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From the depths of Puerto Rico to the mean streets of New York, M-Team is tearin' up the Muslim hip hip scene with a unique latin vibe. Few Muslim artists bring the raw fervor this duo generates. With the forthcoming release of "Wretched of the Earth", M-Team is planning to drop hits like never before. Check out our exclusive interview:
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: Why are you called M-Team?
M-TEAM: Our group name is M-Team short for Mujahideen Team... A mujahid is one who struggles in the path for Allah and that's what are music consist of the struggle of poor and oppressed people.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: Where exactly are you from? Where did you grow up?
M-TEAM: We were born in Brooklyn but we are from a section in Puerto Rico called Loiza Aldea. After being born in NY and living there and getting our first encounters of the birth of the whole hip hop scene we began making frequent visits back to P.R. then my mother decided to move us to Puerto Rico. Then we moved to Massachusetts and lived there for a while as well.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What are your main musical influences?
M-TEAM: The Poetry and works of Shehu Uthman Danfodio, Hector Lavoe, Ismael Rivera, Afro Boricua, Ruben Blades,Kool G Rap, Gang Starr etc.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What inspired you to do Muslim/Islamic music?
M-TEAM: When we first became Muslim we stopped all music because we was mc's before we took shahadaa.. We was taught one sided views on the rulings of music so we left it all to do what we thought was best. Then we began to sit with traditional Scholars who taught us various opinions and we began to understand more about Islamic views on music. In Islam we believe that those of you who were the best in jahileeya should be the Best in the deen so we began to form the M-Team
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What are some of the key issues you are tackling in your songs?
M-TEAM: Allot of issues.... Poverty, Injustice, Tajdeed (Revival of The Sunna) Human rights, Racial issues, Freedom for political Prisoners, Honoring our women etc, on top of a platter of pure raw hip hop.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: Do you feel that you are making a difference with your music?
M-TEAM: InshAllah.. We have fans who Allah has inspired them to take shahadaa from listening to our music. So we pray that Allah will bless what we are trying to do.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What can we expect from you in the future?
M-TEAM: Allah knows best.... We pray that Allah will bless us with much success so we can have money to fund youth programs and dawah programs that we have designed.. I would like to go study with some traditional ulema in different parts of the world and help finance brothers and sister who are trying to do the same.people can get a peak at some of our programs at www.myspace.com/shehuprogram
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: Without giving away any secrets, how do you produce your songs? What software do you use?
M-TEAM: You want the iron mountain secrets huh? Well the first piece of weaponry we use is whudu, then I all ways make sure that before I write every rhyme I begin with Bismilah hi rahman ni raheem and alhumdulilahi rubeel alameen.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: How would you say you are different from the other 100 or so Muslim hip hop artists?
M-TEAM: We have a different population that we are attracting. Allah has blessed us to have allot of non Muslim Latinos loving our music. So I think culturally we have a different angle that we can address at the same time addressing Muslim youth and adults as well. This opportunity has come at an important time with the increase of Latinos accepting Islam.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: The Muslim community has been ailing for quite some time now (external oppression, internal division) what do you think can combat this?
M-TEAM: The things we are going through is our faults as Muslims. I heard Habib Ali say that it's our lack of us reflecting the true nur and image of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh is why people have a bad image of Islam. As Muslims we need to listen to the Prophet pbuh and be gentle to the believers and firm against the Kufar, but to day we are doing the opposite we are kind to the non Muslims at work and harsh against our brothers and sisters. We need to make dua for one another and unite what we agree upon and leave the difference in the deen to the ulema.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: How has Islam influenced your life?
M-TEAM: Islam has changed our life in a way I cannot completely explain to you. From discovering the oneness of Allah to the amazing Lamp of RasoolAllah suadalahu alayhi wasalam....I would never be able to explain with words the favor that Allah has bestowed on us by making us Muslims.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What would you like to say to your fans?
M-TEAM: To please make dua for us and our families. Ask Allah to forgive us for all our sins in the day of reckoning. Ask Allah to make us or our children to be among those who will be in the armies of the Mahdi. Be respect full to the Muslims and non Muslims. Sit with a scholar and learn Islam, command the good and forbid the evil in yourself then in others. Do not examine the faults of others like you were their lords but examine your own faults like you are a slave, treat your parents with love if their Muslim or non Muslim.