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News |  28 Apr 2016 18:12 |  By RnMTeam

India had its first official gathering of Hip Hop; and it's first of many to come

INDIA : On 28 April, six rappers gathered together and one after another provided the city, possibly, one of the rarest yet elaborate underground hip-hop sessions. Initiated by Mumbai-based online content portal '', the latest talk-of-the-town 'Hip Hop Homeland' is one of the entity’s path-breaking IPs focused on the youth and the promotion of the sub-cultures that remained isolated in the Indian market.

The genre of ‘Hip-Hop’ (and the style of Rap) never received its due platform to express itself and the lack of awareness about the existing quality in the streets and suburbs of Mumbai (and beyond) performed a major role resulting into sheer ignorance. The Chief Creative Officer and the brains behind, and last night’s gig, - Cyrus Oshidar echoes the sentiment, however ensures the entire purpose of ‘Homeland’ initiative could help change the scene for the genre and the related artistes. “Last night’s gig was one of the firsts for us. HipHop Homeland will be executed in more ways, throughout the country and the diversity in issues reflected in the local artistes seems to be the reason to extend HipHop Homeland beyond metropolitan cities. “We are shooting a video (with local rappers and musicians) in Kashmir and Kolkata, as well as the North-East,” informs Oshidar.

Few of the existing rappers in the city hail from the slums and chawls of Kurla and Dharavi, and the personal experiences reflect in their lyrics. Rapper Naezy expresses about the struggles he overcame to create his own identity, and the ‘desi hip hop artist’ publicly speaks and raps about it. Last night was no different. Rapper Divine, who shot to fame with Naezy for the collaborated single ‘Meri Gully Mein’, had a tough childhood, and the beauty of rap can be exemplified with the freedom it provides any individual to potentially spell-out the hardships and success in local languages, and thus reaching out to the audience without sounding mainstream. The underground rap scene continues to remain rare, and the corporate structure and ideologies to associate with events featuring established or popular names has consistently performed an obstacle to the scene’s growth, believes Oshidar. The impressive outcome can be concluded with the fact that the venue was completely packed to its limit even before the first act opened, and the success for HipHop Homeland (and the rappers) can be defined on the basis of how antiSocial sang the lyrics to the rap along with the artistes, creating an unparalleled vibe for the hip-hop scene.

A video shot by one of the attendees -

With 300 people inside the venue, and a couple of hundred outside (resulting to the overwhelming turnout), the first leg of the gig surely turned out to be a grand affair for the genre and the scene. With rappers like Naezy, Divine, Mumbai’s Finest, MC Mawali, MC Todfod and Prabh Deep, the turnout guaranteed ‘anti-Social (the venue)’ and Mumbai that the genre deserves more reasons to celebrate and showcase its talent. The local artistes shot to internet fame with self-released raps and compositions that revolved around their respective lives so far. With raps in English, Tamil, Telugu, Guajarati, Marathi and Hindi, the night extended beyond generic form of the sub-culture, and had a lyrical depth that mainstream rap music (or Bollywood’s understanding of the genre) usually lacks. “Hip-hop is not music, it’s a culture,” reminds Oshidar. “And we focus on carrying the initiative for two more years. Our intent is to provide these artistes a platform to express and be heard about their stories,” added Oshidar. has worked on 12 videos with local artistes so far, with five videos on Kolkata artistes soon to be released on the portal. antiSocial Khar acted as an ideal venue for the gig of a scene that largely remained underground, but ennui.Bomb’s founder Rishu Singh believes the collaboration with helped spark the fire among the rappers. “In my experience, I have never seen a show like this,” declared Singh, who has been relentlessly running the artist management and music consultancy agency since 2004. Although the gig was free for the attendees, the artistes were paid, and Singh believes similar efforts can be continued in the future. “antiSocial has, in a way, become the city’s newest haven for live music, and the support they provided last night speaks volumes. Excluding Humming Tree, I doubt if any venue provides such quality, support and encouragement,” informed Singh.’s dedication to promote the genre extends beyond live shows and videos. The portal is currently working on documentary web series titled ‘Hip Hop Homeland’, as an attempt to create awareness about the sub-culture.