Voice of Tha People Recap Indian Hip Hop’s Big Month
New videos, albums and all the big news in Indian hip hop – Mumbai rapper A-List gives you a lowdown on the scene.
October 2014 has been a hell of a month for Indian hip hop. From exciting album and mixtape releases to new music videos from the scene to live jams and hip hop events, this last month was a really good time to be an Indian hip hop head.
To kick it off, October finally saw the launch of one of the most anticipated albums in not only the Indian hip hop scene, but the wider indie scene as well. Bombay Bassment released their debut album this month, with their cover art as a funky reggae version of the iconic Beatles Abbey Road cover. The album is an explosion of their trademark mash-up of hip hop, reggae and drum n bass sounds. Bombay Bassment has been the standard-bearer of hip hop music innovation in the indie scene for a while now and it’s great to see them finally put out an overdue collection of the songs that have made their live act click. The group even released a music video for their lead single “Show Me What You Got,” a kitschy, funk-laden tribute to ’80s Bollywood.
Watch the video for “Show Me What You Got”
The Indian hip hop underground was not quiet either. Shaikhspeare, one of the promising young artists in the Bombay underground released his mixtape, ‘The Power Of Subconscious Rhymes.’ He had earlier released a music video for the mixtape’s lead single, “Age Of Conflict” featuring every well known artist in Bombay underground hip hop, including Poetik Justis and Enkore. The mixtape follows a theme of socially relevant hip hop and is a must listen for fans of conscious rap.
October also saw music video releases from some of Indian hip hop’s elite. Brodha V, signed to Sony Music now, dropped one for with “Aigiri Nandini.” The song mixes classical Indian sounds with a hip hop vibe with V rapping an ode to women’s empowerment. The video might remind old school heads of Queen Latifah-Vivica Fox starrer Set It Off.
Watch “Aigiri Nandini” below
Another Bangalore artist, Brodha V’s ex-crewmate Smokey The Ghost, showed us indie rappers are not far behind. This month marked the release of his new music video, “When I’m Gone.” An impressive attempt at showcasing a high concept narrative in a rap video, the nine-minute video marks an elevation of both ideas and production quality for Smokey.
Watch “When I’m Gone” below
Bangalore wasn’t the only city bringing the heat though. Five of Mumbai’s favorite rappers – Kav-E, Enkore, D’evil, Poetik Justis and Divine released their #BombayRapCypher video, comprising beats by Sajeel Kapoor aka Sez Productions. In an interesting move, the emcees also released an EP along with the cypher with unreleased solo tracks from the artists, which can be ordered online or picked up at their shows.
The albums and the videos are great but of course, there’s no hip hop like live hip hop. We saw some of the craziest hip hop events go down, from Bombay all the way to Calcutta last month. October was also the 25th anniversary of the breaking of the Berlin Wall and to mark this, there was the Akim Walta Berlin Wall Event in Bombay. Familiar faces in Bombay hip hop, including DJ Uri, DIS Crew and Roc Fresh Crew represented at this event. Said graffiti arist Zake (DIS Crew), “Twenty five years of the fall of the Berlin Wall is the kind of event that is really close to the heart of the German people and being able to paint the replica of the same wall can’t be compared to any other opportunity I would get in a lifetime.”
Moving east, Calcutta had a Hip Hop Jam as part of the lead up to the NH7 Weekender music festival. The Jam included all four elements and performers included dance crews Big Bong Theory Forum and Crafts of Kommotion, rap crews The Cypher Projekt and K-Krew as well as Bombay-based ‘raptivist’ A-List.
November too is already looking good with everything from new mixtapes to street jams being in the works. Catch up with us soon for the follow up, but until then – peace and one love.
MTV Indies Ribbit ft Brodha V, Bombay Rap Cypher ft Naezy, D’Evil, Enkore, Divine at Blue Frog, Mumbai. Entry: Free. Event details here.