Rapping is more than just entertainment
‘Dil dhadke, mera dil dhadke, koi nahi jaane baba kyu dhadke’…’Thanda Thanda paani’. Does anyone remember any of these? In case not, let me quickly refresh your memory a bit. Back in the 90’s, India was taken by storm by these very lines. This was India’s introduction to rap music, all thanks to Baba Sehgal. It was fairly a new concept then, but it was well received by most of us, as it was refreshing. It was for the first time India was listening to something like this.
Baba Sehgal was quite the sensation back then. With a sales figure of more than 4 million cassettes for his album ‘Thanda Thanda paani’, India got its very first rapper. Ever since, there has always been an increase in the number of people getting fascinated with this form of music and giving it a try. People everywhere wanted to try hands at this very form of music, as it was refreshing and having a formal education in music was not really a requirement for this.
By the time we moved into the 2000’s, India had already acquainted itself with the form of music called ‘rapping’. And as rapping started getting accepted as a mainstream form of music, there has been an influx in the number of rappers in India. Rapping, as of today is no longer limited to any language, like Hindi or English, but also regional languages like Punjabi, Odiya, Bengali etc.
Here are the top 3 rappers who have taken India by storm today, and we are liking every bit of it:
- Yo Yo Honey Singh
There is not a single youngster in India who has not grooved to Yo Yo Honey Singh’s tracks. Around two to three years back, in the year 2015, Honey Singh joined the Indian bandwagon of rappers with his vigorous, refreshing punjabi-hindi mixed songs. Songs like ‘Brown rang’, ‘High heels’, ’Blue eyes’, ‘One bottle down’ and many more has been topping the charts for quite a while and has helped him establish his mark.
‘DJ wale babu’, ‘Abhi to party shuru hui hai’, no party today is complete until these two songs are a part of the playlist. The credit for these groovy, charged up songs without which no party ends goes to the heart-throb Badshah (as the whole country knows him). With several Bollywood songs in his kitty, he is one of the most sought-after rappers of the country. Apart from Bollywood numbers he has also recorded a good deal of songs in Punjabi which are worth giving a shot.
- Raftaar (Dilin Nair)
Dilin Nair or Raftaar as he is popularly known is another rap artist worth mentioning. He too records songs in both Hindi and Punjabi. Tracks of his like ‘Swag mera Desi’, Desi Hip Hop’, ‘Chandigarh Rehn Waaliye’ are definitely worth a mention. His song Swag mera Desi had won the Best Urban Song at Britasia Music Awards in 2014. He was also awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Award in the year 2018.
Apart from the above three rappers, who are by now quite well known and well established in the Indian music circuit, there is also a group of fresh, raw rappers who are steadily conquering the fan base of the country. The main theme of their rap consists of matters that matter.
- Sumeet Samos
Sumeet is one of the black horses of modern day rap. Having born in a Dalit family in Odisha, it didn’t take him much time to see and feel the way Dalits are treated in our country. Starting from difficulties in receiving education at school, to problems accessing clean drinking water, to denied opportunities, Sumit has seen all of it. He raps about these real-time issues which have grappled the country like an epidemic.
He chooses to rap in Hindi, English, and Odia. Dalit rights, Dalit oppression, caste based discrimination, the plight of SC/ST’s in India etc., form the core subject of his rap songs.
- Ginni Mahi
Another upcoming and promising name in the rap arena is Ginni Mahi. She chooses to rap mainly in Hindi and Punjabi. Having born in Jalandhar, Punjab, Ginni shot to fame a few years back when her songs ‘Fan Baba sahib Di’, ‘Danger’, ‘Danger 2’, became a sensation in social media.
Prevalent issues like gender inequalities, discrimination, caste, and sex-based differences form the crux of her songs.
- The Casteless Collective
The Casteless Collective is a 19-member band with one female member. Given the current situation of the country, when almost everyone is affected by the political scenario (and unfortunately not many want to address it), the Casteless Collective has taken up and is fulfilling the job of bringing out the state of apathy people are in due to political influences.
The group identifies itself as a “Political Awareness Outfit”.
Their songs like ‘Jai Bhim Anthem’, which talks about the life and works of Babasaheb Ambedkar, ‘The Quota Song’, which talks about the reservation turmoil in the country. They have also covered songs on controversial topics like beef consumption and LGBTQ.
Rapping, as we can see is no longer a thing of the west. Indian rap artists are quickly pacing up and catching up with global standards. And we cannot wait to hear more and more from these talented people, be it the usual girl-boy rap songs or rap songs about the current issues grappling the country.
Way to go people….!!