Indian rapper’s “Anaconda” remake a powerful protest song

By Maria Kyriacou

Indian rapper’s “Anaconda” remake a powerful protest song
Nicki Minaj's hit has been flipped into a call for restitution from Unilever, after alleged toxic dumping harms Indian town

Nicki Minaj has lent her support to Indian rapper Sofia Ashraf, who has used the music of her song Anaconda for a powerful protest song.

Ashraf’s song addresses deaths allegedly attributed to a Unilever thermometer factory in the Indian town of Kodaikanal. The factory has been accused of illegally dumping toxic mercury waste for 14 years into a nearby scrapyard.

The factory’s dangerous legacy continues despite its closure in 2001, with the deaths of 57 ex-employees and their families – including 12 children.

Residents in the local area have had an increase in the rate of neurological and reproductive health problems such as heart disease and miscarriage.

Ashraf’s lyrics for her song “Kodaikanal Won’t” tackle the alleged toxic dumping, calling on Unilever to clean up their mess, with the rhythm of  Anaconda’s music laid over the track.

The song was brought to Minaj’s attention, who reacted with a shocked one-word response  on Twitter.

The socially conscious Chennai-born rapper, whose song lyric content is markedly different from Minaj’s, previously released a song castigating another chemical company in 2008, “Don’t Work For Dow,” .

The song’s impact has brought awareness to the plight this community faces and the petition they are compiling asking for Unilever to take responsibility.

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