What can the story of a Pashtun family that fought on behalf of the Sikhs, the Afghans, and the British teach us about the flexibility of identity? The story of Afridi Khan reveals how Pashtun identity in the 19th century was a tapestry of overlapping, even conflicting elements.
Languages such as Punjabi and Pashto offer a versatile slang to many a Pakistani street. And the streets are where lyrics overwhelmingly situate rap. The introduction of Punjabi-American rap into Pakistan invigorated its rappers by furnishing them with a vernacular familiar with their experiences. Far from a shadow of its American progenitor, contemporary Pakistani rap thrives in engaged dialectic with local and global trends in the genre.