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Exclusive Stream: Lil B Speaks Against Casteism on Scotland-Based Indian Artist Kapil Seshasayee’s New Song

‘Hill Station Reprise’ came about after the American hip-hop artist tweeted asking for more information about untouchability

Anurag Tagat May 20, 2021

American hip-hop artist Lil B aka The BasedGod and Kapil Seshasayee. Photos: Generation Bass/Flickr/CC BY 2.0; Sean Patrick Campbell

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In October last year, American hip-hop artist Lil B aka The BasedGod tweeted the question, “What is the cast [sic] system? What’s going on in India?” Although not his first interaction with or about India (among several shoutouts over the years to fans in the country, he expressed an interest in performing in 2011), Lil B educated himself and was soon talking about untouchability and Dalits.

Turns out, among the people who interacted with Lil B over Twitter was Scotland-based Indian artist Kapil Seshasayee, who has already built a rep as a protest musician with songs against colorism, casteism and more. It led to the creation of “Hill Station Reprise,” a peace-loving new shimmering hip-hop tune featuring an earnest plea by Lil B against casteism.

Seshasayee was turned on to Lil B’s songs via friend and producer Edwin McLachlan earlier and says the process of creating “Hill Station Reprise” was a “rollercoaster ride from start to finish.” He adds that Lil B suggested collaborating, which led the guitarist-producer to send over track stems. “[We had] some back and forth about how we were going to tackle caste. I expected him to be too busy amongst all his other high profile collaborations but he fired back his verses in an hour. He is unbelievably prolific and now I see why,” Seshasayee adds.

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“Hill Station Reprise” even rhymes “Brahmin” with “ramen,” something Seshasayee says is a line that only a seasoned rapper like Lil B can pull off. Interestingly, the swirling, synth-based production and Lil B’s raps about peace and love stand in contrast against Seshasayee’s usually acerbic and angsty music, best heard on his 2018 album A Sacred Bore. With this momentary detour in sound, the artist feels Lil B can bring in a lot more listeners to know about the caste system in India.

Seshasayee is also prepping to release his next album Laal, which was recorded remotely and had “sparse in-person sessions” with band members during the pandemic in Scotland. “I feel like I’ve really developed my writing with this LP — taking the narrative of my writing to exciting new places in how I tackle issues like nationalism, caste and censorship on these songs,” he says. While an upcoming U.K. tour is being rescheduled, the artist promises more collaborations and online interactions.

Listen to “Hill Station Reprise” below. The song is out on streaming platforms on May 21st.

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