Photo: Mass Appeal/Gully Gang
On October 9th 2019, Indian rap pioneer and mogul Divine, born Vivian Wilson Fernandes, released his debut body of work “Kohinoor”. Released through Nas’ iconic record label Mass Appeal, the star-studded album featured lethal guest verses by Nas & Dave East alongside Gully Gang‘s fierce rappers Shah Rule, D’Evil, rap crew Aavrutti and Indian pop singer Sid Sriram.
For many, “Kohinoor” is perhaps the most crucial and influential Indian rap records in history. The 8-track LP, which was produced by numerous Hip-Hop super producers including iLL Wayno, Phenom & more, paved the way for unapologetically raw Indian rap music which drew inspiration from classic Brooklyn rap and 808s.
The album, which has been certified 20x platinum is home to cult Indian rap records – “Kohinoor”, “Wallah”, “Gandhi Money”, “Nas Interlude (Skit)”, “Vibe Hai”, “Chai Bombay”, “Remand” and “Too Hype”.
While “Kohinoor” furthered “Gully Rap” or “street rap”, it established Divine’s stature as one of the finest emcees to ever do it.
From his first LP, the Gully Gang-bossman has continued to release two influential rap records – “Punya Paap” and the sprawling “Gunehgar” album featuring marquee emcees and record producers from the West.
“Kohinoor” cemented Indian rap music’s astonishing relationship with the Caviar of Rap Nas. Last month, Divine attended the rap mogul’s 50th birthday alongside prominent rap figures including Fat Joe, Kendrick Lamar, Diddy & more.
Stream ‘Kohinoor’ album by Divine via Spotify.