Unflinching in The Face of Cringe

People from Delhi and Mumbai came together on the 11th of September to echo the sickest beat on the block –  self-proclaimed Rap King Om Prakash Mishra’s ‘Bolna Aunty Aun Kya’. This wince-inducing rhetoric is the newest addition to a list of ever-increasing hits on the Cringe Pop charts in the subcontinent.

In the past 4-5 years, these ‘artists’ have given us some inimitable lyrics and an abundance of forgettable memories and attire choices. While Dhinchak Pooja has amassed a huge viewership with her hits ‘Daaru Daaru’ and ‘Selfie’, Baba Sehgal releases a piece of art almost every other week. If you ask kindly enough, the NH7 Weekender performer from 2016 is known to be obliging towards penning down a little birthday rhyme too.

The internet as a whole – or at least a substantial demographic – seems to have found profound meaning and a deep sense of euphoria in the realm of shitty content. Slowly but surely, we have been forced to hoist the white flag– but with an inexplicable sense of indulgence.

The veteran rapper, Baba Sehgal, gave his two cents (paisa) on this recently. “If something is good, people watch it but if it is bad, people watch it more.” Words of wisdom, straight from the horse’s mouth. It does seem to have a ring of truth in it.  It seems to be a matter of deriving humour from derision- something humans have perfected over the course of their existence. We seem to be playing a lengthy game of “How Bad Can It Get?”, and it is ridiculously enjoyable. There isn’t a lack of consumers and clearly, the supply seems to be running at an all-time high. This symbiotic relationship is quite possibly the surface-level reason for the popularity of Cringe Pop.

Taher Shah, the Pakistani halo-adorner, seems to have made his own mark in this genre- a mark that can be rivalled only by a selected few. Responses to his masterpieces ‘Eye to Eye’ and ‘Angel’ have ranged from sheer amazement to serious death threats. The one quality almost all of these artists share is their ability to be indifferent to their ‘haters’. They are more than determined to continue honing their skills and create even better/worse music. Public opinion carries no significance for them. They are content with their work and wish for everyone to see it.  Interestingly enough, these YouTube sensations bank in more than 3-4 lakhs for every video they put up. It becomes a question of whether these artists are simply catering to their audience while being aware of their terrible skill, or if they are marinating in the belief that they are legitimately good. This matter- the actual intention of the artist- seems to be rather interesting.

Choosing to revel in this beautiful disaster that is Cringe Pop, seems to be the popular choice. Of course, the easiest laugh in the world is at someone’s expense. So why not just enjoy it while it lasts?

Author: Abhay Bhudki


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