In case you missed it, last week Riz Ahmed had another mic drop moment on the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.” Now if you’ve been living under a rock or just simply have never heard of the millennial renaissance man that is Riz Ahmed, let me give you a brief intro.
Ahmed is a British Pakistani Muslim rapper and actor. You can find him spitting rhymes with the Swet Shop Boys or acting in hit shows and movies such as “Rogue One,” “Girls” and HBO’s “The Night Of” in his down time. He is unapologetically Muslim and continues to use his platform to accurately describe how every Muslim is feeling in our current political climate.
In the wake of the events that took place in Charlottesville, Riz took the “Tonight Show” stage to perform a rendition of his spoken word, “Sour Times.” I found myself wrapped in his words for the full three minutes. Here are the top five moments that had me screaming “PREAAACH!”
The last line in this really sums it all up! Islam’s popularity in the headlines continues to increase and more often than not it’s shown through a negative lens. This leaves a “bitter taste” not only in our mouths as followers of the religion who are constantly disappointed at how Islam is misrepresented in the media but also in the mouths of people still forming an opinion on a religion they know little about. Constantly having to defend your religion and use the, “but this act/person does not represent an entire religion” is tiring!
YES RIZ! WERK! Terrorism is not born from a specific religion, but rather is the byproduct of lower income populations who have lost faith in their economic and political systems. A weak morale makes young men vulnerable to the brainwashing of a terroristic regime.
This one speaks for itself, shout out to the Peter Pan reference.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better he hits you with this FIRE second verse. We’ve all had to say at it at one point or another but Riz said it one more time, “it’s against the Quran.” I couldn’t pick just one line because the verse in it’s totality (shout out eclipse reference) is completely necessary to fully comprehend:
So all the mans that wanna say that my religion has to change
That we’re stuck in a bygone age
It’s time to set the vinyl straight
Don’t you think it’s kind of strange that all this terror outrage
These last gasp castaways
These bastards that will blast away
Just turned up in the last decade
When Islam has been the way for millions
From back in the day
Instead of thinking that we’re crazed
Investigate just what it says
Fast, help the poor, and pray
Go Mecca, feast, fast and faith
That’s the basics, that the base
So how did we get here today?
The spoken word’s solemn ending brings back the chorus but with an added twist, three words that left me speechless; ”But it’s fine.” When was the last time someone said, “It’s fine” and things really were fine!? “It’s fine” is code for, “It’s actually really not ok and I’m feeling a mix of emotions that at anytime will cause in a spontaneous self combustion but I don’t want to pour my problems on you so i’ll just avoid the topic and say ‘it’s fine.’ and move on.”
How could it possibly fine!? Nothing about our current climate is fine. The feeling that you are “losing your religion” creates a helplessness which is anything but fine. The pace increasing and decreasing throughout the piece mirrored this feeling of helplessness and frustration allowing me to be in the same head space and omit the same reactions as if they were my own.
These are just five moments from a three minute piece that tugs at all the right heartstrings. If you haven’t seen/ heard it yet take a break out of your busy day and get ready to realate.