MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: Why do you go by Mr. Ameen?
MR. AMEEN: Before I converted to Islam, I use to run with some fellas. One day they asked me to lie about something and i refused. One became upset and told me that I was "too honest". After converting, i was actually reading a book and saw the name Ameen and it's meaning and was feeling the name because I try my best to always be honest and trustworthy. The Mr. on the front end is symbolic of the respect every person deserves. I could always choose another name, but Mr. Ameen just feel right.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: Where exactly are you from? Where did you grow up?
MR. AMEEN: Born and raised in Rochester, NY a.k.a. The Roc
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What are your main musical influences?
MR. AMEEN: My main musical influence....though I've listen to everything from classical to jazz, my main influences have been hip hop and r&b. BEFORE I became Muslim, it was easy to catch me with headphones, or in front of a sound system or on the block freestyle'n or providing the beat.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What inspired you to do Muslim/Islamic music?
MR. AMEEN: Really....I just like to create and hear good music. That's it. After I did it, I was hopeful that others would receive it and perhaps I could earn enough that would allow me to handle my personal business.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What are some of the key issues you are tackling in your songs?
MR. AMEEN: Muslims being afraid to be Muslims is a big big issue for me because it play into how my children will live in the future and the present. Unity regardless of race. Sectarianism in Islam. Allah says in the Quran that sects are forbidden, but we keep putting things in front of the word Muslim to describe ourselves. Also, I try to reach out to let Muslims who are feeling the hardships of that they are not alone in there day to day struggle. Hold on "Allah Is There". The list continues though. Buy the CD fam.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: Do you feel that you are making a difference with your music?
MR. AMEEN: I'd like to believe I am. I hoped to be platinum by now (lol) To do some things within the community, but supply and demand dictates otherwise. Really though, if one brother or one sister hear the CD and it moves them to remembers Allah, I'm satisfied to think that I made a difference.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What can we expect from you in the future?
MR. AMEEN: That's hard to call. Allah knows best. Muslims are a difficult market to approach. Some say music is haram, but what they are saying is "My cultural music is good and yours is bad." Some actually don't listen to anything. Some don't want to spend money on my CD, but will buy Jay-Z new CD and a small number will get at my CD.My mind tells me to invest my time and money on something that will turn a profit and have plenty to pass on to future generations insha-Allah. My heart tells me that I'm an MC and i must do what mc's do regardless if I'm shown the appreciation through net cash flow or not. We shall see.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: Without giving away any secrets, how do you produce your songs? What software do you use?
MR. AMEEN: I don't sample. You hear it, I played it on a Triton. Sonar was what I was using on the last CD, i used a Yamaha track board and a Shure microphone. "No matter how much man imitates man, he'll still find that he is himself."
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: How would you say you are different from the other 100 or so Muslim hip hop artists?
MR. AMEEN: We live different lives. We see different things. Therefore we express ourselves differently.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: The Muslim community has been ailing for quite some time now (external oppression, internal division) what do you think can combat this?
MR. AMEEN: A big part of that would be to stop putting the life of this world (money, social position, etc..)before our Muslim brother and sisters. Also, not taking the time to not only learn and talk our religion, but living it without fear of what will be lost.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: How has Islam influenced your life?
MR. AMEEN: It has made me a better me. It has taught me how to treat myself, my family, my neighbors and my brothers and sisters and because of that I am happy.
MUSLIMHIPHOP.COM: What would you like to say to your fans?
MR. AMEEN: Seek honour with Allah.