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Decoding Desi Hip-Hop!

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India’s underground hip-hop is no longer confined to the underground. Having come of age over the past few years, the genre spent 2017 consolidating its position at the top of the charts and in the collective conscious of music fans. If the stars spent the early part of the movement chronicling inner-city angst, 2017 was about reflecting on what the music and lyrics have come to signify, and also to take aim at its co-option by big brands and music companies and perhaps to seek out a new direction forward.

That being said, hip hop in India has gone desi. A part of the south Asian hip hop culture, Indian Hip Hop is known for its music and culture which syndicates the inspirations of hip hop and the Indian subcontinent. Used as an alternative for rap music and, even, pop music which involves rappers of South Asian origins.

It was during the late 1970s hip hop became a subculture and art movement that developed in the Bronx in New York City. Hip-hop was a cultural association that attained widespread popularity in the 1980s and ’90s. With the backing vocals for rap, the musical style incorporating rhythmic and/or rhyming speech that became the movement’s most lasting and influential art form.

Delhi’s Prabh Deep, who dropped his first album in October which quickly went to number one on the iTunes India chart. Desi hip-hop seems to be getting it right. MCs from around the country have been linking up, tapping on shows and proving the fact that they’ve got their flow as well as their priorities on point. The holy underground duo of Naezy and DIVINE might have caught your eye, but there’s a whole bunch of these gully-wanderers rippin’ it up and really putting their own organic, desi twist on the genre. Besides Bollywood and commercial rap music, the underground hip-hop scene started shaping. Many emerging rappers, crews started to create a buzz in the underground hip-hop scene. In north 2 ShadeZ, Desi Beam, KRU172, in south Machas With Attitude, Hiphop Tamizha, in Mumbai Mumbai’s Finest etc. in north-east Khaasi Bloodz became popular.

After 2011, the interest in the rap genre gradually grew in India with a large number of rappers emerging from all corners of the country. A new trend has formed in Bollywood with a number of producers roping in rap artists for their songs. There is a hardcore movement in the underground and hip hop is steadily rising to the top of the popular lists.

This week, Music Plus caught up with the five prevalent Hip-Hop groups across the country. Stay tuned to our new segment Decoding Desi Hip-Hop!

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Abhishek Singh

Author: Abhishek Singh

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