Local 913, Episode 99: Idasa Tariq
Soul Man Idasa Tariq is a rapper, an activist, a media literacy teacher and a business owner. Not only has he released 10 albums over his career, but he is the assistant creative director at 1Hood Media Academy, which educates black youth through the arts and media in Pittsburgh. Originally from Binghamton, NY, right by the PA border, Tariq is quite good at creating rap music with a positive message although it’s not always an easy task as he struggles with his own racial identity:
“When folks ask me what color I am, I say bi-racial. I used to strictly say black, but I have Irish and German in me. It became harder to talk about issues with people because they want you to choose a side. But I can’t do that. It’s like what Martin Luther King said, ‘judge a person by the content of their character, not their skin.’ You add the fact that I’m Muslim on top of that: Being raised in an Irish-Catholic, Sunni Muslim, existentialist, transcendentalist house. There’s like five different philosophies there! I’ve always had a universal outlook. When trying to make music, like with FRAMES, I write it in a way, where I am addressing black problems, but I want people to be able to hear the lyrics and not feel ostracized. It’s difficult because I don’t make “Turn Up” music. I make music that you can actually play back. At the end of the day, I have to be able to go home. I want to feel some kind of honorable pride, not just any old kind of pride.”
For more on Idasa Tariq, check out his website.