Pop & Hiss

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Benazir Bhutto's daughter raps in tribute to slain mother

January 7, 2009 |  4:28 pm

Of all the rap odes to slain family members, fellow corner boys and career-making label mates, this video tribute from Benazir Bhutto's 18-year-old daughter, Bakhtawar Bhutto, might be among the most motivationally unimpeachable. Bhutto, the former Pakistani prime minister, was killed in a combination gun/bomb attack in Rawalpindi last December.

This homemade track and video from Bakhtawar, currently a student at Edinburgh University, pays tribute to her mom with a Kanye-inspired sped-up soul sample and mournful lyrics that could have been pulled off one of the myriad post-Biggie laments were it not for their cultural and familial specificity: "Shot in the back of your ear / so young in 54th year/ murdered with three kids left behind / a hopeless nation without you / you are in all their hearts." As Pakistan is at risk of veering ever closer to the brink of unraveling, even this less-than-professional bedroom rap feels especially charged with sadness, grief and doom.

-- August Brown