While reports surfaced last year of Loon’s (now named Amir Junaid Muhadith) conversion, the Harlem rapper recently made a public declaration on Al Jazeera, the sole independent news network stationed in the Middle East.
“Loon is working his way out of my system,” Loon stated, while sporting traditional Islam garb. “[I’m] happy to be accepting Islam, and finding the peace of mind I was always searching for in the music business…Thanks to Islam I was able to complete my search and now I’m very much at peace. Bad Boy days are over, I’m now what you call a good boy.”
Loon was a staple of the late 90s, early millennium Bad Boy roster. The Harlemite was most prominently featured on the hit singles “I Need a Girl, Part 1 & 2.”
When asked if he will continue to rap, Loon referenced the importance of being spiritually grounded before making that decision, as the media will be cognizant of any contradictory actions.
“Right now I’m focusing on studying Islam and becoming more knowledgeable of the deen (Islamic way of life),” Loon explained. “Being in the position of influence, I have to be able to protect myself. The media sometimes tries to use these transitions that artists make as an opportunity to make a mockery of Islam, or whatever faith a person might choose…But Allah knows best, maybe I will [return to rap].”
Acknowledging that mainstream Hip-Hop currently has a very low spiritual component, Loon asserts that it is a challenge to all artists who follow religious tenets.
“That’s something that all of us artists that have accepted Islam struggle with, because it’s a very fine line,” Loon said. “With me I really love the music, but it’s the lifestyle that’s really the bad influence. The music can be geared towards things that influence people to do positive things. But the actual part that detours people from practicing their faith or concentrating on positive things is the lifestyle.”
Last year, T-Pain, Akon, Busta Rhymes and others raised the ire of the Muslim world with their remix of “Arab Money,” which featured Qur’anic scripture over music.
This action is considered blasphemy in Islam, and forced the artists to remove the remix from rotation.
As a potential Islamic artist, Loon is aware of this issue and is considering the safer avenue of spoken word.
“The mass audience that we reach as artists are particularly in the club. So to have people in the club actually reciting ayahs (verses) or things that pertain to Islam would kind of give the wrong impression,” Loon detailed. “Spoken word is something I’ve been focusing on. I do have the lyrical ability to establish a lot of things that make Islam so beautiful. But it’s very hard to walk that fine line when you have music in the background that plays a role as dance rhythm or something that may mislead a person from the message we’re trying to give.”
Loon is the second Harlem rapper, following former friend Mase, to leave Hip-Hop due to spiritual enlightenment.
Loon’s last LP was a 2007 joint project with fellow Bad Boy alum G-Dep, entitled Bad Boy.