"I don't regret nothing in my past," Beale said. "People respect me more because of it. It shows that only God can humble someone like me."
The Studio City barbershop he owns with his brother maintains a distinctly hip-hop flavor. Baggy shirts and pants and sideways baseball caps are the standard uniform at Platinum Kutz. Platinum records featuring Shakur and the Outlawz line the mirrors. ("The records I've appeared on have sold 40 million copies," Beale said.) And hair-cutters occasionally pause in their work to critique the rap music videos playing on televisions mounted to the ceilings.
Beale laughs when he thinks about people within the hip-hop industry reading about his religious conversion:
"They'll never believe it." He's working on a solo album called "Scriptures From a Thug's Point of View," featuring cleaned-up lyrics. But Beale's quick to point out that "everything still comes from my heart. This music is just ridiculous."
The pilgrimage to Mecca, a place only Muslims can enter, is another step in his spiritual journey, a trip he believes was a call from God.