Welcome back to Adventboost! December 3rd, and also the first Advent Sunday. My goodness! Only 3 weeks left until Christmas Eve (the Big Day here in Sweden) and honestly… I’m excited. I am ready for the food. Last night I baked the first batch of gingerbread cookies, and listened to Tori Amos’ Midwinter Graces for the first time since sometime in January (my favorite Christmas album). I haven’t quite gotten to the decorating yet but… what can I say, it’s deadline season as well as Christmas season.
But enough about me, on to today’s boost!
Mona Haydar is every misogynist’s worst nightmare: a fierce feminist hijabi rapper with lyrics that can cut a man to pieces. Her first single, Hijabi, dropped in late March of this year and is a power anthem for hijabis all over the world. I’d say it’s a power anthem for all women, but as a white lady that feels a bit rude when it’s so directly addressed to muslimahs and particularly those with hijab. I am, however, absolutely 100% satisfied with vicarious empowerment on this one though. It is SO good. I cried the first time I heard it. Like, slowly head-bobbing tears of joy on a bus. And lovelies… there’s a video. And oh what a video! Here it is. I want you to press play right now and enjoy it:
Did you watch it? I hope so! If you didn’t, you missed out. Hijabi went straight onto my “Favorites” list on Spotify the first day I heard it, and shortly thereafter became the first track on my “Girl Power Anthems” list (the world really needs more songs about women being awesome outside of being loved by some dude or getting over some dude).
Mona’s second single, Dog, features Jackie Cruz of OITNB fame and is about misogyny in the Muslim community. It is incredible and pulls no punches:
Unsurprisingly, Mona is on the receiving end of vast quantities of criticism and harassment by everyone from religious conservatives and islamophobes to your average, everyday misogynists and reacts to it by continuing to be outspoken, fierce, elegant, inspiring, (mind-bogglingly) positive (considering the ish she has to put up with) and generally a joy to follow on Twitter and Insta (which you all should do).
As you can perhaps guess by my excessive use of adjectives in the previous paragraph, I feel rather out of my cultural and musical depth to make any eloquent commentary on this. But then again, commentary is not really what I’m trying to express with Adventboost. What I’m trying to express is: go listen to Mona Haydar’s music! Buy it on iTunes! Share it on social media! Watch the videos! Visit her website, follow her on Spotify and social media! Do eeeeeet!
Emma, too many exclamation marks. Time to go.
But seriously though, go listen! <3