Being a rapper from Tehran presents an interesting mix of Middle Eastern, African and South Asian culture connections, but multi-talented Imaan Faith also brings an important message with his music. -CKLN 88.1 FM, September 2005
It didnt take long for Imaan Faith to become one of hip-hops most innovative personalities, bringing with him a story that sounds like a folktale from his Muslim heritage. Born and raised in politically-charged Iran, he was immigrating to New York in the early 1990s that first brought rap culture to Imaans attention. Often donating food to youth centres across the city from his familys new Tehran cookery, Imaan began seeing comparisons between the poverty of minorities in America and those in his former home of the Middle East. Upon hearing Imaan attempting to freestyle political lyrics like Tupac Shakur with homeless youth at a Brooklyn shelter one evening, Ali G. Shaker was so convinced of his brothers talent that he sold their family car the next morning to buy studio time for Imaans first demo tape called I Got GUTS.
Fleeing to Canada in the late 1990s to avoid anti-Muslim hate crimes that began spreading in New York, Imaans family was shocked to find similar anti-Muslim sentiments among students in some of the Toronto schools Imaan and Ali G. attended, which soon led to Imaan being placed in a detention facility for repeated fighting. Yet when a drug dealer appointed himself Imaans personal bodyguard after hearing him freestyle to fight off anti-Muslim inmates, Imaan began to see hip-hop as a true calling and spent the rest of his incarcerated months writing dozens of songs ranging from safe sex (You Got A Choice) to current events (Letter For Tookie).
Upon Imaan being freed Ali G. resorted to selling the new family car, this time using the finances to launch G.U.T.S. (or Growing Up Tehran Style), the worlds first Iranian-owned rap record label which has since collaborated with the likes of Panjabi MC producer Pama Sarai, reggae phenomenon Snow and rap stars Diplomats. With the help of hip-hop activist Deejay Ra the G.U.T.S. label has also sponsored charitable CDs to raise donations for the Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund Canada, featuring songs and PSAs written and performed by Imaan.
Trinidad radio personality Dr. Amita Handa says Imaan Faith is an incredible new talent ; listen to this rapper from Tehran making youth think about the choices theyre making and hoping to keep them safe. Imaans story is already becoming legend, and its only just begun.
2006 G.U.T.S. Records / Lyrical Knockout Entertainment.
every moment is special, and im live allday
pac, huey, tookie, mutulu,
knowedge is earned but never givin