Being a hip hop junkie, I picked up this DVD begrudgingly, fearing a predictable story. I expected a sort of Muslim 8 Mile meets (the awful) Get Rich or Die Trying in documentary format: gun-toting street hustler with a knack for rhyming finds Islam, leaves his old ways and becomes a local hip hop star who raps about emancipation. Brilliant viewing for fluffy liberals who have about as much knowledge of urban music and Islam as I do of water polo, but perhaps a boring watch for me. Prior to pressing the play button I’d even pondered a revised title: ‘New Muslim, Not Very Cool’. Fortunately however, there is a lot more to this award winning documentary.
New Muslim Cool, produced and directed by Jennifer Matorena, Co-produced by Hana Siddiqi and Kauthar Umar, distributed by Seventh Art Releasing, $19.95; www.newmuslimcool.com