Edinburgh hip hop artist speaks out to help fellow rape survivors

An Edinburgh hip hop artist who was raped has spoken out about her harrowing experience, after making a film to help other survivors.

Friday, 19th July 2019, 6:00 am
Hardt Dowt (blue top), Pimpses Asha (gold trousers), Bitta DisGrace (all black). Pic: Greg Macvean
Hardt Dowt (blue top), Pimpses Asha (gold trousers), Bitta DisGrace (all black). Pic: Greg Macvean

Bee Asha Singh, 26, was raped on holiday in Thailand three years ago and she has been battling the aftermath since.

A documentary called Spit It Out is shining a light on her bravery in speaking out about violence against women – and encouraging others to come forward.

Charities have hailed the film as sending a “powerful message” to survivors.

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Pimpses Asha, Bee’s self-confessed “Badass bitch” rapper persona is known for her shamelessly frank take on sex.

The programme aired on the BBC follows Bee as she writes and performs her typically brutal lyrics on female empowerment and sexuality with The Honey Farm – the only all-female hip hop group in Scotland’s male-dominated scene.

After being raped Bee hit an all-time low and turned to antidepressants to help her through it. But Bee found taking drugs to help her cope with depression and agoraphobia left her numb – she was terrified of losing her creative voice.

Recovery seemed a long way off after months hiding from the outside world. But speaking out gave Bee the courage to move on.

Spit It Out is the story of her reclaiming her identity. “After I was raped I couldn’t leave the house. I’d sit in day after day and stare at the front door,” she says.

The film follows the up and coming rapper as she ditches the drugs, goes on a pilgrimage to India and pens lyrics about being raped.

She says lifting the lid on sexual violence in lyrics helps her feel safe and gives other victims “a face” to identify with. The film’s Director Lea Luiz de Oliveira was one of the first to open up to her about being sexually assaulted.

“It gives them that feeling they’re allowed to say things without judgement. I want people to feel OK about saying ‘something happened’.”

Survivors say the film has helped them feel less alone Bee said, “One person said they had kept it secret for 30 years. I’ve spoken to people who didn’t want to leave the house for years.

“Watching the documentary has lifted that feeling for them, even for a moment – that’s all you can ask for.”