To my Black Brother Lil Durk,
You are a talented brother, a musical genius who helped usher in a new era of Hip-Hop in Chicago through Drill Rap. In your song, Feds Listening, you discuss the pain of growing up with an incarcerated father “Born in 92, I grew up wit no dad nigga” and “This is for my wit the feds nigga.” Your lyrics elude to a phenomenon taking place in America—the mass incarceration of Black men. The system of white supremacy loves to see Black men go to an early grave as a result of gang conflicts or to spend our lives behind bars.
I understand that your father, Brother Dontay Banks, was handed a life sentence for an alleged role in a cocaine ring. However, he made a powerful statement from behind prison walls. “This is the one thing politicians, people from the political realm do not understand when it comes to changing them inner-cities, changing the streets, changing the violence, one thing they need out there is Islam. If we can get everyone to understand that As Allah Says in the Qu’ran you will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
Muslims were overjoyed about your decision to embrace Islam. Brother our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon, said “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.”
One of the greatest evils in the world is the system of white supremacy. The neighborhood of Englewood, where you are from, was victimized by white racists who bombed and massacred the community. White supremacy has created the conditions for Englewood to be denied essential social services and for the drug economy to take over as the main employer for much Black youth. Moreover, it is the conditions that white supremacy has created that has festered gang conflicts and early deaths for Black males throughout Englewood.
As Muslims, Lil Durk and Dontay Banks, let us unite together and work to uplift our community. I look forward to working with you to better our people with Islam. Insha’Allah.