News: Loon Turns To Islam After Diddy Departure, "Bad Boy Days Are Over, Now I'm A Good Boy" [Video]
Monday, Jul 6, 2009 12:05PM
Former Bad Boy rapper Loon recently spoke on his departure from Diddy's label to pursue his faith in Islam and why his issues with hip-hop are based on its lifestyle influence, not music.
Going by the name Amir Junaid Muhadith, Loon confirmed his faith-based transition and why he chose to study Islam.
"Loon is working his way out of my system," he said in an interview. "I'm just happy to be accepting Islam and finding the peace of mind that I was always searching for in the music business and it was very difficult to find this place in my life now but thanks to Islam I've been able to complete my search and I'm very much at peace. Bad Boy days are over, now I'm what you would call a good boy. [laughs] Right now I'm very much focused on studying Islam...being in the position of influence, I have to be able to protect myself in ways the media sometimes tries to use these transitions that artists make and try to make an opportunity to mock Islam or whatever faith somebody might choose...With me, I very much love the music but it's the lifestyle that's really the bad influence. The music, sometimes, can be geared towards people to do positive things but the actual part that detours people from practicing their faith is really the lifestyle." (Al Jazeera)
Former Bad Boy protege Mase also "retired" from rap a decade ago and previously explained his reasons for multiple comebacks.
"I think people look at me like I've taken the step that people are most fearful of taking," he said in an interview last January. "It's not just the giving it up; it's the sticking with it. Like most people have seen a lot of entertainers entertain the thought, but we haven't seen many stick with it....In order for people to understand, you have to take them from where you were, to where you are. So in taking people from where I was, it would require you to do music that exemplified where you were, then if I would have stayed in it, I was going to musically bring them to where I am. But then I started seeing that what I'm thinking and what they're thinking is totally two different things." (Phoenix New Times)
His most recent comeback, he said, was sparked by the unexpected passing of Michael Jackson and not due to a religious calling.
"I'm just excited man," Mase said in an interview. "I'm excited. Mike passed away, it just lit the fire up under me, made me wanna go to the studio and do something. So I asked my little nephew, 'Who is the hottest thing out there?' He said Drake and I said I got to see what record he got and when I listened to it I said 'Okay, I'ma jump on the joint.' And I called Suge up and he was like, 'Please let me get that record, please let me get that record.' So I said 'Who you gonna give it to?' And he said you gotta give that to DJ Self. [laughs] If you play it, [you'll get more records from me.] If you play it, you know I stay with a couple things under my sleeve, I just need some place to play 'em. Big shout-outs to Diddy." (Power 105.1)
Loon's popularity grew from his appearance on Diddy's The Saga Continues compilation and "I Need A Girl" remixes.
When Puff Daddy changed his name to P. Diddy and revived his Bad Boy label with a new roster of talent in 2001, as commemorated on his The Saga Continues album, Loon climbed onboard and quickly rode to the top of the charts as the featured rapper on Diddy's "I Need a Girl, Pt. 2" the following summer. It then took another year and a half before Loon got his own solo showcase, when Bad Boy released his self-titled solo album in late 2003, led by the single "How You Want That" featuring Kelis on the hook. The album cast the smooth-rapping Loon as a sort of Mase redux, though listeners didn't take to him quite as fervently as they had the rapper-turned-preacher five years before. (All Music)
Check out Loon's interview below: