| 02 Apr 2023
Hardik Dave: Real hip hop should come from places like Dharavi

MUMBAI: Representing the hip hop music scene in India at the South by South West is DesiHipHop CEO Hardik Dave for the session called ‘Hip Hop's Evolution in India – Why You Should Care'. Joining Dave on the panel will be DesiHipHop's CMO and Co-Founder Raf Ullah, Greedhead Entertainment's CEO Himanshu Suri and Legal and Business Affairs Attorney Ali Sachedina, on 18 March in Austin, Texas.

“From hip hop’s origin in USA to its social and cultural impact, along with its requirement to thrive in other regions, especially India, all will be discussed during the panel,” Dave told “In the 80s and 90s, hip hop served as a platform for the minority and the downtrodden to express themselves about social and political injustice among other issues,” continued Dave. “The intention of hip hop was to give a voice to the minority, which at the time were the members of the African American community. It should prevail at a grass root level. In Korea and in the USA, hip hop has witnessed tremendous support from the government because, there they have realised that hip hop is for the people, by the people.”

When asked about the state of hip hop in India, Dave emphasised that it is still in a nascent stage. Dave said, “It is an infant. However, there is going to be a dramatic change in the next five years. Right now, hip hop in India is just five lines in a mainstream Bollywood song; that is not hip hop. Real hip hop should come from places like Dharavi. It should come from a state of hope. Hip hop is supposed to give hope to people, because I feel, it is about the people, by the people, for the people. Over time, as regions nationwide start to promote and integrate hip hop in their respective music culture, we will see it grow.”

On the impact of the growth of hip hop in the Indian music industry, Dave had an enlightening thought. He said, “Currently, hip hop in the US is an $80 billion industry. It is majorly led by 30 million youth between the ages of 13 to 30. What will happen if that portion were to expand to a country of 2 billion people?” Speaking on the market presence of hip hop music in India he added, “In the US, there is a separate category on iTunes for hip hop music, which is further divided into sub-categories. India does not even have a hip hop category on its iTunes page. I envision its establishment soon.”

Along with scouring the country for hip hop talent, Dave also plans to start a DesiHipHop apparel store. In addition to that, he has also planned an international DesiHipHop IP to premiere in 2016 engulfing many South Asian countries called ‘Fuck the Border’. For the same, Dave is currently talking to various event companies.