After facing backlash for featuring Canadian Tamil rapper Shan Vincent de Paul and singer Dhee and excluding rapper Arivu in the cover of the Rolling Stone India, the magazine has now released a new digital cover.
On Friday afternoon, Rolling Stone India posted an image of Arivu on the cover of the August 2021 issue that read, “#BeyondBorders ARIVU The trailblazing Tamil rapper is the voice of socio-political hip-hop smashing records and defying social norms.”
The caption of the Instagram post read, “Wordsmith, composer and rapper Arivu (@therukural) appears on our August 2021 digital cover. Following acclaim for his album ‘Therukural’ with @ofrooooo, the Tamil artist has scorched a path out, raising his voice against systemic injustices.”
Tamil filmmaker Pa Ranjith took to Twitter on 22 August to question why Rolling Stone India cover did not credit Arivu for his contribution.
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 invisibilised. 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.
While Dhee has sung Enjoy Enjaami, 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.
Several Twitter and Instagram users were quick to comment on the post saying this was ‘long due.’
“Seems like only if we create a ruckus will you give an artist due credit nd feature him in your magazine,” said a user.
"Everyone's calling us casteist, what do we do?" asks the editor, "let's put him in a digital cover and seal the deal", says a junior intern 🙂,” read another comment on Instagram.
Canadian Tamil rapper de Paul clarified on Thursday 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'.
"In his righteous demand for representation for his community, he (Pa Ranjith) 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,” his statement read.
“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
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