Voice of Tha People Recap August in Hip Hop
Organized by Mumbai rap crew Elsewhere, hip hop battle Home Invasion proved that rap battles have been evolving quickly, while hip hop crew Kings United returned victorious from the World Hip Hop Dance Championships 2015 in San Diego
With the way the rest of 2015 is beginning to line up for the community, August was billed to be the month where things really took off for Indian hip-hop this year ”“ and boy, did it live it up to the hype. Not only did we have another standout battle event, but were also made proud by Indian artists in an overseas championship.
We have to begin by acknowledging that the momentum we’re experiencing now had well and truly begun gathering prior to August. When the Red Bull BC One mega championship made a stop in India this June, the community witnessed the finest b-boys we can boast of, all gunning for national supremacy and international opportunities. Later on, in July, the 6th edition of Delhi Funk Circle provided the perfect platform for poppers from around the country to both, unite, as well as go against each other. And this month, on the 22nd of August, the MCs got in on the bloodshed too with a momentous night in Indian rap.
Home Invasion, an event by Battle Bars Bombay, was unarguably the true arrival of Indian battle rap with real substance and quality, having enjoyed participation from some of the best wordsmiths from cities like Kolkata and Pune among others, joining Mumbai’s best on the stage. The effort and thought put in by organizers ”“ Mumbai rap crew Elsewhere ”“ manifested itself in the fact that the only disappointment on the night was when the pool of attendees saw co-headlining battler Kav-E end his third and last verse ”“ signifying that one of Indian hip-hop’s defining moments finally had to be drawn to a close. Kav-E himself was pitted against Poetik Justis ”“ both artists are expected to drop individual mixtapes/albums before the year’s end ”“ in a heated three-round headlining battle between two of the best Indian lyricists. Other battlers like That Dude AJ [Pune], Hardknok [Kolkata], Quixotic [Delhi], Shaikhspeare, Xcentrik, Infamous, EMF and Sai [Mumbai] too reaffirmed their status as battle rappers to be taken lightly only at one’s peril. A special beatbox battle between Sphere FX and Vibe too was packed with innovation and even featured some freestyle beatboxing interspersed with verbal animosity seemingly synthesized by the instruments all hidden in either competitor’s larynx.
All in all, Battle Bars Bombay’s Home Invasion proved that it’s not just mainstream or commercial lanes of hip-hop that have been evolving in quality off late, but battles too. B-boys though have been going hard with battles for a good few years now, and the most recent event to be conducted was Hip Hop Hustle, organized by IBF [Indian Breaking Federation]. The solo winner for b-boying on the night was T.H.E Crew and The Culture Squad representer ”“ B-boy Jaggi. Having been on a hiatus until recently, he tells us that he feels it was a uique new combination of funk, musicality and strength that won him the title. Other titles on the night were picked up by Sameep [Popping], Supahit [House] and Mik62 & Ronnie [All styles].
Indians weren’t just making noise within our country though, and we have Kings United crew to thank for representing the Indian movement abroad as they picked up Bronze at the World Hip Hop Dance Championships 2015, conducted in San Diego in the United States. A competition held annually and contested eagerly by crews and megacrews from over 50 countries, this is no mean feat and was a positive note to begin August with.
Now though with the month done and September looming, we’re looking forward to new releases from some of the biggest rappers in the country, but also finally watching some of the premier artists from Indian hip-hop on one of the biggest music festivals across the nation with Nh7 Weekender announcing that Divine & Gully Gang, Brodha V and Feyago are all part of their lineup for this year’s events. 2015 seems increasingly like a year that’s going to end more by delivering a bang than fading into the darkness ”“ and we at Voice of Tha People are at the edge of our seats.
Check out some of the action that went down at Home Invasion below.