Muslim rapper Freeway has addressed the progress Bad Boy recording artist Loon has made since converting to Islam.
According to Free, the New York-bred emcee has continued to impress him with his commitment to the religion.
“Last year, the middle of the year, I got a chance to visit Saudi Arabia for a second time,” he explained in an interview. “Brother Jakk Frost was with me, brother Loon, now known as Ahmir, and it just was a beautiful experience. At the time [Loon] was seven months into the religion, he was a fresh Muslim. And from that time to now, he progressed so much, he’s moving forward so quickly and I’m proud of him. The country is beautiful, the people was beautiful, the mannerism of the people. It’s just real enlightening and if any of y’all get a chance to go over there you should definitely do it.” (XXL Mag)
Loon spoke on his departure from Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records last July to pursue his new faith.
“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 due to religious reasons.
“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)
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 on board 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 speaking on Islam down below: