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In 2007, Busta Rhymes—who grew up in Brooklyn with his Seventh-Day Adventist Jamaican-immigrant parents—said in an interview, “I live my life by Islam,” and went on to say that he prioritizes “being in tune with your spirit.” Given his beliefs, the release of his 2008 song “Arab Money” met with considerable controversy, including accusations of racism and criticism from many Muslims who were incensed that he used verses from the Quran in a decidedly secular song. Busta defended the song, saying, “We ain’t tryin’ to be disrespectful…. We are actually acknowledging the fact that the Arabian culture, a Middle East culture, is one of the few cultures that value passing down hard work riches that’s been built amongst the family.”
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