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Saturday, April 20, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

Meesha Shafi defends brother on Twitter, rebuffs claims of his rap being "elite"

A debate started on the micro blogging site after Nida Kirmani took to Twitter to call out the elitist attitude of the entertainment industry
Meesha Shafi and Faris Shafi. SOURCE: Twitter Meesha Shafi
Meesha Shafi and Faris Shafi. SOURCE: Twitter Meesha Shafi

Who should or shouldn't rap was a prickly point of conversation on social media on Monday.

The debate seemed to be kicked off by a tweet from Nida Kirmani, a sociologist and LUMS faculty member who wrote about class, ethnic privilege and its effect on music and the arts in the country. Kirmani called out the art and media community at large and alleged that those who make it big in literature or even art and film “are members of the Punjabi elite.”

Even Coke Studio came under fire for promoting the Sindhis and Baloch “as tokens.”

She brought up rap artist Farsi Shafi into the conversation, saying his songs “maybe entertaining” but they “reinforce” her statement, as rap is ideally an art form of “the marginalised” and how the elite should at least leave it alone.

This prompted singer Meeshi Shafi to jump in and defend her brother, Faris. She called Kirmani’s take “flat and problematic”, taking offense to the allegation of being elite.

“Faris and I were raised by an extremely hard working, very financially stressed single mother. We do not come from money.”

Part one

The singer also wondered if Kirmani was suggesting that the Shafi siblings should “should step aside from our merits and talent and go do something else?” Meesha quoted Kirmani’s original tweet and said “‘Faris Shafi’s rap may be entertaining’ is a grossly reductive and offensive statement to his brilliant pen and courage.”

Part two

Many have weighed in, with some agreeing with Kirmani but denouncing the need for people to stay away from creative expression, solely due to their background.

Others agreed with the first part of her statement but said “laying claims” to rap, an art form “adopted from black culture” was not OK.

Some Twitter users decided to defend Faris and said he did indeed represent those that were marganilised,

While others quoted Faris's lyrics to reply to Kirmani,

Some pointed out how rap has changed as a genre and now regularly even around the world features elite artists.

Others agreed with Kirmani’s point and said regardless of where Faris’s art fell in the debate, elitism definitely determines who gets opportunities in the industry.

While some were just wondering why Kirmani was offering her two cents on a music genre.

And then there were questions like how far does the argument go and what all does it apply to.

It seems so far there are no winners or losers in this debate so far.

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Meesha Shafi



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