Rapper and preacher, Catholic then Muslim, Abd al Malik, leader of the NAP group, has long lived in contradiction. In his book May Allah bless France! , he tells his personal, musical and spiritual journey. Interview.Audrey Dupont
Rapper and Sufi
Born in 1975 in Paris, Abd Al Malik spent his early childhood in Brazzaville, Congo. After the divorce of his parents in 1981, his mother and siblings settled in Strasbourg, in the sensitive district of Neuhof. From 1994 to 2000, leader of the group rap NAP (New African Poets), he reaches the notoriety with the albums The rascal releases a record (Night & Day), The End of the world (BMG), Inside of us (BMG). In 2004, he released his first solo album, The Face-to-Face Hearts (Universal Music), whose last piece, May Allah bless France! , is also the title of his book published by Albin Michel at the origin of the eponymous film released in 2014. Several solo albums follow one another until 2015, release of Scarifications ([PIAS] Le Label).
Younger already, you were in spiritual search. How do you explain the precocity of your quest?
Abd al Malik : I was immersed in Catholicism. My parents were very religious. I accompanied my mother to Mass, I prepared my communion. I was even a choirboy! It was my mother who, on a daily basis, showed me that spirituality was essential, natural.
Yet you have chosen Islam. In what way did Catholicism not meet your expectations?
Abd al Malik : I could not grasp the notion of Trinity. I did not understand how it could feed me everyday. I asked lots of questions to religious, to my teachers of catechism. Their answers did not satisfy me. I talked to my brother. He lent me books on Islam. And these readings echoed in me. The vision of Christ as a prophet was, intellectually, more coherent for me in relation to the notion of monotheism.