Young Stunners’ body of work is staggering. It is not only the amount of work that they put out, but the growing quality of it, the authenticity of their words and yet the simplicity of their aesthetic, and the huge audience they’ve built for their work without the support of any real platform to speak of before this year’s PSL Anthem, where they featured alongside Naseebo Lal and Aima Baig.
A number of their songs are meta about rap itself, and about their journey. This is a little reductive because when Young Stunners talk about how they became stars what they are describing is not just a personal journey, but the state of the largest generation of Pakistani young people to have ever existed, which has been left to fight for its own future in an environment out to get them. In this song, Young Stunners talk about the pessimism of the people around them when they first decided to rap, and anyone going to school in Pakistan who has nontraditional dreams can see something of themselves in that sentiment. But they don’t stop there, they talk also of how people turn around when you find some success, and while there is an element of that story that is heartwarming, the tone here seems to suggest the bitterness of having been left alone for so long before being fully embraced.
The authenticity of their work comes from the fact that despite having achieved the success they have, and perhaps maybe having let go of the bitterness they may have felt towards the pessimists around them, that they still sympathize with the pain of those that have yet to reach their goals. That for many young people in Pakistani cities the idea that a body of individuals outside the system will come to appreciate good work if you just put in the time, is just hard to believe.
The real truth is that the bitter hopefulness represented in Young Stunners’ journey is the only emotion that can keep someone going in cities where people still believe that this state of affairs represents an improvement over what came before. That once you are successful enough to get a house in the newer housing societies on the outskirts of the large cities, far away from the old roads and the old shops and the old problems, that once you are in a big car, and once you are finally in a position to change the system for young people – the problems of young people trying to scrape their way through appear far enough away that you can forget about them.
If I go let him know I said “larkay laga reh", laga reh, larkay laga reh
If I go let him know i said “Teri apni jagah hai", bro teri apni jagah hai