This is Faris Shafi. And inke gaanay are usually very profane, sexist and, in terms of desi hip-hop, some of the best in the sub-continent. Lekin ye tou hai introduction. Faris Shafi's songs are perhaps exactly that - an introduction. A couple years ago, I read in an article online that in his songs, Faris is trying to do exactly the opposite of what it seems. At first glance his 2021 release: Introduction, appears problematic. But soon after, a friend told me that Faris is actually trying to show you how 'X' person in society behaves. I began to re-examine his work and felt that he almost always attempts a social commentary within his songs. In Waasta, for example, he presents the perspective of individuals who are marginalized, wronged and pushed to violence. Let's analyze the following verse:
"...Muzaffar ke bhi nafay main kab se pistol lagi hai
Ghazanfar ke bhi bistar ke neechay AK pari hai
Ghazanfar ki tou age hee nahi hai
iss Qabil nahi
Par har taraf us ke ghar walon ki lashain pareen
Wo Qatil nahi par kya kare?
Maar de ya sab ko yeh maaf kare?
Gaarh de ya sab ko bardaasht kare?
Sab se yeh dastbardaar huey
Aur phir badle ka plan ijaad kare
Parking lot main intezaar kare
Sarr main yeh aap ke suraakh kare
Aur phir yeh darr k wahaan se faraar huey..."
Faris asks his audience to imagine the scenario of a "terrorist" attack from the perspective of the little child who's not even 'baligh' and faces such suffering. It's very easy to imagine any Ghazanfar in his place feeling the same way. But just hold up.. this was too easy. Let's move on to Lafz, Faris's big release in 2021 (which sounds absolutely disgusting btw) and let's look at a small verse here as well:
"... I think about you all the time-a
Cut the drama
Sach bataa na
Don't you like me?
I wanna touch you just politely
Just invite me
Over to your home when you're home alone
When I come over, you come over and over again
Get off the phone
Tera gala dabaaooN
Wait a minute I mean
Gaana sunaaooN Khaana khilaaooN
Farigh karaooN Faris is gone... "
Tobah yaar, matlab had hoti hai. But just take a moment and look at it from the other lens. Assume that Faris is portraying the mindset of every sexist and horny desi man around. Isn't he practically describing the hypocrisy, violent tendencies and typically revolting attitude of men in our society? Now this song feels like it has a totally different context. The same perspective-driven instrument can be seen implemented in his song, Nazar, but you get the point. Clearly Faris is always consciously challenging the status quo in his songs and at times he uses a very powerful POV element within them.
Lekin ye tou hai introduction. Asal baat tou ye hai ke is this a good device to use? Firstly, contrary to this argument, it might just be that Faris didn't really think so profoundly when writing his songs and yeah honestly maybe this whole post is BS. But perhaps he has shown plenty of indication that all of this, in fact, is intentional. Pehli dafa jab meine Faris ka gaana gaari mein lagaya tou mere cousin bole " haan bhai baray liberal ho gaye ho Faris sunte ho hain? " meine bhi socha bhai?? Lekin Faris ki asal pehchan to 2014 hai when he released the infamous "Muskura". Mashallah se banned on YouTube, banned on Spotify, banned everywhere, Faris Shafi sahab made it to the death note of our mazhabi hazraat when he let this song out. Besides pointing out the constant sectarian violence, hinting at "tharkee molvis" and how no one is safe with them, Faris criticizes some of the restrictive practices that are rigorously imposed on women in the name of religion:
"...Takhnon sai upper shalwar rakhoon?
Kissi sai kabhee na pyaar karoon?
Apni biwi ko bhenc**d burqa pehna keh b**d mein ghussa keh chhupa rakhoon
Mein kya karoon? Mein kya karoon? Aap hee bataain mein kya karoon
Mein bhee aik musalmaan hun. Kartai hein mujhai pareshan kyun
To aap kyun mairee khaatoon khana ko majboor banana chahtay hein
Zaroor hijab kyun pehnatay hein? Unhay kasoorvar kyoon thehratay hein..."
Yeah nobody really is perfect. Ngl It would be cool to imagine if a woman brought up a similar song, but we all know that would put her in life-threatening danger. Until then, maybe Faris is as controversial as an artist can get. Despite all that said, maybe Faris really doesn't give a damn about any of this. But IF he is attempting to change our perspective and make us feel a certain way through his clever sarcasm, it just might be doing more harm than good. When Introduction came out last year, it didn't take long for half my friends to say "yaar kya tabahi gaana hai". But I don't think hardly any of them meant that after analyzing the complex POV of an average elitist baap ka beta in the song. I know that they didn't understand two cents of what Faris meant by:
"Ehsaas e kamtari ki
Misaalain ban chuki theen
Aur red ho Lamborghini"
I know ke unke sar ke oopar se jaa raha hota hai when he's saying "Belt pe CK Hell main LV " Orr "Meray paas bachnay ke do tareekay hain" OR "Main hun seal commander Please na pa tu phadda" ORRR "A sea of people taught me corruption ". Un becharon ko sirf ye samajh aa rahi hai ke:
"... body bh*nc**d aisi Ke saari bachiyan geeli Pappiyan geeli just imagine... "
So maybe, just maybe, Faris and his well-intentioned perhaps progressive songs, might just be backfiring in the ears of 90% of humaray young biradran whose ears are still ringing from hearing them all day. Khair, that was just a little insight I wanted to share with you all. Mujhe iss pe grade tou nahi milna so please come talk to me in the comments, kyunke ye tou hai sirf introduction.