Not all rap songs have sleazy, sexist lyrics that belittle women. Raftaar’s song, Aurat, proved that when it was released this January. At a time when rappers are getting flak for vulgarity in songs, the Kerala-based rapper-songwriter is happy to have delivered a track that asks men to respect women. The seed for the song was sown in his mind after the horrific December 16 gangrape incident in Delhi in 2012. Raftaar wrote the lyrics in the memory of the victim.
“I was distraught (when the incident happened). Main bhi tha un protests mein. Maine bhi tear gas shells khaye the (I was a part of those protests and was also hit by tear gas shells). I had these lyrics with me (all these years). I wanted to spread awareness through the song that women are equal and no one gives anyone the right to mistreat them, or think that they are any lesser than men,” he says.
What took him so long to release the song? “I didn’t want people to say, ‘Dekho, incident ka kaise fayda utha raha hai (He’s using the incident for his own good). It was a sensitive time and I didn’t want to come out as a selfish musician. But after the Bengaluru molestation incident and the Sumit Verma prankster (kissing) video, it was time,” says Raftaar, known for his songs such as All Black and Swag Mera Desi.
He vows to never portray women in a negative light in his videos. “It’s all about taking a call, I believe. As an artist, and more importantly as a human being, one should not objectify women. I try to stay away from cheap lyrics or scantily-clad background dancers, and even in future, I will continue to do the same,” he adds.
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