#TimesUp for sexist texts? Kannada rappers respond
He Started His Music Career In 2005, But It Was In 2011 That Yo! Yo! Honey Singh Made Punjabi Rap Mainstream, With Songs Like Brown Rank And High Heels . But It Wasn't Just His Popularity That Kept Him In The Public Eye. His Lyrics Were Often Seen As Offensive And Misogynistic, And The Bunch Of Punjabi And Haryanvi Rappers That He Spawned Followed Suit. But Does The Post- #MeToo And #TimesUp Era Have Room For Lyrics That Reduce Women To Sex Objects?
Last December, Singh Dropped His Single Makhna , After A Two-year Hiatus. But The Singer Had Clearly Not Used The Break To Update Himself On How Much The Conversation Around Harassment And Everyday Sexism Has Changed, Still Churning Out Lyrics Like “Mere Lambe Sabar Ka Tu Hai Phal; Oh Yeah Lemme Grab You Girl" And" Main Hoon Shikaari; Tujhe Kha Jaoonga Saari Ki Saari."
But Things Seem To Be Different In The Kannada Rap Scene. We Spoke To Popular Rappers Chandan Shetty And Everything Good And they said that rap is changing And that artistes here are conscious about not hurting sentiments.
Chandan Shetty says he ensures that he never uses abusive words. “I write about my experiences, so I have never used any abusive words in my rap,” he says. Ask Chandan about the sexualisation of women, by calling them words like sexy, And he says, “Carvings on ancient temples have topless women, but none of it is meant to be vulgar; it is the appreciation of the female form. Kalidasa wrote about the beauty of women in a language that was appropriate at the time. And as rappers, we do the same now.”
There is little space for commodification of women, says Everything Good , thanks to the influx of female rappers And artistes rapping about more than conventional topics. “Most Kannada rappers are diverting from the trend of rapping about posh vehicles And money. We are conscious that the lyrics we pen are not hurtful. The biggest change is of women turning rappers And conveying the message they want to through their songs. This is a game changer. I am happy to see a new age of rapping, which the audience is accepting,” he says.