Riz Ahmed is known to use his art as a tool for political and social activism. As both a prominent actor and rapper, he has never shied away from talking about issues of identity, race and islamophobia. His latest project, “The Long Goodbye” is one that expresses the complexities of identity through various mediums. The short film is a raw and intense piece that explores the impacts that racism and islamophobia and in many ways is able to provide a very realistic representation of many of the fears that are held by racial minorities. The short film also features a couple tracks that are on the accompanying album that was released alongside the film.
The hip-hop album which is both musically and lyrically incredible is produced by Redinho and features Jay Sean, Mindy Kaling, Hasaan Minhaj and more. Redinho did an excellent job with the production of this album and was able to incorporate elements of qawwali and hindustani classical music to reflect Riz’s South Asian Identity. Lyrically, Riz cleverly uses the analogy of a breakup to express his complex relationship with Britain. His rhymes dig deep into the effects of colonization, being treated like the other and his experiences with racism and islamophobia. Like any breakup album, there are tracks that express sadness, resentment and anger. However, the album ends on a more positive note with the track “Karma” which acknowledges strength and resilience and promotes the idea of self-love.