From Kathua to Hathras, New Song by Ranveer Singh's Music Label Reflects on Violence Against Women
Ranveer Singh launched IncInk Records in 2019 to support independent hip hop artists | Image credit: YouTube
In the wake of protests following the violent Hathras rape-murder case, a song by Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh's music label IncInk has been making waves among fans of hip hop music as well as on the internet.
Penned and sung by 21-year-old rapper Spitfire aka Nitin Mishra, who shot to fame as the creator of songs like 'Asli Hip Hop' from the 2019 musical drama "Gully Boy", the song, titled 'Black', takes a tough stand on the current state of affairs in India.
It starts with the lines, "Lo aaj phir ek mar gayi, Soona sa wo aangan kar gayi. Par dusri thi duniya us pari ki, lo wapas wo ghar gayi" (There another one died today, leaving behind an empty home. But she was a fairy from a different world, there she has gone back to her home).
In wake of the Hathras case where a 19-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly gangraped by four upper-caste men in Uttar Pradesh, the words have taken on a much more grave meaning.
And it's not just the Hathras case. A number of brutal cases of rape have since been reported including one in Balarampur.
Mishra has been writing lyrics and converting his anger and helplessness to art ever since he was 19 and heard about the Kathua rape-murder case of a minor. In fact "Black" was written and recorded soon after that. Composed and produced by musician Anushka Manchanda, the song perfectly sums up the rage one feels upon the country's inability to provide safety, dignity, and equality to women.
Even if the names of the victims have changed, the song provest hat atrocities against women of all ages continue to flourish unchecked in India.
The song has been released by IncInk, a music label launched by "Gully Boy" Ranveer Singh in 2019 in order to help Indian hip-hop artists to cash in on the film's popularity and find a platform to showcase their talent. The label, (the name is an amalgation of "Inclusive" and "inkalab" meaning "inclusive revolution"), was started in collaboration with music evangelist and filmmaker Navzar Iranee, and aims at providing spaces for indigenous musicians, rappers and hip hops artists from "the streets" to find a platform in mainstream media.