Last night (August 14), Riz Ahmed appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon and delivered a moving version of a track he wrote 10 years ago.
‘Sour Times’ was written in 2007 and featured on his album ‘Microscope’, which he released in 2012 under the moniker Riz MC.
Speaking to host Jimmy Fallon about the attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend, Ahmed said: “In light of all the current events that are going on, we seem to be living in really, really divided times and it really hurts.”
Before moving to a darkened stage to perform ‘Sour Times’, he added: “I wrote this piece 10 years ago and every year I keep hoping it will become irrelevant, but it seems to be coming more and more relevant, sadly. It’s my attempt to try and get behind the headlines and work out where all this extremism is coming from.”
As Billboard reports, Ahmed changed some of the original lyrics, including a line referencing Al Qaeda to “The truth is terrorism ain’t what you think it is” and another that asserted “The way that Trump talks gives a lost boy a cause.”
Watch the performance above.
Earlier this year, Ahmed hit out at the media’s representation of Muslims and acts of terror following an attack on worshippers leaving Finsbury Park mosque by a 48-year-old white man.
2/ and when non-Muslims shoot American politicians and drive a van into Muslims, why isn't it called TERRORISM?
— Riz Ahmed (@rizmc) June 19, 2017
“When crazy Muslim kills, it’s MUSLIM TERROR,” he wrote on Twitter. “When Muslims save lives and lead relief at Grenfell where’s the MUSLIM HEROES headlines? And when non-Muslims shoot American politicians and drive a van into Muslims, why isn’t it called TERRORISM? where are the calls for white males or American gun-owners to answer for all others? Prejudice, extremism, supremacism is all the same.
“Language matters. By emphasising some violence over others or focussing on one extremism over others we fail to see how they’re connected. Violence is a cycle from people feeling under threat or their suffering undervalued. A first step is to use calm, and balanced language.”