Academic Nida Kirmani wants 'elites' like Faris Shafi to leave rap, sister Meesha Shafi has a lot to say

Academic Nida Kirmani wants 'elites' like Faris Shafi to leave rap, sister Meesha Shafi has a lot to say

The sociologist tweeted that rap is an art form of the marginalised, hence Faris being an 'elite' should leave it be.
31 Jan, 2022

Author and sociologist Nida Kirmani shared some of her thoughts on privilege and rap on Twitter that irked many music and Coke Studio fans. It was her targeting of Faris Shafi that had people particularly enraged, especially his sister Meesha Shafi.

The activist wrote that "rap is an art form of the marginalised" hence, Faris should leave it be. Meesha strongly disagreed and supported her brother by calling out Kirmani on her "problematic" perspective.

Kirmani took to Twitter on Monday to talk about how "class and ethnic privilege effects every field in Pakistan". She claimed that most members of the music, literature and TV/film fraternities are from the Punjabi elite.

She continued her thoughts in the thread and said that Faris' rap "may be entertaining but only reinforces this". According to Kirmani, rap is an art form of the marginalised, "adopted and transformed by folks from the inner city". Historically, rap has been a form of musical expression used primarily by Black people in America.

"This is why the rappers like Eva B coming from Lyari are part of a wider tradition. The elite should leave at least this," wrote the activist.

Many fans of the 'Introduction' singer had a problem with the way she named him in her tweet. His sister Meesha jumped in to the conversation to defend him and called out Kirmani for her "flat and problematic" perspective.

"Faris and I were raised by an extremely hard working, very financially stressed single mother. We do not come from money. Are you suggesting, just because she put her sweat and tears into managing to give us a private education, we should step aside from our merits and talent and go do something else?" questioned the 'Hot Mango Chutney Sauce' singer.

She pointed out that Kirmani saying that her brother's rap "may be entertaining" was "a grossly reductive and offensive statement to his brilliant pen and courage."

Meesha also took a jab at Kirmani teaching at LUMS, one of the most prestigious universities in Pakistan and said "the elite should only be allowed to teach at universities and educate other elites. How dare they appear on Coke Studio."

Fans of the rapper took digs at Kirmani.

One Twitter user found Meesha's defence of her younger brother "wholesome".

Another simply credited Faris as the "pioneer of making rap about social/political satire" .

A follower of the singer went on to remind Kirmani that the rapper "writes about stuff that needs to be talked about, he sheds light on the issues through brilliantly crafted and produced lyrical works while not losing essence of the issue."

The entire episode opened a window for meme-makers on Twitter and some definitely seized the moment.

Meesha also cleared the air for many who just found out that she and Faris are related, adding more weight to her argument that his fame and rise as a musician have nothing to do with privilege or connections.

One user noted that Kirmani didn't call out other wealthy and privileged artists.

The argument here is not whether privilege plays a role in an artist succeeding in Pakistan but whether Nida Kirmani understands that she can't make assumptions when calling out a particular artist. Like Meesha said, we aren't all aware of the circumstances of their lives and to assume privilege where there may not have been isn't right. Kirmani's assumption that Faris coasted through to the top isn't fair, nor is her argument that people from the elite class need to stop rapping. Music, much like art, should be free of biases and that means letting anyone who is talented share their music with people. There is no denying that privilege plays a part in some artists' lives but that shouldn't mean they and their work are discounted.


Ahmed Jan 31, 2022 06:15pm
Take away Twitter (wall of a public toilet) and we wouldn't even know Nida. What has she achieved? Why does she matter?
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Truth be told Jan 31, 2022 06:38pm
Useless and waste of time.
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Goldenspoon Jan 31, 2022 06:42pm
Elite - the main cause of all problems in Pakistan.
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Ali da Malanga Jan 31, 2022 07:07pm
What thought-provoking news! Who is Faris Shafi?
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HM Jan 31, 2022 07:18pm
"Middle Class Family" - lol
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Ahmad Gul Nazir Jan 31, 2022 07:51pm
Who gave him work had known his family before allowing him to sing in coke studio
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Faraz-Canada Jan 31, 2022 08:23pm
Who is Faris Shafi? All hands on deck. Looks like Meesha quickly called upon her twitter team to rescue
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Salman Feb 01, 2022 10:17am
Fight inbetween the elites
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Imran kakar Feb 01, 2022 05:26pm
Elite class is the main problem of Pakistan , does not pay taxes, snatch the rights of the poor , always support those who r in. Their interest.
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Sane Mind1st Feb 02, 2022 04:01pm
Marginalised like Pakistan is in the world?. Than i agree.
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