‘Wrap My Hijab’ Is a Rap Anthem Everyone Needs to Know
“Covered up or not: never take us for granted.”
Music has always been at the forefront of pushing for social change, so perhaps it’s no surprise that a new rap video from a female Muslim hip-hop artist is pushing listeners to see the world from a new point of view.
What is surprising, though, is just how good it is.
Mona Haydar’s first single, “Hijabi (Wrap My Hijab)” is an empowering anthem for women everywhere who wear headscarves.
It’s also a sharp rebuke to those who dare to ask headscarf-clad women what their hair looks like underneath, whether they’re hot in there, and whether it feels too tight.
And her video for the single is full of that same empowerment, showcasing a diverse cast of women — pregnant, in makeup, wearing glasses, dancing — all rocking their hijabs.
Haydar raps about her dream of making “a feminist planet where women-haters get banished/covered up or not, never take us for granted.”
She and her fellow hijabi women in the video bring their own swag to the refrain, “Keep wrapping my hijab, wrap my hijab, keep swaggin’ my hijab, swagging my hijab.”
The video may be Haydar’s first foray into a rap music video, but she’s a veteran activist and poet who has been speaking publicly about her Muslim identity and religion for years.
Haydar is a native of Flint, Mich., born to Syrian immigrant parents, and a graduate of the University of Michigan. After graduation she briefly lived in Damascus, Syria, before moving back to the US and setting up an “Ask a Muslim” stand in Cambridge, Mass., with her husband.
The stand gained nationalpress as Haydar and her husband had open dialogues with people that approached them about all facets of their religion in order to combat negative stereotypes of Muslims. She even starred in a Microsoft commercial that featured the stand.
On her website, Haydar offers a poetic biography about herself:
“I’m the mother of two beautiful boys,
And yes I been in the news makin noise
Because I’m a poet and emcee
An activist and masters student of theology in this city.”
Haydar isn’t the only one pushing for greater acceptance of Muslims and hijabs. Around the world, the hijab has become a symbol of whether non-Muslim cultures have been able to accept and welcome Muslim newcomers.
Last year Scotland allowed female police officers to wear hijabs on the job, a German Muslim teenager designed new hijabi emojis for increased cultural representation, and Nike launched a hijabi sportswear line for young female athletes.
As for Haydar, she’s already working on her next projects, including a second collection of poems, a nonfiction book on Islamic Spirituality, and a Masters degree in Divinity, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Hats off — and hijabs on — to Haydar, a true Global Citizen.