Cultural Arts Review: Country Artist Kareem Salama

Posted on April 29, 2013 by


Kareem Salama

The styles of music today are so different and each have their own stereotypes incorperated with them. When asked to describe a pop singer one may say crazy outfits, lots of flashy performances, and computerized sounds. A rapper could be described as a black man, more poetry and less singing, and profanity. Country singers are usually from the south, sing with “twang”, and cowboy cloths. People don’t usually think of the religious aspects of these artists though. Some people may know the popular rap artists Lupe Fiasco, Akon, and Ice Cube. All of these men currently practice in the religion of Islam. Lupe Fiasco or Wasalu Muhammad Jaco was born in raised in Chicago, with heritage in West Africa, as a Muslim. Akon or Aliaune Damala Akon Thiam is a Muslim from Senegal Africa. Ice Cube or O’Shea Jackson was born in Los Angeles and converted to being a Muslim. There are many more famous rapping Muslims, too many to mention. However, not many people have heard of a country singing Muslim.

Kareem Salama is a country artist breaking the stereotypes for the typical country singer. Like most country artists, he grew up in the south. He is from Green Country, Oklahoma. He enjoys common activities involved with the south like horse riding, country music, and boxing. What sets him apart from most country artists, however, is his families background. His mother and father both moved from Eygpt to the United States in the 60’s to attend graduate school and they never left. From Egypt, Salama’s parents taught their religion to their son. Now Kareem not only pracitces Islam, but is also an advocate for the religion.

Kareem was named by his mother. Kareem Salama is literally translated to Generous Peace. In 2009 with the help of his friend producer, Aristotle Mihalopoulos, Kareem made his first song called Generous Peace. The song is about a man who is making fun of his sister who is wearing the traditional hijab. Kareem expresses in the song that he may be angry and upset about it, but he will overcome his hateful feelings, “I’m like incense the more you burn the more I’m fragrant” and find the good in the man who is making fun of his sister. The music video portrays the lyrics very well and must be watched to obtain the full affect of the song.  

More recently Kareem came out with a new album in 2011, “City of Lights”. This album strays a little from his counrty music and more towards pop but the messages of peace are still the same. The album features his three most popular songs. “Generous Peace”, “Makes Me Crazy”, and “Be Free Now”. “Be Free Now” is for people who want freedom from whatever they are being held back by. Whether it be from the government, hate, or an illness. “We will never be free if we don’t stand today” ” Speak free now, pray free now, let others speak now, be free now.”  His last hit single is “Makes me Crazy” is describing Kareem’s dream for the world. He wants to end discrimination. “I have a dream that one day you and I, can see each other between the black and white in our eyes.” 

All of Kareem’s work focus on mercy, peace, and justice. He sings about this because he believes that is his duty as a Muslim. He appeared on Fox News addressing profiling of Muslims. They are talking about the profile that recent terrorists fall under as Muslim middle easterners.He responds to country artist, Toby Kieth’s song after 9/11. “…put a boot in their ass and kick ’em out” ( talking about the muslim community.  Kareem says that people cannot judge an entire group of people for the actions of a few of its members. 

Kareem Salama is on facebook and twitter where he speaks about love and peace. He often responds to his fans which creates a very close relationship between his fans and him. His fans will write to him about how his music offers them much support through their hardships and he will respond with positive encouragement and will remind them that they are always loved.Kareem on Facebook Kareem on Twitter

Posted in: Islam