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News |  11 Feb 2016 15:55 |  By RnMTeam

'Hip Hop Homeland' taps evolving rap scene in India

MUMBAI: ‘Hip Hop’ an art form that travelled to India through the internet is the fastest growing subculture in the country. Not much has been spoken about it in the past probably because not many of us noticed it. However, 101 India, a youth portal focussed on telling stories about a new India, has now put the spotlight on it. Last month they launched a web series on the flourishing Indian underground Hip Hop scene called ‘Hip Hop Homeland’.

The first leg of the series was broken down into 11 videos focusing on the west coast spanning the entire scope of Hip Hop subculture - from rap to other forms of self-expression like dance and visual art. It featured artists such as TodFod, Mawwali, Voctronica, Kinga Rhymes, BobKat, Ace, Zake (graffiti artist) Beast Mode (the crew), Shawty Pink, Flying Machine ( Arif), DMC.

The series managed to grab a few eyeballs, however; this is not what they are stopping at. They will now be covering other regions of India that includes Shillong, Punjab, Calcutta and South India. The team of 101 India also managed to cover a rapper from Kashmir. Video of the same was released yesterday.

To know more on this fast growing Indian subculture we contacted 101 India chief creative officer Cyrus Oshidar and he said, “Hip Hop is beyond rap and it’s a growing subculture. The reason we chose to do this is not just for the music but for youth subculture. In a country like ours, people talk about issues through these (Hip Hop) mediums. So it’s a great form of self-expression.

"What’s interesting is that it has derived from America and it has travelled here and found its voice in the chawls. These youngsters have taken it (Hip Hop), adapted it and created something of their own. They are singing in Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil and the guy from Kashmir sings in English.”

Oshidar further explained that Hip Hop originally is about representing one's ‘hood’ as in ‘neighbourhood’. So whatever the rappers are talking about is basically about their environment.

“What’s important is that these kids are expressing themselves. They are the first Indian rebels. That is nice. We are not too big in rebellion. These youngsters are brash, unafraid and they are expressing themselves,” told the creative man to

The 101 India CCO also looks at this Indian subculture as a welcome change. He further states that there is a huge difference between their work and Yo Yo Honey Singh’s. These rappers do not sing about vodka, bars and clubs. They talk real issues.

“Bollywood is all fantasy and that is something that people want to watch, so it’s fine. This is the reality. Things are changing now and these people are representing that change,” stated Oshidar. He further added, “The internet has given full access to everyone. These guys picked up something from the internet adapted it to their own themes and rhymes. Now they are pushing it back through the internet and it’s reaching everyone. It’s fantastic and wonderful.”
Interestingly, ‘Hip Hop Homeland was ready nine months ago but was kept on halt due to lack of sponsors. The situation remains the same but 101 Digital has decided to put in their best regardless of the 'missing sponsors' factor.

Oshidar also plans to extend this property on-ground and release a few music videos. “We might do a small event or series of events with the property. Apart from that, we might produce a few of these rap songs into a music video. However, its still in the planning stage,” revealed Oshidar.

The Indian music scene definitely seems to be changing with 'Hip Hop Homeland'.