Introduction (by Jonathan Azaziah): Jummah Mubarak! Been meaning to share this with y’all for a good while. Back in October, I had the honor and blessing of being interviewed by the Islamic Revolution International Center, a zine/think tank run by revolutionary Iranian students. We talked a little bit about where I came from and what drove me to become an MC; the origins of Islamophobia; Zionist control of the music industry; the fight to overthrow World Zionism’s system of hegemony; and the definition and aims of Mouqawamah Music. As a Khomeiniist, this meant a great deal to me and I pray all of you, my dear comrades, enjoy the read. I have to thank brother Abdullah Mohamadi for the beautiful opportunity and in these arduous times, I also want to once again extend all my love and solidarity to the resistant Islamic Republic of Iran and its most wonderful people.
***Just a quick note regarding the title: “Hip-Hop Hizbullah”, which I mention in the interview, is a lyric from my song “The Liberators“, featuring my beloved brother Khanverse KV, off my 2015 album “Son of Kufa Vol. 1: Rise Of The Anomaly”. With the subject matter at hand, I consider it most apt 😀 ***
Islamic Revolution International Center: Can you give us a brief bio of yourself?
Jonathan Azaziah: My name is Jonathan Azaziah–which is Arabic for “powerful light”–and am known on the mic as Madd Cold, a moniker I earned because of the harsh truths I would spit whilst rap-battling in the streets of Brooklyn (or Iraqlyn as I like to call it), New York City, where I was born and raised. I am 29 years old and am the son of an Iraqi father and a Moroccan-Russian mother. DTI (Death to ‘Israel’!) is my motto, “Ya Hussein (A.S.)!” is my battlecry, Mesopotamia is my soul, Palestine is my compass and Yemen is my heart! Don’t have anything else on my mind 24 hours a day except playing my part in the liberation of our people from the clutches of World Arrogance.
IRIC: What’s it like to be the son of an Iraqi father and a Moroccan-Russian mother living in US?
JA: I grew up in the Marcy Projects in Bedford-Stuyvesant, so life in general was very hard to say the least. The American regime dares speak about Global South nations that are “undeveloped”–mind you, this underdevelopment is because of centuries of Rothschild-financed colonialism–but its citizens in ghettos and projects like Marcy across the country suffer unspeakably. Drugs, violence, police brutality, prostitution, gangs, exploitation by savage slumlords and filth-peddlers, all this is an everyday reality and it shaped my worldview to a great extent. And then when you couple this with being Arab and Muslim, Iraqi Shi’a specifically, it makes things even more difficult. Thanks to the obscenely wealthy likes of Zionist Jews such as the Chernicks and Nina Rosenwald, Islamophobia is rampant across the US so even if you keep your head down so to speak, you’re going to be a target. I wear my Iraqi Shi’a heritage like a badge of honor however and regardless of how bad things get, no amount of Zionist-fueled bigotry is going to force me to lower my voice or stop exposing these monsters.
IRIC: What lead you to start working as a poet and singer? Why did you choose hip hop?
JA: I would say, and any real MC will tell you the same thing, that I didn’t choose Hip-Hop! Hip-Hop chose me! And it was ALLAH (SWT) through His infinite wisdom and grace that led me to this art at the age of 12 and gave me a gift to express myself in rhyme form. Hip-Hop is the voice of the Mostazafeen! There is no music in history that has given a platform to so many oppressed communities throughout the planet! Blacks, Latinos, Muslims, poor Whites, etc. And what drives everything for those of us who identify as REAL MCs is our commitment to fighting injustice. Simply put, if you are not taking your God-given abilities to stand up for those whose legs were taken from them and raise your voice for those whose voice-boxes were ripped out, then you’re not real and you damn sure aren’t doing your job. So for me, I not only rhyme because I am naturally inclined to as this is the way ALLAH (SWT) made me, but also because I feel it is my duty. Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Kashmir and so many more are enduring the most vicious hardships… The least I can do is rhyme about it and bring their plight to a worldwide audience.
IRIC: How many albums have you released so far? Can you name them? Which one of them has been your most successful work? Which of them has been most welcomed by people?
JA: I’ve released four and am working on the fifth as we speak. Enemy Of The Entity (October 2014), which was dedicated to the Palestinian people of Gaza who suffered but heroically warded off the Zionists’ evil in Operation Mighty Cliff, Dead The Dajjal (June 2015), Son of Kufa Vol. 1: Rise Of The Anomaly (July 2015) and my latest record Felicity Of The Oppressed (March 2016), dedicated entirely to the Yemeni people. All of the albums have been received well, alhamdulillah, but the most successful work, in terms of how far it spread and the amount of sales it did–which all went to charity in Iraq, Syria and Yemen–was Son of Kufa Vol. 1: Rise Of The Anomaly, and this is most likely due to the vast amount of topics I covered on the record, that included everything from 9/11 truth to Hugo Chavez to Palestine and much, much more.
IRIC: Do you have any other profession outside the music industry?
JA: Yes, I am also an investigative researcher/essayist and a radio show host. My program is called the Mouqawamah Music Mask of Zion Report on The Ugly Truth broadcasting network. My essays and podcasts, like my songs and poems, all deal with the evils of Zionism, Imperialism, Takfirism and International Jewry, building Islamic-Christian unity and what the best solution is to free the world form the yoke of these most despicable, most demonic tyrants.
IRIC: Have you been pressured for the works you do?
JA: Absolutely. I’ve been offered a mainstream record deal on more than one occasion and the stipulation has always been for me to stop rhyming about international affairs and end my “militancy”. Just last year, my album release party for Son of Kufa Vol. 1: Rise Of The Anomaly was severely disrupted and ultimately ruined because of my staunch positions on Yemen and the ‘Israeli’ false flag on September 11th, 2001. Because the music industry is controlled from top to bottom by Zionists, those who make the conscientious decision to tell the truth about the horrors humanity is facing will be attacked and undermined without fail. Imam Ali (A.S.) did indeed say that those who follow him–and thus follow the truth–must always be prepared to suffer. So it’s no sweat off my back!
IRIC: Who do you admire in music the industry? Do you know any Iranian artists active in music?
JA: I don’t admire anyone in the music industry; not a single soul. Because all the mainstream artists are puppets and all the so-called “revolutionary” artists are sellouts, something I go into detail about in an essay I wrote back in May of this year called, “The Hip-Hop Nakba: Just Like Palestine, Our Culture Needs Liberation From Its Jewish Occupiers”. The only artists I rock with are those who I consider dear brothers in my inner circle like Khanverse, Shan51, Payday Monsanto, Trevor LaBonte, Yusuf Abdul-Mateen and Rafiqi Green. As for Iranian artists, I don’t know any personally, but you’ll be delighted to know, I actually am working with an Iranian activist brother by the name of Navid Nasr for my upcoming record. He’s an executive producer.
IRIC: What are you pursuing as the Editor-In-Chief of Mouqawamah Music ? What is your definition of Mouqawamah Music? Who are the most prominent figures in this area?
JA: Our goal at Mouqawamah Music is to liberate the current discourse in Western circles that centers around appeasing Zionist Jews, who constitute the greatest threat to the survival of humans beings on Earth. Instead of exposing their schemes, most Western activists are worrying about their sensitivities and this must stop. Mouqawamah is the Arabic word for Resistance and namely armed Resistance, so Mouqawamah Music is both Hip-Hop and geopolitical analysis armed with bullets, missiles, rockets and tanks of truth and our struggle will be victorious by any means necessary insha’ALLAH khair. As for the most prominent figures, the brothers I mentioned above, as well as myself, represent the definition of Mouqawamah Music I’ve laid out here to the letter. This isn’t just a name, nor merely a label, a site, or even a concept, it is a newly inaugurated organism! A Hip-Hop Hizbullah! And we will not lay down our arms, i.e. our microphones, pens and pads, until the Judeo-Masonic system of Al-Dajjal is destroyed.