The nomination is notable because the majority of Rakim’s lyrics relate to his identity as a Muslim, which has gone on to influence other contemporary Muslim rappers.
A New Year for Podcast “American Muslim Project”
In the podcast’s first episode of its third season, host Asad Butt is joined by his guest and sister Nadia Butt to discuss important issues facing the American Muslim community today.
Rifelion’s flagship podcast, “American Muslim Project,” is starting the new year with a new season and — at least for this episode — a new format. The show focuses on the Muslims who are shaping America.
In the podcast’s first episode of its third season, host Asad Butt is joined by his guest and sister Nadia Butt to discuss important issues facing the American Muslim community today. Asad and Nadia Butt dig deep into critical topics such as the impact of the war on Gaza on American Muslims, political inclinations in the upcoming elections and the potential effects on the Biden campaign, and workplace challenges as Muslims.
“We've been trying different things from season-to-season to try to keep [‘American Muslim Project’] fresh,” Asad Butt said in the season 3 opener. “We've tried different types of formats in the effort to give color to what is happening in the American Muslim community to American Muslims and beyond.”
Previously, the show has followed more of an interview format, where each episode would feature the host interviewing a different Muslim guest who impacts American life and culture. But in the "American Muslim Project" season 3 opener, Asad Butt jokes that he’s going back to his news anchor roots. The first episode of this season focuses on headlines that are happening across the United States — and the rest of the world — that are affecting the American Muslim community.
In the episode, Asad and Nadia Butt also share their thoughts on Open AI CEO Sam Altman's comments about Islamophobia and antisemitism in the workplace, as well as a teacher said to have threatened students using Islamaphobic rhetoric. They also discuss the recent killing of Imam Hassan Sharif, as well as Ramy Youssef's call for a cease-fire to the war on Gaza at the Golden Globes. The episode ends with the hosts looking toward the future election season, anticipating the 2024 awards season and hoping for more people to advocate for a cease-fire.
In 2020, Asad Butt launched Rifelion Media to help elevate diverse voices, with “American Muslim Project” as the company’s first production. Butt is also a startup advisor and investor, primarily working with pet care and education founders, as well as accelerator programs. Prior to his work in the startup industry, Butt worked in broadcast television and video production. In 2004, he helped launch Bridges TV, the first American Muslim lifestyle network, serving as its first news director, producer and anchor.
Nadia Butt is a consultant focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the business world. She is the host of another podcast on the Rifelion Network, “Inclusive Collective,” which recently won a prestigious Golden Crane award podcasting award.
New episodes of “American Muslim Project” release every Thursday. Listen to the latest episode — “Ceasefire Protests Disrupt Biden; Ramy Youssef at Golden Globes; Combatting Workplace and School Islamophobia, Antisemitism” — below, or catch up wherever you listen to podcasts.