Prominent work: Gully gang cypher, Don’t forgive me
The practice of using creativity to be competitive is what drew me to hip-hop. I was hooked onto it since I was a child. The now global culture’s early pioneers from South Bronx would creatively battle among themselves and direct their aggression towards improving their art instead of resorting to violence. This underlying value traversed thousands of miles since the
mid-1970s. I love the fact that the community in India keeps growing and getting better.
Kanye West is one artiste who has always inspired me. He is a role model because he is an all-rounder — talented and a pioneer of various art forms. His music, and work in the fashion industry continues to inspire me and my entire generation.
Prominent work: Aigiri nandini, Let ’em talk
The genre is one among the few that enable artistes to express themselves in the most honest manner. In a world where everyone is divided, and vocal, this form of music makes expression easier.
Hip-hop has also been instrumental in enabling us to enjoy the freedom of putting out uncensored music. Decades ago, an American rap crew went to court against a government decision to ban one of their explicit songs. The song had become extremely popular. When they won the case, citing one’s freedom of speech, it [paved the way] for the making of songs that couldn’t be censored. That is a big part of music history.
Tupac, Nas, Eminem and Jay Z are a few of the many artistes who’ve influenced me. I have been inspired by the hip-hop culture of the mid to early ’90s. It was an era where lyricism
took precedence, and people experimented with complicated lyrical structures and word-play. Deeper subjects and complex writing flourished.
Prominent work: OG, Roll up, Warm up
I find the genre of hip-hop music amazing because there is little to no barrier for entry. It doesn’t require formal training, or the purchase of expensive instruments and equipment. All that one needs is writing skills, and a basic understanding of rhyming techniques. Beyond that, everything depends on practice, and one`s passion. It also allows you to say things in a way that few other genres do. It offers a certain kind of freedom, and is diverse and limitless.
Growing up, I listened to Mac Dre, Nas, Biggie, 2pac, Jay Z, and Lloyd Banks. Rappers with impeccable writing styles have always influenced me, and continue to do so.
Prominent work: Banjar zameen, Aamchi Mumbai
While there are a lot of ‘commercial’ artistes, like Badshah and Yo Yo Honey Singh, more often than not, hip-hop and rap is a reflection of an individual. That is the nature of the art form, and that is also what makes it so special.
In the six years that I have been beat-boxing, I’ve only been fascinated by how we as human beings can create music with our mouth. It is such a unique art and I was gripped from the word go.
Japanese beat-boxing artiste Sho Go is one of the many artistes I look up to.
Like him, I also like to create melodic music, which in turn makes the [song] more consumable.
Prominent work: Wake up, Main wahi hoon
The current hip-hop music scene is so vast that everyone can grab a different section of listeners. I love the fact that in the past, this genre offered people the chance to narrate their stories. No other art form allowed one to do that.
While the art form is respected today, it is noteworthy that it began as one that got little attention. An art form which was not considered as art to begin with, has now grown to become so big.
I started writing and expressing my thoughts because of artistes like Eminem. Being an introvert, I was moved by his story. He established the power of the genre. Coming from humble beginnings, I had the same rage and hunger that he did. His story inspired me to be a better artiste and human being.