Kashmiri hip-hop artist MC Kash, who shot to fame with his song “I protest” during the 2010 civil unrest in the Valley, broke the internet with his new song, “Like a Sufi”, performed with Pune-based Sufi-rock band Alif.
The video song was released by 101India.com, an online youth-focused content portal, on the occasion of World Music Day on June 21. In a report on its website, the Time magazine said the song is a first of its kind “Sufi rap” in the country.
The video has gone viral, being shared widely on social media.
The song’s lyrics are bi-lingual — 26-year-old Roushan Illahi, who goes by the stage name MC Kash, raps in English, and Alif’s lead vocalist Mohammad Muneem sings in Kashmiri.
Speaking to HT, Muneem — a Kashmiri who lives across Srinagar, Mumbai and Pune — said the lyrics refers to “Tasssawuff” or “mystic” elements, and listeners will interpret it as they wish. On the collaboration with Kash, he said he has been partnering with the rapper for a long time and this was their eighth track together.
Kash could not be reached for a comment.
In 2010, as the civil uprising peaked, a then 20-year-old Kash recorded and released a song called “I protest”. The song was an instant hit because of its powerful lyrics, and Kash became a cult sensation.
“I protest/ Against the things you’ve done/ I protest/ For a mother who lost her son/ I protest/ I’ll throw stones and never run,” the lyrics went.
Media reports suggest the studio where Kash recorded the song was raided by police a few days after its release.
Kash has been singing on human rights violations and political issues ever since the phenomenal hit. His music, he says, lets him “depict the reality” of Kashmir.
He is a popular figure in the state for his music, inspiring a number of young men to also start rapping on the Kashmir conflict. He has more than 46,000 followers on his Facebook page.
In “Like a Sufi” too Kash paints a grim picture of the Kashmir conflict with his lyrics: “Hey/ The youngest son of Haleema/ Was born in a curfew/ Sweat drips from her neck/ Baby loves the perfume/ I mean look, for sure her/ Whole world is a conflict/ Where machine guns roar and/ She can’t stop it”.
The recent hit song was released a day after renowned Pakistani singer Amjad Sabri was brutally murdered in Pakistan allegedly for making blasphemous references in his songs.