An African American Muslim Convert as the founder of Chinese Hip-Hop

Even though it is quite well known amongst the youth in the North American Muslim community that a lot of hip hop artists are Muslim it was still surprising for me to discover that the person who is largely responsible for introducing hip-hop in China is an American Muslim convert named Dana Burton. The same problem that is observed amongst the Muslim hip hop artists may apply in this case also e.g., many of the Muslim hip hop artists that refrain from things like  promoting alcohol, drugs or oversexed themes do not usually become famous and those that do compromise do become famous. Anyway, here is a relevant excerpt from the story in Foreign Policy from Dana Burton.

I studied social science at Michigan State University, and I converted [to Islam] in college. …. The first time I left the country was when I went to the hajj in Saudi Arabia. I went in 1999, just before I came to China.

Also it seems that Chinese hip-hop is evolving in a different manner as compared to the American hip-hop.

They may have manufactured many of the trappings, but unlike the ubiquitous dubious English translations everywhere, China’s small community of rappers seemed to get it. “Rap doesn’t have to be angry,” explains MC Loop. “It doesn’t have to be unhappy, but it’s always honest.”

11 responses to “An African American Muslim Convert as the founder of Chinese Hip-Hop

  1. Salaam Alaikum

    I’m a muslim sister from Canada, who inshallah plans on visiting China, I just wanted to know if you could e-mail me. I’ve got a few question I would like to ask.


    • hello my name is mohammed iam from egypt iam comeing to start my business in china guangzhou and iam hamdo lelallah good muslim man pray 5 times in the day and i look for muslim wife can help me in this life and i hope any muslim man can help me to find good muslim wife and if any help plz email me at

  2. Salamu alaykum.
    Islam and China are great interests cos I’m a Muslim Alhamdulillah and I’m learning Chinese. Interesting article. Anyone knws how i can get hold of some good chinese poetry…? Islamic Chinese if possible or Islamic friendly… just to improve on my speech n well…..

    InshaAllah I hope to visit China…. been always been facinated by China.



  3. Salamu Alaykum
    nice article..
    but i hopr those artists and rappers try to mention subjects related to islamic teachings and morals..
    thus music would be a way of Daawah n send a message to both Muslims n Non-Muslims young people..

  4. salamou alikoum im intresting to get married with chinese girl muslim but here in canada i never see chinese muslim girl is there somebody can show me where i can meet chinese muslim girl ?

  5. wa’alaikum’as’salam everyone. Thanks for the comments and my apologies for the late reply. Muslimah and Lawal best of luck on your endeavors. Its a great thing that more Muslims are learning Chinese.

    mikeyx, yeah I like old school.

    sandwichanddrink, word. 🙂

    yazidd, In China this is not the case.

    mohamed. May Allah make it easy for you and for anyone who has pure intentions.

  6. Salaam,

    This is my first time logging onto your web!!
    excellent stuff!!!
    I am muslim from South Africa,Cape Town, with origin from the Melayu archipelago.
    If there are any Chinese bro’s who wish to visit Cape Town please let me know.

    Wang Daiyu-you are doing a great job!! please tell me more about yourself–You probably know about us Malays tucked away in the southern tip of Africa–pleeeeeeeze you must come & visit us !!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s