Saturday, August 02, 2014

Mere Saath Nahi Kehlo

Lazarus Recording with Proof of D12 (R.I.P.)

Lazarus Promo Reel

Asi Khan - Dikhawa

Talhah Yunus - Kuch Nahi Pata

Osama Com Laude - Bars Of Steel (feat. Xpolymer Dar)

Reppin Your Hood: Zabān, Pehchān, and Pakistani Rap

Khwaja Hamzah Saif profiles two Pakistani rappers, a Sindhi and a Punjabi, rhyming to preserve language and reinvigorate ethnic traditions. This essay was first published on Ajam Media Collective.

Shahzad Meer, or Rapper Meer Janweri, grew up in Thatta, a city in south-eastern Sindh famous for its ancient necropolis. Once a Sindhi cultural capital, it is now among the smaller cities of a Pakistan bifurcated into the mega-metropolises of Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Peshawar, and everything else. Meer’s parents are from Dadu, a comparably sized Sindhi city about 300 kilometers north of Thatta. Shahzad’s Sindhi is accented with the twangs of Dadu and the crispness of Thattai Sindhi. “Northern Sindhi,” he describes it.

 He responds excitedly when I ask him why he raps in Sindhi.

“I was hoping you would ask me that! When you arrive in Thatta, the ricksawallah (rickshaw driver) has an Urdu song playing, maybe a Punjabi song, maybe even an English song, but never a Sindhi song. What has happened to the rich musical tradition of Sindhi?”

Language and culture are also center-stage in a chat with Kasim Raja, a rapper from Jhelum in Punjab. Kasim’s rhymes pointedly eschew Urdu, associated with urbanity and ushered by the strong arm modernism of the state. He raps in Punjabi, Jhelum’s language of centuries of vintage.

“People don’t know their heritage,” Kasim says. “Punjabis who live in large cities such as Lahore don’t know what village they’re from. A Punjabi without a village has no value. People who forget their history can never prosper.
The arrival in Pakistan of the productions of San Francisco-based Punjabi rapper Bohemia invigorated the country’s rap movement. The rhymes had been languishing shackled to English; Bohemia introduced them to the fiery and familiar vernacular of Punjabi. The contours of Bohemia’s popularity — and the linguistic indigenization of Pakistani Hip Hop that his music sparked — were deeply dictated by the history of language politics in the country.

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