BANGKOK — An international civil rights group has awarded a creativity award to the artists behind a viral rap video lambasting Thailand’s junta and justice system.
Rap Against Dictatorship, which was threatened with legal action for their 2018 hit ‘My Country’s Got’, has been named this year’s winner of the Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent, according to the band’s official page.
Organized by the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, the prize recognizes those “who engage in creative dissent, exhibiting courage and creativity to challenge injustice and live in truth”.
Rap Against Dictatorship said two of its rappers are flying to Norway to attend the award ceremony, which will be held at the Oslo Freedom Forum – the same event which invited junta critic and Khaosod English writer Pravit Rojanaphruk to speak in 2015.
“Liberate P and Jacoboi are our representatives to receive the prize. Please keep supporting us,” the group said.
The rappers shot to internet fame in October for their expletive-ridden song ‘My Country’s Got’, which discusses various social and political ills inflicting Thailand, from the 2014 coup, to corruption and unfair enforcement of laws.
“My country preaches morals but has a crime rate higher than the Eiffel Tower. My country’s parliament house is a soldiers’ playground. My country points a gun at your throat,” reads some of the milder lyrics.
Police officials considered filing sedition charges against the rappers, to much ridicule on social media, but no legal action was taken.