Are Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz slowly revealing that they are secret Muslims, or do they simply have a history of stepping up as role models to give solidarity to their friends in Muslim communities around the world?
Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz have become a dynamic duo over 2016, but is there a specific reason they are suddenly defending Muslims and placing a focus on the kind of Middle Eastern culture found in Dubai, United Arab Emirates?
Recently, Arab American News highlighted that 2 Chainz released a “bold video defending Muslims.” However, this should be no surprise considering 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne have spent time in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2016, and are friends with a number of Muslim musicians that are not from the Middle East.
In fact, Lil Wayne’s January performance in Dubai won him the 2016 “Best Club Performance” trophy for the Time Out Dubai Music and Nightlife Awards in late March.
Despite this, in America, it is 2 Chainz that is currently being singled out for his focus on Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent. About 2 Chainz’ new video, Arab American News writes that 2 Chainz “takes a stand with Muslim Americans” in his newest video called “100 Joints.” They go on to say that the theme of the video was 2 Chainz’ “response to people like Donald Trump who accuse Muslims of being a threat to the country.”
They also state that 2 Chainz was wearing a traditional style of clothing found in the Persian Gulf called the keffiyeh (a male’s headscarf often called the “ghutrah” in Dubai) with the eqal/agal (the band holding the headscarf in place).
Other features in the 2 Chainz video includes images of a Muslim family, 2 Chainz imitating the bowing pose of the Muslim prayer (called the “salah”), and ending the video with the following words.
“Muslim Americans live their day to day life just like all other Americans. They are not all terrorist[s] that hate America.”
On top of this, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz will have more Muslim or Middle Eastern imagery coming up. Hot New Hip Hop writes on May 6 that they had frames from upcoming, new videos from Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz that have specific Middle Eastern depictions.
For instance, in the photo samples for their songs “Gotta Lotta” and “MFN Right” 2 Chainz was wearing the long white Middle-Eastern-style kaftan/robe for men (often called a “thobe”) and the Middle Eastern men’s white ghutrah/keffiyeh headscarf. Hot New Hip Hop stated that by wearing the traditional men’s clothing of the Middle Eastern world that 2 Chainz looked “as if he’s ’bout to drop racks in Dubai.”
Nevertheless, it is not only 2 Chainz incorporating Muslim or Middle Eastern themes in their music. For example, there is also old music from Lil Wayne that includes Muslim rappers and/or talks about Middle Easterners or Allah.
In the 2010 remix of the song “Arab Money” featuring Lil Wayne, there are also two other Muslims on the track such as Akon and Busta Rhymes. Lil Wayne’s 2008 song “A Milli” also gives a shout out to Allah.
As far as personal religious beliefs, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz have never told the public they are practicing Islam and no insiders have revealed online that they have secretly converted. Alternatively, MTV stated in 2012 that Lil Wayne said he talks to God and believes in God.
While there may not be an overt direct connection to Dubai or the Muslim faith for Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, they have recently visited the United Arab Emirates. For instance, Lil Wayne went to Dubai in January for a club performance and allegedly went back due to popular demand a couple of weeks later, according to Gulf News.
Two Chainz preceded Lil Wayne in visiting Dubai, and did an interview in 2014 where he mentioned Lil Wayne. Specifically, 2 Chainz told TRF Online that when he raps against Lil Wayne, it pushes him to be the best version of himself.
Two Chainz visited Dubai again on April 20, according to Time Out Dubai and they described him as “Lil Wayne’s BFF.”
It could also be said that there is a strong Cash Money Records connection to Dubai and Lil Wayne was one of the last of its artists to visit. For example, the other Cash Money artists that have visited Dubai over the past year include Nicki Minaj, according to Gulf News.
Lil Wayne is also heavily connected to other prominent Muslims that are from the Middle East or Asian world such as DJ Khaled, French Montana, and Zayn Malik.
For instance, DJ Khaled first started hanging out with Lil Wayne when Lil Wayne was 12-years-old, according to Miami New Times. Recently, Pitchfork stated on April 27 that Lil Wayne joined DJ Khaled when he opened for Beyonce in Miami.
French Montana has also visited Dubai on March 10 for a performance, according to Daily Avenue. French Montana also paid homage to Dubai in his video “Wave Gods Intro,” according to Billboard. About filming the video in Dubai, French Montana stated the following.
“As soon as we started shooting we heard the call to prayer and it felt good because everything I’m talking about in the song is personal and emotional to me.”
Of course, with a strong history of being supportive to those from Muslim, Middle Eastern, or Asian backgrounds, it was no surprise to see Lil Wayne and Zayn Malik join forces.
After he collaborated on a remix of “Pillowtalk” with Lil Wayne, Zayn Malik got inspiration from one of Lil Wayne’s album covers for his first solo album after One Direction, according to Irish Mirror.
Interestingly, Lil Wayne being admired by Zayn Malik likely was not overlooked by Western music fans in Dubai.
For example, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, when Zayn Malik split from One Direction in late March, 2015, Dubai fans were devastated because April 4 was going to be Zayn Malik’s first performance in the Middle Eastern or Muslim World (where he is a unique Muslim/Western celebrity).
Although there are no new announcements stating that Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz will be performing in Dubai anytime soon, there is one interesting connection to the Middle Eastern community in America on Lil Wayne’s Facebook events page.
As it appears, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz will perform in Detroit on June 11 and that area of America has the one of the largest Middle Eastern communities in the United States, according to Michigan Radio.
[Picture by Jonathan Leibson/Stringer/Getty Images]