It’s difficult to learn about Eva B, and not end up rooting for her.
Eva B is a Baloch rapper from Lyari, home to a thriving hip hop community. Inspired first by Eminem,1 and then by the storytelling of Lyari’s other rappers (all of whom were men), she built for herself a space to talk about Lyari and in particular about the issues of Lyari’s women. Unsurprisingly, the struggle to do so was not straightforward. The name Eva B is an elaborate reference. Eve, the first woman and Eva, a pioneering female hip hop artist. B represents the Baloch.
Her latest recording, Mukhtasir Baatein – a collaboration with Zahra Paracha – is illustrative of Eva B’s impressive writing. Her inspiration is from early hip hop, focusing more on words and story rather than on immediate catchiness. As a result, the song delivers social commentary without relying on an obvious hook, or the self-aggrandizing crutches of other hip hop.
As a side note, the influence of Eminem on current Pakistani hip hop artists is notable. This is followed by the influence of Bohemia, who offered so many of these artists a template of how to make hip hop their own. Bohemia recently followed Kaky Thou$and on Instagram, and the resultant celebratory mood in Kaky Thou$and’s Instagram stories was just amazingly heartwarming.