These Muslim Women Created A Hip-Hop Collective And They Have A Lot They Want To Say

"We're knowledgeable. We have rhymes, we have soul."

Alia Sharrief, the founder of The Hijabi Chronicles, wants the world to know that "Muslim women belong in hip-hop." 

The Hijabi Chronicles is a collective of spoken word and hip-hop female artists of the Muslim faith. They use their art to break down barriers for women in hip-hop by building a platform for raising awareness, empowering communities and sharing their stories with the world. 

In a video interview with AJ+, Sharrief shared her motivation in creating the collective.

"Though it is a male-dominated arena, we definitely are here," she told AJ+. "We're knowledgeable. We have rhymes, we have soul." 

The collective officially launched with the group's first showcase, "La Peña & The Hijabi Chronicles Presents, Mic Check! Muslim Women in Hip-hop," on May 8 at the La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, California.

Activist Saeeda Islam believes the collective is needed to combat the stigma against hip-hop that she says exists within the Muslim community. The stigma lives particularly, she explained, "with sisters."

"Hip-hop has as stigma in the Muslim community and especially with sisters, going up there and spitting rhymes and lyrics wearing a hijab," she told AJ+. 

Islam shared that despite the challenges the collective has faced, they received a great turnout for their first event. 

"We're noticing that people are becoming more open to it."  

Enjoy "That's All I Do," a music video published in 2013 by Sharrief, off her debut album "Mental Cycles & Mood Swings."

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