Riz Ahmed is my favourite new heart throb, and I’m not ashamed to say it! The 34 year old British Pakistan is a phenomenal actor (go watch The Night Of if you haven’t already!) But he has a wide variety of talents, one of which is that he… wait for it… RAPS. And just like acting, he’s pretty good at it.
His looks and talent aren’t the only reasons I adore him though. Riz is also using his platform to speak out for more and fairer representations of South Asians in Hollywood and the movie industry in general.
Riz also uses his rap to make political statements. His song T5, for example, deals with what it’s like to be ‘brown’ and deal with the American Transport Security Agency.
But his latest single featuring Ali Sethi is what’s got everyone buzzing. Riz is part of a rap duo called Swet Shop Boys. They recently released a song called “Aaja” that celebrates young love – but which is also, low-key, a song about embracing what you want and ignoring the haters. They best part? They dedicated the song to Qandeel Baloch. Baloch who was killed in the name of honour in 2016 was a proponent of living life the way you want to.
Qandeel obviously faced a lot of criticism for her videos and posts on social media but she continued to defy cultural norms before she was brutally murdered.
It’s very difficult to find ethnic actors cast in non-traditional roles, many relegated to the roles of ‘terrorists’, and it’s extremely refreshing to see Riz not only killing it but also using his platform to make a positive difference.
His video of Aaja is just one example of how he’s embracing his roots, speaking out for the downtrodden and defying traditional norms.
If you haven’t seen the video yet (what are you even doing with your life?) You can listen to the song here and thank me later.