Politeness mixed with violence – Englistan
Rizwan Ahmed, famously known as Riz MC, is an award-winning actor by day and a talented rapper by night. He is known to rap about important, relevant issues such as immigration, religion and various cultural dimensions.
Being British and of Pakistani descent, gives Riz a lot of depth and perspective. This is highlighted not only through his acting but his live performances as well. Tuesday at the Public Arts in the Lower East Side, Riz shared an hour with his audience in an intimate setting.
During this hour, he took his shoes off and encouraged everyone to do so too. He got down real low and showed off his moves. He wore his Taqiyah (cap) on stage while talking about religious freedom. He shared his favorite Bollywood hits from his childhood and mentioned ‘Mogambo khush hua’ (a reference to Bollywood pop culture, catchphrase of a villainous character in a movie). He was called back for an encore and didn’t disappoint his fans in the slightest.
Accompanying Riz was a pretty amazing female DJ spinning during his set. Her printed matching ensemble helped build an edgy vibe to compliment Riz MC.
Riz MC is not like a lot of other rappers. Actually, he is pretty unique in his work. He won the award for Best Fight Against the System. This resonates now more than ever given our political climate here in the United States, in effect, the world. His music sends a message about equality, justice and standing in solidarity to fight the good fight. His single titled Immigration was the one that won the VMA award. Riz performed this at the concert, where the audience echoed the verse “Immigrants, we get the job done!” This was powerful because it gave light to a real issue that surrounds us. With so many immigration policies changing and creating a divide in communities, Riz’s rap helped bring if not more people, at least the people at the Arts that night together…
It’s hard not to have a huge crush on Riz. If his music or acting or immense talent and intelligence didn’t win you over. I promise, his accent will.