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Hennessy India and Rolling Stone India Come Together to Bring Stories of Hip-Hop Creators to Life: Ultimate Hip-Hop Podcast:’Freestyle’

The multi-artist podcast will feature popular hip-hop stars like Raftaar, Dino James, Fotty Seven, Dee MC, KR$NA and Karma, and will be hosted by Executive Editor Nirmika Singh.

Rolling Stone India May 27, 2022

If hip-hop is the language of the people, Rolling Stone India is the medium through which the soul of the genre travels.

For years, Rolling Stone India has been the front-runner for all things hip-hop, empowering artists with a platform to share and maximize the reach of their journeys in the music industry. A direct reflection of our ethos, spotlighting prominent and emerging hip-hop artists has been the driving force here at Rolling Stone India. Be it through exclusive cover stories featuring game changers from across the nation or through our flagship projects, we believe in uplifting a community of artists who continue to fuel India with their unfiltered and raw energy, passion and talent.

In sync with the same passion and attitude, Rolling Stone India has partnered with Hennessy to launch Freestyle, India’s ultimate hip-hop podcast aimed at impacting India’s cultural and musical spaces. Hennessy’s name has been synonymous with hip-hop for decades now, with its widely-acknowledged patronage and love for rap and street culture. With Freestyle, the partners aim for the conversation series to be the epi-centre of Indian hip-hop’s ideas and aspirations, with every guest artist offering sharp perspectives and deep inspiration, all wrapped in candid camaraderie and bonhomie. 

Hennessy, the number one selling Cognac brand in the world, has a long standing tradition of collaborating with rap icons such as Nas, Tupac, Mobb Deep and Busta Rhymes, in keeping with this tradition of associations this marks a first in India, as Hennessy India supports their new partnership with Rolling Stone with a talented roster of hip hop artists . In a PR climate that’s increasingly data-driven and focused on sales, Hennessy’s community based associations helps aid and highlight the work of local talents, offering a platform, to thereby establish and improve relevance in local communities inspiring loyalty and brand advocacy.

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The six-episode conversation series features the top culture shapers from Indian hip-hop: Raftaar, Dino James, KR$NA, Fotty Seven, Karma and Dee MC.

Watch the teaser below:

Filmed in Mumbai at the heart of an artist’s creative den — a recording studio — Freestyle features Singh in freewheeling chats with the stars, unravelling their artistic layers and presenting their most powerful and vulnerable cores.

Says Nirmika Singh, Executive Editor, Rolling Stone India, “The heart of hip-hop lies in conversation and connection. India is currently witnessing a glorious hip-hop revolution and we want to capture each and every of its nuance, story and milestone in ‘Freestyle’. Our partnership with Hennessy has been truly empowering to the genre and to the artists.”

Smriti Sekhsaria,  Head Marketing at Moët Hennessy India says “Our strategy with the Hennessy x Rolling Stone India collaboration was to create an authentic word of mouth and amplify peer-to peer recommendations. Hennessy has a long history of championing and celebrating those who push the limits of potential and so we knew we wanted to create something completely new to properly showcase the stories and journeys of the artists in a format that was accessible to all. The idea of a podcast was inspired by the digital migration that was witnessed post pandemic, and the need for relatable, genuine storytelling and digital content.” 

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The first episode features Raftaar, who is the most sought-after name in the Indian hip-hop space with an impressive discography spanning independent and commercial releases. The subsequent episodes bring forth Dino James, hailed for his emotive lyricism stemming from real-life experiences continues, and rapper KR$NA who pulls no punches as the earliest hip-hop artists to emerge in the mid-2000s.

On Freestyle Mumbai rapper Dee MC brings her nuanced understanding of the genre and storytelling through her experience as a multifaceted artist while Fotty Seven, who has been pushing the boundaries of contemporary hip-hop in India makes a solid appearance too. Raftaar’s early mentees, Karma, also features in Freestyle.  


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