Artists Who Challenged The Status Quo With Their Politically Charged Songs - Homegrown

Artists Who Challenged The Status Quo With Their Politically Charged Songs

Election fever is upon us. With the general elections being conducted all over India, its likely that you too have been exhausted by the sheer brouhaha of our country’s current political climate. Enough already!!

But we can’t run from it, for there’s no doubt that this year’s election is extremely crucial. While our fate shall be sealed on May 23rd, we here at Homegrown thought how you could have a respite from the political banter, but still engage in important conversations: art.

Artists have always had the courage to reflect the sign of the times. Be it films, poetry or music, art has always managed to shed light on vital political issues through its varied mediums.

Given below is a list of some of the best politically charged songs that have been released this year. Check it out!

‘Achhe Din Blues’ by Aamir Aziz

Little over six minutes, ‘Acche Din Blues’ by Aamir Aziz is a poignant storytelling of India’s current state of affairs. Aamir’s folksy guitar playing interplays with his soothing voice to entice you into a narrative about the various odd interactions and observations of the song’s protagonist. The song is loaded with subtle undertones and innuendos, often hinting to the various sombre incidents taken place in the current government’s tenure.

‘Poorna Swaraj’ by RollsRoy’s

This powerful anthem was posted on comedian Kunal Kamra’s YouTube channel. Kamra along with frequent collaborator Official Peeing Human, have stuck out their net with their brand of political satire and thus decided to give RollsRoy’s a platform. With lines like – “sentiments of a broken nation separated by religions and hesitation” drive the message home. Beyond being an absolute banger, the song is also accompanied by a solid video.

‘Are You Indian?’ by Rapper Big Deal

Samir Rishu Mohanty aka Rapper Big Deal is a half Japanese, half Odia, socially conscious Indian rapper who raps in English, Oriya and Hindi. His hit ‘Are You Indian?’ which aims to take a stab at perception, tradition, culture, and its underlying racism. He credits the hardships he faced growing up to be the fuel behind the songs he makes to invoke empathy. The clever song is accompanied by a brilliant video with people from different walks of lives arguing it out with powerful rap bars.

‘Anti Indian’ by Arivu x ofRo

An absolute Tamil rap banger, this song explores the topic of democracy through the lens of frequently misused term of ‘anti-Indian’. Arivu, who is also part of The Casteless Collective spits bars that delve into the likes of societal hypocrisy and political class. Shot in a room with a laser-red filter along with a life size cut out of Arivu’s inspiration, Kendrick Lamar, this protest anthem is hard to skip.

The Warli Revolt’ by Swadesi feat. Prakash Bhoir

Rap crew Swadesi have never shied away from raising their voice for the right cause. The crew, which is home to scene veterans such as Mawali and MC Tod Fod, released this anthem for the Save Aarey Foundation. Featured on this track is Prakash Bhoir, the tribal chieftain of Aarey’s Worli community. The song takes a dig at the several netas (politicians) who delivered vinaash (destruction; of the Aarey forest) with the promise of vikass (progress). Swadesi also sold sick t-shirts to collect funds for the Save Aarey campaign.

‘One Sided Stories’ by Raghav Meattle

Raghav Meattle’s folksy ‘One Sided Stories’ delves into the spread of fake news and emergence of government propaganda. Talking about the likes of ‘WhatsApp University’ and the growing intolerance in the country, the song delivers its message without any hint of hesitation. Additionally, the splendid music video is a vibrant animation inside a matchbox, a reference to Raghav’s album, ‘Songs From A Matchbox’.

‘Saffron Ablaze’ by Armaan Yadav(prod. Shaayak)

‘Saffron Ablaze’ by Armaan Yadav and Shaayak was a befitting response to BJP’s rap songs, ‘Modi Once More’ and ‘Banda Apna Sahi Hai’. A combination of upbeat tunes and honest lyrics, the song is a grim reminder of instances such as the lynching due to beef ban, and Kathupa rape case. According to the duo, the main purpose of Saffron Ablaze was to voice their views regardless of the fear that comes attached with free speech today.

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