The rap track by 18-year-old Bakhtawar Bhutto posted on the video-sharing website, YouTube, as a tribute to slain PPP leader and her mother Benazir Bhutto has so far been uploaded more than 30,000 times worldwide by subscribers, who also registered their comments on the website over the quality of lyrics and music of the video.
Though the five-minute rap ballad titled ‘I Would Take The Pain Away’ has not been included in the most viewed videos on YouTube, many of the PPP supporters found the new launch another ripe opportunity to laud the services of late Benazir Bhutto, who was killed in a gun-and-bomb attack in front of the rear gate of Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.
A number of people, most of them PPP workers, contacted ‘The News’ recently and offered their comments about the video that was initially shown on the state-run television, somewhat catching people’s eye at local and international level.
“It’s a tribute to our slain leader and her daughter sings about the pain she, her family and the entire nation still feels at the sudden and shocking death of Benazir Bhutto,” said Amir Shah, a PPP supporter.
The roots of political rap can best be explained in an article by Ernest Allen, Jr Allen (1996) that stated that these roots are “to be found, in part, in the black poetry movement of the 60s, its specific content traceable to the socio-political thought of African Americans from that period to the present”.
Some of the foreign newspapers claimed that Bakhtawar was introduced to Grammy award-winning rapper Puff Daddy with an aim to get tips for such type of musical stints. But an article posted on www.bbcurdu.com stated that such a meeting did not happen despite the willingness shown by Bakhtawar Bhutto.
Information Minister Sherry Rahman told a private television channel the other day that Bakhtawar Bhutto, a student at Britain’s Edinburgh University, wrote the lyrics of the song and composed music of the video that was just a way to express the pain and grief at the loss of her mother.
These days the culture of political rap songs is fast gaining ground at international level and various musical videos based on different issues like ‘Fight the Power’, ‘9/11 is a Joke’, and ‘Stop the Violence’ have gained popularity, apparently encouraging social activism and even push for aggressive tactics to bring about social change.
In 1987, the message rap became political rap with the release of Public Enemy’s first album “Yo! Bumrush the Show”. The album is considered the first official album of the political rap era that recorded a tremendous amount of popularity among the people. According to some analysts, political rap emerged with a bang in the 1980’s at a time when African-Americans were facing racism at the hands of the white people. These rap songs helped popularise the philosophy of Martin Luther King, described as the all-time famous civil rights activist in America, who uttered in his widely popular speech delivered in 1963 “I have a dream”.
Source: The News, 11th January, 2009