The Casteless Collective, a music band which came together through director Pa Ranjith's Neelam Productions, has released a song called 'Vada Chennai'. The song is about North Madras which has been mostly shown in a stereotypical way in Tamil cinema. Vada Chennai was also the title of Vetrimaaran's recent film with Dhanush in the lead. The film showcased gangster wars in the region and was criticised by a section of people from Vada Chennai for depicting the residents as criminals.
In the lyric video of the song, the words appear against moving visuals of places from North Madras. It starts off with a reference to Vyasarpadi and asks if anyone knows the truth about North Madras and if they can grasp its realities if told.
The song speaks of how North Madras was systematically destroyed, its beauties buried. It asks for the people to reclaim the land that they have lost, referring to how the people who lived around the Cooum river were evicted from their land, and charged with petty crimes after their homes were demolished. Encouraging people to ask questions, the song asks, "Is this why we were born as the grandchildren of Periyar?" and goes on to add that the history and traditions of the Karuppar cannot be obliterated so easily.
Pa Ranjith's last film with Rajinikanth, Kaala, was set in Mumbai's Dharavi and also spoke about land rights of the oppressed.
The catchy song has 'Hey Jumbaarey' as the refrain and asserts that people who live in North Madras, the working class, will no longer take it lying down and that they will fight back. 'Vada Chennai' makes the pertinent point that the city was built with the sweat and hard work of the people from the region and that it's not fair for the government to try and displace them from their home.
Apart from the fiery lyrics, the song also shows images of people from North Chennai going about their lives, including playing football and carom, popular sports in this part of the city.
The music producer is Tenma while the lyrics are by Logan and Arivu, who has also rapped for the song. The lead singer is Dharani.