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Mumbai’s Hip-Hop Scene Gets Its Own Documentary ‘Kya Bolta Bantai’

The film features everyone from Divine and Ace to crews like Swadesi and Dopeadelicz

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Jul 05, 2018

Mumbai rappers Naezy (L), Divine (center) and Ace have all helped in shaping the hip-hop community in the country

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Last month, Vice India announced the release of a new 30-minute documentary on the Mumbai hip-hop scene titled Kya Bolta Bantai.

The film – directed by Mumbai filmmaker and Vice India producer Naman Saraiya – chronicles the rise of the underground hip-hop scene in Mumbai predominantly focusing on ‘gully rap.’ The likes of seasoned hip-hoppers such as Divine and Ace speak about the infancy of the genre and even the first time the word ‘gully’ was used in a particular track, “Talli Dance,” by Mumbais Finest according to Ace.

Also featured are hip-hop crews which include Swadesi, Dopeadelicz lead by the effervescent Tony Sebastian and 7Bantai’Z. Music journalist Bhanuj Kappal states in the documentary that rapper Naezy was “revolutionary” in helping shape the hip-hop community. Mumbai comedy group Tadpatri Talkies make an appearance in the film too. Although most people don’t mind their dissing and humor, the older generation of artists feels that they should have no place in Indian hip-hop.

While Kya Bolta Bantai showcases where the small underground hip-hop scene sowed it seeds, it also brings to light how it has been able to reach the masses within a span of a few years. Enter Bollywood: The upcoming Gully Boy film directed by Zoya Akhtar and starring Ranveer Singh only encapsulates how  high Mumbai hip-hop has risen. The movie is based on the hip-hop boom in the country and is about a coming-of-age story that follows a Mumbai boy’s journey from the slums to the stage. It is safe to say that gully rap is here to stay.

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Click here to watch ‘Kya Bolta Bantai’

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