From The Hindustan Times, “Valley’s First Rapper Attracts Youth”
“Three consecutive summers of unrest in Kashmir may have brought miseries to people of the Valley but they have also given time to some to follow their muse. Such is the case of 21-year-old Roushan Illahi, a business administration student, who has gained popularity as the Valley’s first rap singer.
Illahi, known as MC Kash, is fast becoming popular among the new generation of music lovers having ears for beats other than those emanating from Bollywood movies and other traditional forms of singing.
Born in 1990 in Srinagar’s Dalgate neighbourhood, MC Kash broke into the world of hip-hop and rap with a solo titled Moment of truth last year, when that genre of music was still unknown in the Valley.
He recorded three more songs this year which include Feel It, I Protest (Remembrance) and Beneath the Sky.
Illahi’s renditions have won him adulation of young Kashmiris within and outside the Valley.
Since he grew up in the shadow of guns and witnessed death and destruction in the past 20 years of turmoil, his songs reflect mostly his personal experiences.
His song I Protest (Rememberance) was released in September, when Kashmir was in the midst of its third consecutive summer of protests. The song includes the names of 65 civilains and protestors, who were killed till the day MC Kash wrote the lyrics of the song.
“The 65 martyrs were my inspiration for the song. Whenever someone listens to the song, they are surprised and say how many are they,” MC Kash told PTI.
He says the lyrics he writes are not against anyone but “an expression of love for my people”.
After singing I protest (Remembrance), MC Kash says he was under pressure to stop writing about Kashmir as his well wishers expressed fears about his safety.
“I was a bit afraid but then I thought that revolutionaries do not fear execution. My next song is also about Kashmir,” he said.
The first rapper from Kashmir, who hosts his songs on the internet, is however facing difficulty in producing his next song.
“The studio where I recorded I Protest is now refusing to allow me any further recordings,” MC Kash said, adding that he uses his pocket money and help from friends and relatives to pay the studio charges.
Politics and revolution are the two words which he often speaks about.
“Politics is one thing which can make nations rise or fall. So when I speak may be it influences someone. And I always speak truth because it is what influences people,” he said.”