Cyprus McGoldrick, an Muslim, American, Irish-Iranian rapper is hoping to bring faith, culture and music together through the use of his songs.
With a stage name of Raskol Khan, when he steps into the spotlight he tries to bring all the cultures that he has been a product of together.
"The Raskol Khan is a character that's very much me; but it's also everyone: as a young man in the city trying to do the right thing, but fighting with himself and fighting with the powers that be," the artist told Voice of America.
McGoldrick is a student of Columbia University and a devout Muslim who prays five times a day.
"I'm always careful to say that I don't do Muslim rap, but I am a Muslim rapper, because I'm very proud of my practice; I'm very proud to be a practicing Muslim in America. I think New York City is a unique melting pot of cultures. So in that way, we can have a lot of spaces for us - a lot of spaces for Muslims - to live and interact in."
The is where inspiration for his music comes from.
"I try to show in my music that we're all humans. We all want a lot of the same things. For a practicing Muslim - but I think for any person of faith - it's important to show that our decisions definitely refer back to an idea of right and wrong. Those core concepts, principles, if they come through in the music that resonates with people, that unites rather than divides. People can see someone who identifies as a Muslim; who is proud to be an American."
Both his parents are very proud of his talents with his mother, Nikoo McGoldrick calling him the United Nations of music and his father Jim taking pride in his son’s work ethic and the pleasure it brings to others.
"Being a musician certainly involves being present in some venues and maybe around certain substances and people that a Muslim who wasn't on that scene would try to avoid. Being a musician and being a Muslim can go very well together.
“It really has to do with what your concept of being a musician is. If it's about the music, then that's one thing; if it's about the parties and everything else afterward, then that's a whole other story."
The pious 20-something, Rhode Island native offers his time with the community, teaching reading writing and basic literacy skills at a program called Community Impact.
“These skills will help people a lot in the future, inshallah. Anything that I can use my skills for to pass to them on, that's just a win/win. If I can make my living helping people and staying involved in the community, then that's perfect for me.
“My love for people; my love for family and friends; my love for what I study; the jobs that I go to… that gets me up out of bed every day by itself. I'm blessed to love everything that I do. I'm crazy busy and I'm always running, but I'm very lucky that everything that I do; that I'm running from one thing to another, I like all those things," says rapper Raskol Khan.
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