Premiere: Arshaq Malik and 47K Tear Down Social Power Constructs on ‘You & Your Gods’
The Chennai/Bengaluru rapper-producer’s latest collab features interpretive dance and metal growls
There might be a reference to Bengaluru’s infamous traffic point, Central Silk Board junction, but rapper-producer duo Arshaq Malik and 47K aka Deva go much deeper with their latest song “You & Your Gods.” The track and its accompanying music video — directed by filmmaker Karim Poocha and featuring dancer-choreographer Swaroop Kishen — takes down long-standing ill fitting social norms like fair skin.
Malik says, “[In] the first verse, I talk about the importance that we place on constructs like religion and occupation in our country. The second verse is almost entirely about the obsession around complexion and how people were able to profit off the mass insecurity.” Over a simmering sound crafted initially by Malik and worked on by Chennai-based 47K, a bare-bodied Kishen — bandaged head like a mask — is seen interpreting the lyrics. Painstakingly made by the artists, plus filmmaker Vyshnav Vinod, Malik adds about the video, “We wanted the character to be an emotionless and dark figure, thus the bandages (also, budget friendly). Swaroop was pretty much bandaged up and made to perform the choreography over and over for a period of three to four hours.”
The song works its way past Malik’s verses to a heavy sonic meltdown, which even features low growls. While it’s nothing new from a rapper who also fronts experimental metal band Trash Talk, Malik says he did want to intentionally incorporate his metal leanings. “Since the song was already based around a dark and eerie vibe, it was quite natural. Plus, I’ve always been a sucker for heavy hard-hitting endings.” He closes the track with the proclamation, “For every God that dies another floats up in the gene pool.”
Through 2020, more projects will see release from both Malik and 47K. “Me and Deva are working on a new EP that is going to be released with a comical animated video that has a bit of a dystopian plot line. I’ve also been working with Trash Talk on an EP, that should be out by next month,” the rapper says. 47K also has a solo instrumental album, plus music from his crew Elevated Pride to be out sometime this year.
Watch the video for “You & Your Gods” below. Stream the audio here.