“Teleporting through trauma, I been stacking my karma. Nefertiti, no drama. Make a feminist planet. Woman haters get banished. Covered up or not, don’t ever take us for granted.” – Mona Haydar, “Hijabi”
Over the weekend, an interesting video popped up on the internet that blew people away. Poet, artist and activist, Mona Haydar, kicked off her music career in the most bad ass way. She dropped a new music video for her liberating and sassy single, “Hijabi.”
The song is packed with countless rhymes demanding the respect that women deserve– particularly Muslim women. Her flow is sick and the visual of an eight month pregnant Mona makes a powerful statement. Besides the soft blush visual the video provides, there’s nothing soft about the message that is being delivered. As mentioned on The Huffington Post, “The video is reminiscent of Beyonce’s Lemonade,” making this single a high contender for an anthem for Muslim women all around the world. This song empowers and possibly intimidates anyone who would dare to challenge.
Not only is “Hijabi” an anthem for Muslim women worldwide, but the video also emphasizes the importance of diversity and intersectionality– as the video shows the many different shades and races of Muslims. Mona identifies as a Black Syrian-American and is also married to a White American Muslim, whom she has publicly did positive activism work with to educate about Muslim culture even during the toughest times.
Surprisingly, Mona has caught some hate for the powerful statements in her video, from people who misunderstand the culture and more conservative muslims alike. Despite the negative feedback, she still makes sure she continues to educate, represent and empower them as well.
“I’ve studied [Islam]. I’m not a kid rushing into my art. I’m a grown woman who believes that art can change the world,” she said. “I’m not worried about the haters. They’ll get on board eventually and I will welcome them with all my love when they do,” she added. “In the meantime, I still love them dearly.” – Mona Haydar, Huffington Post
Mona also mentioned how she grew up listening to the likes of A Tribe Called Quest and Rakim—both having relations to the practice of Islam. She closely relates blackness, Islam and Hip-Hop, expressing that, “There can’t be one without the other.” She praises the Black American Islam practicing artists, such as Q-Tip and Rakim who’ve blessed the Hip-Hop game and– directly, yet indirectly– paved the way for her artistry. “What a blessing it is to me that I can even be a small part of a great legacy in creating culture.”
Check out the video for “Hijabi” above! To learn more about Mona, visit her website here.