Iraqi-English rapper Lowkey is arguably one of the most woke musicians I have ever come across, and a talented lyricist too. He has given voice to the voiceless and misrepresented, spoken out about the struggles of Muslims in the West, refugees, migrants and conflict in the Middle East.

Usually dressed in plain T-shirts, there is no flashiness of the typical hip-hop artists we have become accustomed to – Lowkey’s wow factor is in his lyrics and music.  His performance on 1XTRA Fire in the booth was exactly that – straight fire, receiving over four million views on YouTube. Empowering youth with his message, I found myself becoming a fan. Although, I may have discovered Lowkey a few years too late – I started listening to his tracks when he was on a four-year hiatus from making music. However, my patience was rewarded in July 2016 with his latest release Ahmed.

The music video for Ahmed left me speechless, his lyrics attempt to humanise the refugee and migrant experience as opposed to media’s portrayal of them as mere numbers and statistics, and worse, labelling them a “swarm”.

Watch the video here:

Some of the lyrics include:

Ahmed’s ancestors introduced to Europe Greek philosophy

Brought with them irrigation, mathematics and astronomy

Symbolically, irony of this horror isn’t lost on me

Trying to get to Europe via Greece where he’s lost at sea

Ahmed not Achmed, it’s Ahmed

He’s that dead

Toddler lying lifeless on the beach with his back bent

Arms spread, reaching the direction that his dad went

If he made it here would have been bullied for his accent

Lowkey also did an interview explaining the lyrics behind Ahmed and his thoughts behind them. It’s insightful and worth a watch:

Another older track of his is a song called Terrorist? which speaks out against the racial profiling of Muslims in the West:

They’re calling me a terrorist

Like they don’t know who the terror is

When they put it on me, I tell them this

I’m all about peace and love

They calling me a terrorist

Like they don’t know who the terror is

Insulting my intelligence

Oh how these people judge

Lowkey is also a vocal critic of Israel and advocates for the rights of the disenfranchised Palestinian people through his lyrics and activism.

 If you like what you see, check out more of Lowkey’s stuff on YouTube!

 

Nabilah Jipli was a freelance writer for Muslyfe.