the one who is astray and confused, fulfills the needs of the desperate, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, conceals faults, and calms fears. He raises the status of some and lowers the status of others Even if all the inhabitants of heaven and earth, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn alike, were to be as pious as the most pious among them, this would not increase His sovereignty in the slightest; if they all, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn alike, were to be as rebellious as the most rebellious among them, this would not decrease His sovereignty in the slightest. If everything in heaven and on earth, the first and the last of them, mankind and jinn, living and dead, animate and inanimate, were to stand in one place and ask of Him, and He were to give them everything that they asked for, this would not decrease what He has by even an atoms weight.

He is the First, before Whom there is nothing, and the Last, after Whom there is nothing, may He be blessed and exalted. He is the Most deserving of being remembered, the Most deserving of being worshiped, the Most deserving of being thanked. He is the Most Compassionate of kings, the Most Generous of those who are asked He is the King Who has no partner or associate, the One who has no rival, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no son, the Most High, and there is none like unto Him. Everything will perish save His face [al-Qasas 28:88 interpretation of the meaning], and everything will vanish except His sovereignty He will not be obeyed except by His permission, and He will not be disobeyed except with His knowledge. He is obeyed, so He shows His appreciation, and He is disobeyed, so he forgives. Every punishment on His part is justice, and every blessing from Him is a favor. He is the closest of witnesses and the nearest of protectors. He seizes people by their forelocks, records their deeds and decrees the appointed time for all things. Hearts conceal nothing from Him, for secrets are known to Him. His gift is a word and His punishment is a word: Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, Be! and it is. [Yasin 36:82 interpretation of the meaning]. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Medinan Openings: Amir Sulaiman

Eid Mubarak.  The Medinan Openings.  a gift and a sacrifice.  www.amirsulaiman.com
Go Download Amir Sulaiman's New Project "The Medinan Openings"...

Support My Big Bro and One of The Most Dynamic Poets of Our Time !

You Won't Be Disappointed, Take Some Time out and Download It !

 This is a Gift and a Sacrifice !


Saturday, November 03, 2012

Importance of Women [Random Thought]

How we treat our women is important because it really is they who will play a direct role in the shaping of those who come after us. 

We unfortunately don't always take advantage of the impact the women in our lives can have on us and in the instance[s] where we do, we quite often fail to acknowledge that impact.



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