Aint Afraid Are Not Afraid To Challenge Stereotypes in Music

“We didn't have the riches and luxuries of other people's lifestyle, but it gave us patience, being appreciative, and learning to take real substance everywhere that you go. Having nothing made us realize that we had everything."

Twin sisters Skinah Rahman and Zakiyyah Rahman are the musical duo Aint Afraid
Skinah Rahman (aka Inah) and Zakiyyah Rahman (aka Yahzi) are the musical duo Aint Afraid. Photo by Quiana Brundidge Photography.

Twin musicians Sakinah Rahman (aka Inah, aka Straingth) and Zakiyyah Rahman (aka Yahzi, aka WiZdumb) are the duo Aint Afraid, mixing pop, soul, hip-hop, and R&B with messages of inspiration and community, and they are challenging stereotypes in rap and music everyday as Black, Muslim hijabi women musicians.

Born in Baltimore, Inah and Yahzi were raised in Michigan and were inspired by their mother’s music taste growing up. They grew up with displacement and poverty, but it helped them appreciate the success they eventually gained as musicians. In an interview with Metro Times, Inah said, “When I look back at our lifestyle, it gave us more than it took away from us. We didn't have the riches and luxuries of other people's lifestyle, but it gave us patience, being appreciative, and learning to take real substance everywhere that you go. Having nothing made us realize that we had everything."

Inah and Yahzi attempted to pursue their music career along with attending college, but ultimately their dream of becoming musicians drove them to focus their efforts on music full-time. Their mother, who encouraged them to pursue their career, supported them, and they began releasing music on streaming sites in 2020. Their 2021 album “Ain’t Afraid” grew their audience significantly, and they now have 38,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, 50,000 subscribers on YouTube, and 300,000 followers on Instagram.

"Heavy Guarded Heart" is Aint Afraid's most watched music video on YouTube and the lead single from their 2022 album of the same name.

Inah and Yahzi have faced obstacles as young Black Muslim women performers, whether from members of their own community as Muslims, or from their community as Black women. Along with focusing on messages of empowerment and their identity, they also spearheaded an effort to build a school in Gambia with the SPOT Project to give girls in Gambia the opportunity to get an education.

Ain’t Afraid’s album “Heavy Guarded Heart” released in 2022, and a sped up version “Racing Heart” released on June 2, 2023. Listen to their music here.

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