Kashmir’s first female rapper, Mehak, a college student of 19 is known by her pen name Menime. Through her rap, she tries to raise a voice for the people’s struggles in the region that is in a continuous political battlefield for almost three decades.
Menime’s songs are full of anguish and sadness that the gen-next of Kashmiri feels about the consistent violence and killings due to the Pakistan backed terrorism.
She has emerged in a nascent hip-hop scene in Kashmir has not developed much by now. So far only a couple of male rappers like MC Kash, Ahmer Javed and Muazzam Bhat have garnered a following. To make her place in this sub-genre of music dominated by males, it has been a struggle for Mehak.
Menime is from the old city of Srinagar’s Hazratbal area. She is pursuing her Bachelors in Arts from Srinagar’s Women’s College.
Her career in rap started in 2016, when there was a situation of political unrest in Jammu and Kashmir over the killing of terrorist Burhan Wani.
At that time, She was in Class IX. The administration had shut the schools for six months due to the volatile situation created by Pakistan backed separatists in valley. During those endless days of curfew, She happened to come across the songs of Eminem, world’s one of the most famous rappers also known by the title of “Rap God” by his fans. Her pen name of Menime is the reverse of Eminem.
She also takes inspiration from the music of other artists like Nicki Minaj, Drake and 50 Cent.
Eminem’s story left a huge impression on her. She tells that Eminem had a troubled childhood and failed multiple times in his school. Other than that, he never talks about sex, drugs or girls in rap which is a common trend among other rappers.
Her music is largely reflective of the societal problems and struggles of the people. This motivated her to sing and write rap songs.
By now, she has composed 15 songs and performed three stage times on the stage. Production and recording is a challenge as each session of recording costs around Rs 1,500-2,000. As a student it is hard for her to arrange this sum every time. So whatever pocket money she gets, she likes to spend on that.