Rapper Shan Vincent de Paul Hits Out at Pa Ranjith for Rift Among Tamil Artists

Shan Vincent de Paul criticised Pa Ranjith's tweet and wrote that it caused a divide among Tamil artists.

4 min read

Canadian Tamil rapper Shan Vincent de Paul, of Neeye Oli fame from Pa Ranjith’s Sarpatta Parambarai, has now spoken out about the controversy regarding the erasure of Arivu from the representation of his hit songs.

The Jaffna-born rapper-songwriter published a statement on Twitter and Instagram stating he understands Arivu’s “quest for representation” and “how difficult it is to come up in this industry”. Shan further added that both he and Arivu “are defying odds for representation for both our communities”.

In his statement, he has promised to support Arivu and said that he hopes they could continue their discussion regarding this issue.

He also criticised Pa Ranjith's tweet on the controversy and wrote that it caused a divide among Tamil artists.

Shan Vincent de Paul criticised Pa Ranjith's tweet and wrote that it caused a divide among Tamil artists.

Shan Vincent de Paul issued a statement about the controversy regarding the 'Rolling Stone India' magazine cover.

(Photo: Twitter/ @shanvdp)


If the Cover Was about Arivu’s Songs, the Anger Would Be Justified: Paul

American magazine 'Rolling Stone India' featured Shan Vincent De Paul and Dhee on its cover for their upcoming independent albums for AR Rahman’s music label, Maajja.

While Dhee has sung Enjoy Enjaami, Shan Vincent de Paul lent his vocals and wrote the English rap portions of Neeye Oli. Arivu wrote and sung Enjoy Enjaami and the Tamil portions of Neeye Oli.

Shan Vincent de Paul criticised Pa Ranjith's tweet and wrote that it caused a divide among Tamil artists.

Tamil filmmaker Pa Ranjith recently took to Twitter to question why the Rolling Stone magazine cover did not feature rapper Arivu.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Tamil filmmaker Pa Ranjith took to Twitter on 22 August to question why the 'Rolling Stone India' magazine cover had featured singers Dhee and Shan Vincent de Paul, and not Arivu. The magazine's cover story, titled “Back to the Roots,” only had a small quote of Arivu.

“Arivu, the lyricist of Neeye oli and Singer as well as lyricist of Enjoy Enjaami has once again been invisiblised. Rolling Stone India and Maajja, is it difficult to understand that the lyrics of both the songs challenges this erasure of public acknowledgement?,” read Ranjith’s tweet.

Shan had earlier posted several screenshots of condemnable personal attacks by Twitter users and others who were calling for due credit to be given to Arivu for his work.

“this is the just very small fraction of misinformation, lies and hate ive been receiving since @ranjithpa decided to tweet about some shit he knows absolutely nothing about. I just want to make it perfectly clear, I didn’t start this … the road to Jaffna continues. Ps. Go read the article @anuragtagat did an awesome job,” the tweet read.

He then deleted the post and shared a detailed statement.

Shan clarified that there has been a misconception as the 'Rolling Stone India' cover was not based on the songs — Enjoy Enjaami and Neeye Oli — and was actually a promotion for Shan's album 'Made in Jaffna'.

“That was the pitch for me being on the cover. I wanted to promote 'Made in Jaffna' and represent the Eelam Tamil community. Dhee also has her debut English album that she has been working on for quite some time, so we will be the first independent albums on Maajja. This cover represents our debut releases on the platform. Because that one Rolling Stone tweet only mentions the songs, it made it seem like Arivu was left out. And if the cover was about those songs, that would be true and the anger would be justified.”

He added that 'Rolling Stone India' would promote artists like Arivu when they release their independent albums.

Refuse to Be a Pawn in Anyone’s Political Agenda: Paul to PA Ranjith

Paul explained, "In his righteous demand for representation for his community, he irresponsibly fuelled the fire of divide amongst Tamil Artists. His tweet was recklessly broadcast to over a million followers with no reference to the actual article. There was no contest as to why I'm on the cover and Arivu is not, yet he chose this moment to create his own narrative. In his tweet, he credited Arivu as the lyricist of Neeye Oli, leaving me and my contributions unmentioned.”

He pointed out that he had written all of his rap portions, co-directed and edited the video.

“It was a collaboration, and the choice to politicise this specific cover instead of calling for Arivu to have HIS OWN cover was inappropriate, and created a divide amongst us that did nothing more than scapegoat other under-represented and hard-working artists (sic)."
Shan Vincent de Paul

Shan also criticised the media for allowing “this false narrative by chasing click-bait headlines.”

“More importantly, it has created unnecessary friction between two Tamil communities. We don't need more division among us. Even though I understand Ranjith's calls for justice and representation, I refuse to be a pawn in anyone's political agenda (sic)," the statement read.


Would Never Attempt to Discredit or Take Away from Your Hard Work: Paul to Arivu

Shan Vincent De Paul also extended his support to rapper Arivu, calling him his inspiration.

He wrote, "To Arivu, I will forever support you and stand behind your quest for representation, not just in this moment, but continuously. You are an inspiration to so many, and it shows. We are both defying odds and calling for representation for our communities, and industry politics and the media can't stop us from uniting to support each other. It is without question how important your contribution is to the culture and the songs you help write.”

“I would never attempt to discredit or take away from your hard work. I know how difficult it is to come up in this industry. I would love to continue a discussion about this entire situation; I look forward to connecting and continuing to support your rise (sic)."
Shan Vincent De Paul

Shan Vincent De Paul also added that he is looking forward to Arivu's album and pointed out that there is enough room for all artists to shine and tell their stories.

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