Right after shutting down Delhi-NCR at Def Jam Recordings India’s ’50 Years of Hip-Hop concert’, Raga linked up with Culture Haze for a brief conversation backstage.
The concert, which brought together Raga, Bella, Chaar Diwaari, Agsy and Gravity on a single stage in Delhi-NCR, was headlined by the hard-hitting emcee himself and his provocative live set included performing incendiary rap records including “Delhi-NCR” & “Kaleshi Chori” alongside DG Immortals.
During the brief yet affecting conversation, Raga looks back at his sprawling rap career on Hip-Hop’s 50th birthday, his brotherhood with Rawal and Hanumankind, the deeply spiritual meaning behind his tattoos, and the global impact of the Haryanvi rap single “Kaleshi Chori”.
Further, Raga reveals how his fans can attend his concerts for free for a lifetime!
Read our riveting conversation with Raga below.
It’s good, brother. The energy, the day it is… I’m celebrating it to the core. I’ve never had so much fun… ever since I came into the rap game, worked on my skills and got validation for it… from that till here… the journey has been so different.
50 Years of Hip-Hop…
Raga: Yeah, it’s 50! Mine 27. I’ve been living through Hip-Hop for 12 years now and I hope 12 more generations continue to live through it.
You just performed at one of the finest crowds in Delhi… right now in Gurgaon. How did that feel? How was the energy over there?
This is Delhi-NCR, bro. I’ve never felt afraid or nervous about this crowd. It is my crowd! It is me standing there… (and) I am just aware that the people are feeling every grunge that I’m having… even this. (imitates coughing) Even a cough during my performances is felt by them.
At the same time, Hanumankind & Rawal have just performed in Bengaluru…
They’re brothers, bro. That side, bro… what’s happening in Bangalore… I wanna be a part of it as a listener. You can understand the rage of it… Hanumankind and Rawal are on the same set! That’s amazing.
Did you talk to them today?
Yes! Rawal wished me luck. “Kill it,” he said. I miss Rawal here on my set, bro. As a brother, he was always in the crowd and always hyping me up… and that has always filled me up more to perform.
I wanna talk about your recent track “Kaleshi Chori”. First Haryanvi rap song to do 50 million streams. How does that feel? The regional rap is coming so far now.
Thanks to DG, thanks to Harjas, thanks to Virtual and everyone who was in that room where we made that track. When we made that track, we knew… either we’re gonna have a case on that… someone is gonna file a case on that or the whole nation will listen to it and that happened. The God above me did it.
Can you please talk a little bit about your ink?
So, this is my name. This is my name. This resembles the sun. My name is Ravi. Ravi means sun… sun temple. (points towards his neck.) See? Idolising the ego but looking at it through one eye of perspective. My one eye stands here. I found myself from “Ha”. It means this throat… the “Ha Chakra”. So all of my falsetto like, “Raaga Ke Gaane Yeh Ga Ga Ke”… so when I do that, it’s all pushed through my torso and everything’s coming along. So, that’s how I found my spirituality and this is my tattoo.
I want to announce one thing. If anyone has this tattoo on neck, they’re free to attend my shows for a lifetime. Any show they visit… if they have this tattoo, come here!
Even if they get it after you said it?
Raga: Yeah, Yeah! Right now! From now on, anyone who makes it is welcome.
Watch our exclusive backstage interview with Raga below.