She Raps Yo Yo on the Knuckles

How a young woman uses slam poetry to take on the sexism rampant in Indian rap songs

Published: 04th February 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2015 03:43 AM   |  A+A-

QUEEN’S ROAD: Enough has been written about Yo Yo Honey Singh and his disturbingly misogynistic songs. But not enough has been rapped. But when at the Delhi Poetry Slam, one Rene Sharanya Verma, a student of St Stephen’s College, got on stage and gave the rap ‘star’ a piece of her mind, the Internet heaved and buzzed.

A video of the young woman telling her counterparts in the audience that they need to resist the image that Honey Singh is trying to imprint on their minds has gone viral over the past week. “I’m not ‘blue eyes, hypnotise.’ Mein chotti dress mein bomb nahin lagti, yaar! I am not your woofer and you sure as hell aren’t my amplifier. I mean, what are you, a f***ing transformer?” she booms.

Incredibly, a disturbing number of people in the comments section dissed young Verma for her rapping skills while standing up for Honey Singh’s ‘freedom of expression’ as an artiste, but there were others who applauded her courage.

This ‘artiste’ in question, of course, constantly reduces women to objects of sexual gratification, promotes violence against them and makes millions with incredibly offensive, brain-dead lyrics. And he’s the one that needs your solidarity. Not the woman who, by all likelihood, has been harassed by men on the street who call her a ‘kudi namkeen’ or sing ‘Chal mere ghar.’

A lot of trash gets passed off as entertainment on mainstream media these days. And as Honey Singh himself admitted in an interview, nobody wants to listen to his songs about Bhagat Singh. While sex sells, forced sex with the dumbed down image of an attractive woman seems to sell twice as much. That his songs are playing at every pub and club in the country is horrifying, and that teenagers are humming the tunes of Chaar botal vodka and Ice cream khaungi is something that we as a discerning audience need to worry about.

Being a woman in the country today is hard enough. We don’t want crass rap songs adding fuel to the flames of misogyny.  


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