The moment you hear the words India and rap together, the picture of Badshah humming 'abhi toh party shuru huyi hai' starts floating before your eyes, right? Or if you are particularly devoted to 'Lungi Dance', you think of Honey Singh right away.
However, the rap scene in the country has been flourishing elsewhere -- far away from the blinding glitz of Bollywood. Here's a list of eight supremely talented rap artistes you must check out if you haven't already.
1. Naved Shaikh a.k.a Naezy.
Twenty-two-year-year-old and Mumbai-based Hindi--Marathi rapper Naezy grew up in the slums of Kurla. His splendid story-telling skills will keep you hooked to his works.
In his hugely popular song Aafat, he talks about Bombay in the '70s -- when his parents were struggling to make a living. The song talks about people trying to act over-smart and out-do each other.
Another catchy rap by Naezy is Raaste Kathin where he talks about corruption in our county and the difficulties that had created in his path to success.
Also, remember the All India Bakchod's On Air With AIB show? The guy you heard in the intro song was *drum roll* Naezy.
You can follow his work here:
2. Vivian Fernandes a.k.a Divine.
Twenty-five-year-old Divine is the first Indian artist to have had Apple Music release his music. Jungli Sher is autobiographical, and as a result raw and intense. The lyrics draw upon the difficult childhood he has spent in Mumbai's slums.
Last year saw the collaboration of Divine and Naezy in the hit Mere Gully Mein. The song recently touched 1 million views on YouTube.
If you like what he does, follow his work here:
3. Vighnesh Shivanand a.k.a Brodha V.
Brodha V is a performing artist, a composer, programmer, sound engineer, lyricist, and scriptwriter. His fusion of hip-hop with Hindustani and devotional music makes him a unique rapper. He was awarded with the 'Best Hip Hop Artist' and the 'Song of The Year' awards at the Bite My Music Global Awards 2011, for his hit song 'Aathma Raama'.
In 2013, musicians Vishal-Shekhar collabed with Brodha V and Smokey for "Ready Steady Po" in Chennai Express.
Brodha V actively performs in Bengaluru and for his next update, follow him here:
4. Sumukh Mysore a.k.a Smokey.
Smokey along with Brodha V in Bengaluru formed the first ever Indian rap cypher -- a cyclical freestyle form of rapping in which each singer takes turns to rap without breaking the flow. The cypher brought together the city's quirkiest vocalists together.
This Haryanvi rapper is known for his versatility. One of the finer rappers in the scene, he's has had a chance to collaborate with Bohemia in the past.
Pardhaan has recently uploaded a new song on his YouTube channel.
6. MC Mawali.
A member of Mumbai's Swadesi crew, Mawali is a Marathi rapper. The group is known for compositions which look forward to a sensitive, gender-equal society. While women in Yo Yo Honey Singh's videos are objectified, Mawali talks about respecting women and how all of us have to change as a society in his Marathi solo Laaj Watte Kai.
From writing poems in the seventh grade to his first Hindi rap in the ninth, MC Mawali has come a long way.
Go show this Marathi boy some love.
This quartet from the slums of Dharavi makes dope music. Literally. These music magicians rap in Tamil, Hindi and Marathi. Their hard work and talent landed them up on the stage of MTV Coke Studio.
Their YouTube channel deserves your attention. Hit them up for an awesome musical journey.
8. Sharukh Shaikh aka Emiway.
One of the youngest rappers of the lot, Emiway says rapping is his life's passion. And when you watch his videos, you know he isn't exaggerating. He has also successfully built a huge audience on his YouTube channel.
Emiway has a verified YouTube channel with a decent number of subscribers. He also happens to be the most active rapper of the lot with loads of videos up on his channel.
YouTube Channel: Emiway Bantai
Facebook page: @Emiway37
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