Elijah Muhammad led the Nation of Islam from 1934 until his death in 1975, mentoring Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, Muhammad Ali, and his own son, Warith Deen Mohammed. Even today, his teachings have impacted many, especially in the hip-hop community.
“No nation will ever respect us as long as we beg for that which we can do for ourselves. There has never been a leader of our people who went all-out to set up an economic plan for our people. I use the saying of Jesus, ‘All before me were thieves and robbers,” Muhammad wrote in his 1965 book, “Message To The Blackman In America.”
His message of self-sufficiency and nation-building continues to inspire.
Here are 15 hip-hop artists who have praised or cited Elijah Muhammad. The lyrics were gathered from Genius.
1. Elijah Muhammad & Immortal Technique
This Harlem, NY, rapper started out in 2000. On his 2003 track “The Point of No Return” from his “Revolutionary Vol. 2,” he does a shoutout ot Muhammad.
The line says, “Malcolm Little when he knelt before Elijah Muhammad/The comet that killed the dinosaurs, changin’ the Earth/They love to criticize, they always say I change for the worse/Like prescription pills when you misusin’ ’em, nigga/The Templar Knights when they took Jerusalem, nigga/And figured out what was buried under Solomon’s Temple.”
2. Elijah Muhammad & A$AP Ferg
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Another Harlem artist, A$AP Ferg hit the scene in the 2000s and has had a number of hits. On his song “Lord,” from “Trap Lord” and featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, speaks of the Nation of Islam. The lyrics read: “Now Fergie all up in your groupie, nigga/Reincarnation of Master Fard/Elijah Muhammad/reside in my heart/Diss and I’ll blow, and shouts from Allah/Knowledge was born with science, young lord.”
3. Elijah Muhammad & Jay Electronica
Revered underground hip-hop artist Jay Electronica hails from New Orleans. The Roc Nation artist converted Islam in the 1990s and often speaks of the Nation of Islam in his songs. On the 2020 track “Universal Soldier,” featuring Jay-Z, he rhymes, “My mathematical theology of rhymin’ a touch the soul/I spent many nights bent off Woodford/Clutchin’ the bowl, stuffin’ my nose/Some of the cons, I suffered for prose/My poetry’s livin’ like the God that I fall back on/And all praises due to Allah for such a illustrious platform/The teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s my backbone.”
4. Elijah Muhammad & Jay Electronica
On another track, this one entitled “The Overwhelming Event” from the same album (“ A Written Testimony”), he makes another mention of Muhammad. The song’s intro is a speech done by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, National Representative for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad.
Farrakhan said: “The honorable Elijah Muhammad has said that almighty God Allah revealed to him that the Black people of America are the real Children of Israel and they, we, are the choice of God.”
5. Elijah Muhammad & MO3
Dallas-based artist MO3 was shot and killed in 2020. He left behind his music, and in the 2017 song “And I” from the album “Shottaz 3.0” he mentions Muhammad. He wrote: “Love my religion/Elijah Muhammad tell Allah I’m with it/Due to the fact that my soul is so wicked.”
6. Elijah Muhammad & Lupe Fiasco
Lupe Fiasco, 40, remains one of the genre’s popular artists. He just dropped his latest album earlier this year. But in 2018, he did a shoutout to Muhammad on the song “Sun God Sam & The California Drug Deals” featuring Nikki Jean. The lyrics read: “You should get involved with the honest/Where everything’s honored like Elijah Muhammad/Mixed with the pontiff, hooked on phonics/Let’s be liars, that’s not chronic/Condone Islamic, and it’s haunted.”
7. Elijah Muhammad & KRS-One
Old school artist KRS-One was known for his conscious lyrics, and on the 1992 track “Sublime” the New York MC rhymes the first verse, “In school, they never taught ’bout hamburgers or steak/Elijah Muhammad or the welfare state.”
8. Elijah Muhammad & Public Enemy
Veteran group Public Enemy remains known for their revolutionary lyrics. And on their iconic track “Party for Your Right to Fight” from 1988 on the “Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back,” main MC Chuck D says: “J. Edgar Hoover, and he coulda proved to you/He had King and X set up/Also the party with Newton, Cleaver and Seale/He ended, so get up/Time to get ’em back (You got it)/Get back on the track (You got it)/Word from the honorable Elijah Muhammad/Know who you are to be Black (Boy).”
9. Elijah Muhammad & Vinnie Paz
Vinnie Paz may have been born in Italy (and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) but the 1990s was inspired by the Nation of Islam. On the DJ Muggs produced track “No Spiritual Surrender” from his 2010 “Season of the Assassin” album, he rhymes: “Muggs gave me audio heroin, hit the blue vein/I ain’t even Vinnie no more, Evil my new name/I’m like Elijah Muhammad carrying thoughts afar/Laws of nature and mathematical charts of God.”
10. Elijah Muhammad & Jay Electronica
In 2007 Jay Electronica dropped the track “FYI.” The intro reads: “Elijah Muhammad: Don’t get me wrong now. Don’t make a mistake in thinking that I’m telling you this was the beginning of the man on the Earth. Fifty thousand years ago is like telling you thirty days ago or ten days ago or five days ago, to the age of the universe. We have no exact record of it but it runs way into the trillions.”
11. Elijah Muhammad & The Weeknd
Yes, The Weeknd even praises Muhammad. On the track “All I Know (Remix)” featuring The-Dream, Quavo, and Future. The lyrics read: “Tell the police bring the caution tape/Hit the jewelry store for gold and diamonds (twelve)/You ain’t gotta ask who the don is (no)/Gorillas with me like the zoo behind us (grr)/You gonna need Elijah Muhammad/If you play me for what mine is/The world is mine, yeah it’s Nostradamus (mine11) 40 Acres.”
12. Elijah Muhammad & T.I.
Veteran artist T.I. dropped a song called “40 Acres” featuring Killer Mike & B. Rossi. “40 Acres” is the fifth track from T.I.’s 2016 EP, “Us or Else.”
Killer Mike says on his verse: “Anybody interrupt freedom, kill ’em/Word to Robert F. Williams, feel ’em/Devil got me sick to my stomach, boo/Word to Elijah Muhammad, ooh/I don’t give a damn what the preacher ever tell y’all/Jesus, Muhammad, ain’t comin’, woo.”
13. Elijah Muhammad & Future
Future has a track called “Politics,” produced by Drumm
14. Elijah Muhammad & Boogie Down Productions
KRS-One was a member of the hip-hop crew Boogie Down Productions before his partner Scott La Rock was killed in 1987. The group dropped their projects after his death. KRS-One continued on as a solo artist with the crew’s DJ, D-Nice. But in 1990, the group released “Beef,” an anti-meat song that praised Muhammad’s teaching on vegetarianism. KRS-One rhymes: “Life brings life and death brings death/Keep on eatin the dead and what’s left/Absolute disease and negative/Read the book ‘How to Eat to Live’ by Elijah Muhammad, it’s a brown paperback/For anybody, either white or black.”
15. Elijah Muhammad & Big Pun
Big Pun was big on the New York hip-hop scene before his death in 2000. On the song “New York Giants” featuring M.O.P. he did a shoutout to Muhammad. The lyrics read: “Bless the mic like Elijah Muhammad/Or Christ how you want it? I got what you need/From God to the streets, come on motherfucker you talkin to me?”
Elijah Muhammad Photo: Chicago Urban League Photos (University of Illinois at Chicago)