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Divine Signs With Nas’ Label Mass Appeal

Universal Music India joins hands with the American record company to launch a brand-new Indian hip-hop label, Mass Appeal India

Riddhi Chakraborty Aug 20, 2019

Clockwise from top left: Peter Bittenbender, Devraj Sanyal, Chaitanya Kataria, Nas, Divine and Adam Granite. Photo: El-Jay Perez

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Universal Music India and American media platform Mass Appeal have joined hands to launch a brand new Indian hip-hop label, Mass Appeal India. Mass Appeal is an independent hip-hop label co-led by American hip-hop legend Nas and is known for releasing albums by some of the most popular artists in American hip-hop including Run the Jewels and the late J Dilla.

Mumbai-based rapper Divine is the first to be signed to Mass Appeal India, stating on Instagram, “It’s an honour to be associated with a legend like Nas. I grew up listening to his music. For him to recognise not just me, but the whole Indian hip-hop scene is a big win for hip-hop, and for hip-hop in India.” Earlier this year the two rappers had collaborated with actor Ranveer Singh on the track “NY Se Mumbai” for Gully Boy, a supremely successful Bollywood film based on Divine’s life story which pushed desi gully rap into the mainstream eye.

 

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ALBUM DROP WORLDWIDE!!!”It’s an honour to be associated with a legend like Nas. I grew up listening to his music. For him to recognise not just me, but the whole Indian hip-hop scene is a big win for hip-hop, and for hip-hop in India,” DIVINE says of signing with Nas’ Mass Appeal. “He is looking forward to working not just with me, but a lot of the young talent in India. I will be working with Mass Appeal India not just in a personal capacity, but also in my capacity as founder of Gully Gang Entertainment to help Mass Appeal India build a thriving ecosystem for urban music and culture in the sub-continent. So, let’s bring our A-Game because the world is watching,” – DIVINE @universalmusicgroup @nas @massappeal @massappealindia @universalmusicindia @gullygangindia @bittenbender @devsanyal

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Nas plans on working closely with UMG India & South Asia managing director and CEO Devraj Sanyal and Mass Appeal CEO Peter Bittenbender to nurture the growing hip-hop scene in India. “We believe that some of the stuff coming out [of India] is extremely exportable,” said Sanyal to Rolling Stone India. “Language doesn’t matter when it comes to hip-hop.” He explained that the reason behind the partnership stemmed from Universal Music India’s big question about how they could bring global hip-hop to India, while putting Indian hip-hop out into the world at the same time. The solution lay in creating a bridge between artists and labels. “What better way to do it than with the biggest hip-hop star in India?” said Sanyal about their decision to pair Divine with Mass Appeal. “People say hip-hop is not mainstream in India–I disagree. Look at what Gully Boy did.” He confirms Divine’s upcoming LP Kohinoor will be among the label’s first releases and they’re already in the process of signing more artists.

Also See  Exclusive screening of ‘Gully Life - The Story of Divine’ at Music Inc.

As an artist and founder of his own label Gully Gang Entertainment (which will remain an independent), Divine is determined to do his part and contribute to the booming scene. “I will be working with Mass Appeal India not just in a personal capacity, but also in my capacity as founder of Gully Gang Entertainment to help Mass Appeal India build a thriving ecosystem for urban music and culture in the sub-continent.”

Watch Nas and Divine discuss the future of Mass Appeal India below:

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