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Bhutto daughter releases rap tribute to slain mother
University of Edinburgh student Bakhtawar posts song on YouTube in honour of Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto
Sunday, 11 January, 2009 | 19:05

The eldest daughter of the assassinated Pakistani president, Benazir Bhutto, has posted a rap video dedicated to her mother on the video sharing website YouTube.

The song, entitled “I would take the pain away,” was written and performed by 18-year-old Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, who is currently studying in her first year at Edinburgh University.

In a faux-Brooklyn accent, Bakhtawar pays tribute to her politician mother, singing: "You have beauty and intelligence."

The song continues: "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."

Ms Bhutto, who had just returned to Pakistan after nearly a decade of self-exile, was killed while campaigning for the 2008 elections. The blast killed at least 23 other people. A previous attempt on her life earlier in the campaign resulted in the death of 139 people.

The video which accompanies Bakhtawar’s rap comprises footage and pictures of her mother, including footage from the rally where Ms Bhutto was killed. Written lyrics are also displayed running across the bottom on the screen, reinforcing the sentiments expressed by Bakhtawar.

The song itself has received mixed opinions. While the majority of the press has praised her creativity in producing this unique tribute to her mother, some papers have criticized quality of Bakhtawar’s voice.

"Bhutto would've been better off getting an all-star group to record a tribute single," declares the National Press. It continues: "…musically, the 18-year-old would be better off doing a guest verse than trying to carry a full song."

However, not all reviews have been so unenthusiastic. Many articles have pointed out that Bakhtawar has not set out to win any awards with the song, but has instead produced a moving and emotional accolade to a devoted mother. Her voice has also been likened to that of London’s own rap star, M.I.A.

Although it is reported that Bakhtawar has long been interested in rap music, a former aide to Ms Bhutto has claimed that the student has no wishes to pursue a career in the music industry.

Talking to Reuters UK, Pakistani information minister Sherry Rehman said the song was "a tribute of a grieving daughter to her iconic and loving mother."

Bakhtawar has not yet ruled out following in her mother’s footsteps into politics. In June of last year, she was appointed to head of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) women’s wing, where she has promised to play a prominent role in the campaign for women’s equality.

Bakhtawar’s elder brother Biawel, who is currently studying in Oxford, has also become involved with the party replacing his mother as chairperson of the PPP. The youngest daughter is also studying abroad.


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