Published: 06th January 2021
Have short hair and are always asked about your style choices? Then check out this student's rap number, Mudi Rap
Mudi Rap was written and performed by Shilpa Susan Jacob, a CA student from Kottayam who had had enough of people judging women with short hair.
If you lined up Shilpa Susan Jacob with ten other people, she is confident that what will set her apart would be her short hair. The 23-year-old CA student from Kottayam, who is currently doing her internship in an organisation in Bengaluru, is used to being asked about why she doesn’t have the long tresses that Kerala typically associates with femininity. In July last year, she chose to rap about her ‘notorious’ choice of a hairstyle with a song called Mudi Rap (Hair Rap).
“In Kerala, if you have short hair, people make assumptions about who you are. You are either a lesbian or a tomboy, leaving little space to decide for yourself,” she says. Shilpa has never considered herself a musician, although, in her college years, she would make parody songs about films, her friends and other observations. It was the songs Kaliyugam by Abu X and Penn Rap by Indulekha Warrier that inspired her to rap herself.
She says, “I was singing along to Kaliyugam at home. I added lyrics of my own to the beat and sent it to a few friends. They loved it so much that they immediately started pushing me to make something of my own. At school, it was my fluency in Malayalam that won me first place in competitions like Malayalam Speech and Elocution at the Youth Festival. So I just decided to use that ability to my advantage but with rapping.”
Shilpa’s personal favourite lines from Mudi Rap go ‘Swanthamayi jeevikku penne, nadakku penne, chirikk penne; Vivaramillathavare nokki pinthirinj chirikk penne’ which translates to 'Live, walk and smile of your own accord, girl. Turn your back and smile to those who are ignorant'. After releasing the song on July 28, she remembers falling asleep and waking up to find more than 5,000 likes on the video. The next day, she had to make her profile public so her friends could share it with more people.
Released in December, Shilpa's new rap is about women who
are labelled as 'eerkkili' for being too skinny
“Everything I said we're things I have felt and have found to be true for as long as I’ve had short hair. And to people who are not from here, I know it must seem bizarre. My colleagues in Bengaluru were incredulous that this is even an issue! But I know it resonated with women in Kerala because it’s honestly a weird judgement that we all have to face if we dare to cut our hair ‘like a boy’.”
Shilpa has been bombarded about rapping about a new subject. But she’s choosing her subjects carefully. While political parties and groups have been hounding her to rap about them, she firmly stays away from political issues of any sort. “If I rapped about a political party, people would attack me immediately. Especially because I am a woman. I will release some new tracks very soon. But I want to tackle simple issues like I have with Mudi Rap. It might not be number one on anyone’s list of problems but these are issues that ordinary people have been waiting for someone to talk about,” she concludes.