For Indian hip-hop, last week has been full of top-notch bars and massive live sets which included some of the finest emcees and lyricists in the scene. Dino James, Fotty-Seven, Ikka, Dee MC, Gully Gang’s Divine, MC Altaf, D’evil and Emiway Bantai made a series of appeareances to either perform or support other live acts. Further, Russ – a global icon known across continents for his self-produced, self-penned rap music – performed two live sets in Mumbai & Delhi.
Here’s a recap of everything that went down over the weekend in Indian rap:
On Friday, 28th October, a massive roster of Indian hip-hop artists pulled up at Jio Convention Center in Mumbai for live performances. The city, which has firmed its place for being one of the homes for Desi Indian hip-hop, hosted eight artists from around the country.
The roster included hip-hop tastemakers such as Dino James, Fotty-Seven, Ikka, Dee MC, Gully Gang, Shia OG, Dopeadelicz, 7Bantaiz and Rashmeet Kaur. The line-up and the live sets that followed came at the back of several key moments in hip-hop including the on-going MTV Hustle, Russ’ debut live set in India and MC Stan’s solid presence in Viacom’s biggest reality show, ‘Bigg Boss’. Clearly, Indian hip-hop is in the public eye at a scale like never before.
Dino James – the emcee behind the self-reflective 13-track studio album ‘D’ – was one of the biggest performers at the concert. Dino has been quite busy this year. Dino followed up his album with the squad boss chair at MTV Hustle and has been mentoring the next hip-hop superstars in India. For a responsibility this huge, choosing an artist of Dino’s stature doesn’t come off as surprising.
Another big name is the line-up was Delhi-NCR’s Fotty-Seven. The rapper behind several bangers this year such as ‘Banjo’, ‘Kya Haal Hai Bro?’ and ‘No Mercy’ f/ Bali performed an exclusive live set for his fans. Earlier this month, the groovy emcee had performed at MTV Hustle and sold-out show in. Chandigarh as well.
Ikka performed his first live set after the release of ‘Nishu’ – his sophomore studio ten-track album which featured guest appeareances by Seedhe Maut, Raga, Badshah and Raftaar and more. ‘Trap Munde’ ‘Sanki’ and ‘Dhoop Chhaon’ established Ikka’s place as somebody who hasn’t lost his ghetto lyricism and authenticity even after a decade-old career.
Mumbai’s hip-hop crew 7’Bantaiz and Dharavi’s Dopeadelicz – the biggest names in Indian underground hip-hop – performed alongside these superstars too. Popstar Rashmeet Kaur turned up at the concert and performed her hit single ‘Lagan Lagi’ from ‘Kya Kariye’ EP. Shia OG had joined the star-studded roster as well.