It’s probably the need of the hour but it’s also an extension of what young Muslims all over the world are feeling and resonating. Islamophobia is dangerous and negative and this rap duo are trying to capture that sentiment through their music. Deen Squad that consists of Jae Deen and Karter Zaher are based out of Ottawa, they write Muslim inspired lyrics to popular songs. The duo are inspiring and attracting a following in Canada.
The artists are driven by the condition of Muslims world over, the way Islam has been stamped as a dangerous religion. Their motto is to teach the young Muslims globally what Islam truly means, to educate the non-Muslims about their religion and be heard. Deen Squad recently performed at a Muslim Fest recently in Mississauga which is west of Toronto and holds a huge Arab and Muslim population.
Jae Deen and Karter Zaher call their songs halal remixes. They have changed up Fetty Wap’s Trap Queen into Muslim Queen, OMI’s 2015 hot, Cheerleader into Believer. The songs now talk about finding a Muslim wife. They discuss Islamophobia in the song Muslim Man which is a remix of Jidenna Classic Man. Their timing couldn’t be better because Muslim Man was released a few days before the Paris attacks and they found a following in the younger Muslim crowd. The song had a video too which was released simultaneously and got about four million views. Their song Mecca which is a remix of Fetty Wap’s My Way, talks about the holiest city in Islam. The lyrics go, “When I was young, man I was dumb – Committing a lot of these sins – So I go to Hajj – So now it’s just time to repent.”
While Deen Squad promotes their religion and educates the followers more about what Islam is really about and their take on it, for the non-believers they have a bigger message. The duo admit to having been criticised for blending religious themes with hip hop and their songs have been called haram. Their music has two sides to it and are loved and hated but their intentions they say are pure. Deen Squad’s main message it that all religions are equal and they believes in peace and coexistence of all religions.
Their backgrounds are as interesting as their music. While Zaher’s family is of Lebanese background, Deen is a Ghanaian-Canadian who converted to Islam at the age of 15. The two met in 2015 and had been making music independently, knew about each other already, so the collaboration was a natural extension.
Deen Squad’s main followers are teenagers which works out great because these are frenzied raging fans who know lyrics to their songs and worship the outfit and sing along at their shows. The duo have only been making music together for a year now but their following and the success of their goal means more music and an album with originals is what’s in the pipeline for these two.