Lyari Underground speaks about the struggles of Lyari youth through rap – Patari

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Photo : Shehzad Mohammad Ali

“Sometimes I feel like rap music is almost the key to stopping racism.” Eminem

Lyari Underground (L.U.G.) is a rap group from the neglected neighborhood of Lyari, determined to speak about his community truth, injustice and struggles of Lyari youth through rap. A group of boys, namely Asadullah aka Danger Baloch, Hammal aka Desert Eagle, Daniyal aka Slipknot, Abdul Ahad aka Anxiously, Abdullah aka DJ Khalifa, Abdul Wahab aka DJ Killa and M4 came together to transform the perception about Lyari through their music and lyrics which speak to the challenges that come with living in one of Karachi’s poorest areas.

Abdul Ahad aka Anxiously, 26 years old, is the brain behind Lyari Underground. His introduction to hip-hop and rap happened quite accidentally. Back in 2008, a teacher in an institute, where he learned English language, encouraged him to listen to English music to improve his accent and vocabulary. In the process he discovered rap.

He started doing rap and met his group members online and formed the group Lyari Underground.

Inspired by Tupac Shakur he says, “Tupac’s Hit ‘em Up was the first ever rap song for me to listen to. I liked that and listened more from him. I found out the Harlem, New York City, where he grew up — was no better than Lyari. This became my inspiration to start rap and speak about the injustice and tough time faced by Lyari youth. I found this as a chance to speak as a representative of an oppressed culture”

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Initially, they recorded songs on computer mics and shared online on their Facebook profiles without much equipment but whatever they had they can make meritorious music. In 2017, Patari discovered them.

Initially, they remained underground as they did not want the political parties and gang members to find them and force them to write and sing songs for their parties. Danger Baloch said, “I agree that the name LUG does not fix with a reveled band, but we never thought that we could sing on the ground so freely. We never wanted the LUG to be on the surface because we wanted to protect our art. The fact is that we had that fear that if any of the gangs would have found us singing, then they could force us to sing for their promotion, and we never wanted it to happen.”

First Rap was sung by anxiously and second by M4. Their first rap through Patari was ‘Playes of Lyari’ which became famous and trended on social media, narrates the discrimination tale of Lyari’s gifted sportsmen, Lyari youth, and lack of recognition. The video of ‘Players of Lyari’ shows grooming of players from their early age till they had to give up their dreams due to corruption or other political unrests. It was composed by Danger Baloch, DJ Khalifa, and Slipknot Denna, and it is the first ever rap in Balochi language which got fame.

We proudly announce that despite ignorance, one thing Lyari will always have is talent. The history itself is an evidence of Lyari being resilient. Lyari remains the cultural gem, with a historical and unbiased love towards the game of football.