Since the early days of social media, underground rappers in India have been making their mark in the music industry. With the recent release of the Bollywood film “Gully Boy”, the spotlight has been shining on the Indian hip-hop and rap music scene. These underground rappers are a breed of independent artists who choose to create music that is far from mainstream commercialism. The top 10 underground rappers in India, such as Seedhe Maut, Karma, and Kaam Bhari, are recognized for their impressive skill, technique, and unique style of writing. While J-Trix from Kolkata and KR$NA are also noteworthy mentions, it was Baba Sehgal who first introduced rap music to India back in 1992. With such a vibrant and talented pool of underground rappers, it’s clear that the Indian rap scene is here to stay.
Early Days of Social Media
Rise of social media platforms
Social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives, connecting people across the globe and providing a platform for self-expression. The early days of social media saw the rapid rise of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which allowed users to share their thoughts, ideas, and creativity with others. These platforms not only revolutionized the way we communicate but also played a significant role in the music industry, giving rise to a new era of underground rappers.
Emergence of underground rap on social media
The emergence of underground rap on social media can be attributed to the accessibility and democratic nature of these platforms. Unlike traditional music industry gatekeepers, social media provided a level playing field for aspiring rappers to showcase their talent and gain recognition. Artists no longer needed expensive studio equipment or record deals to reach a wider audience. They simply had to upload their music online, and if it resonated with listeners, it had the potential to go viral.
Influence of social media on the growth of underground rap
Social media played a pivotal role in the growth of underground rap by connecting artists directly with their fans. It allowed them to build a loyal fan base, establish their unique style, and collaborate with other artists. Online platforms provided a space for underground rappers to express themselves freely and share their stories, often tackling social issues and personal struggles. As a result, the underground rap scene flourished, gaining recognition and impacting the mainstream music industry.
The Impact of ‘Gully Boy’
Overview of the movie ‘Gully Boy’
Released in 2019, ‘Gully Boy’ is a Bollywood movie that tells the story of a young aspiring rapper from the slums of Mumbai. Inspired by the lives of real-life underground rappers, the film explores the struggles faced by artists in the hip-hop scene and their journey towards recognition and self-discovery. It received critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of the Indian rap scene and brought mainstream attention to the underground rap community.
Representation of underground rappers in the film
‘Gully Boy’ prominently features underground rappers in its cast, with actors like Ranveer Singh and Siddhant Chaturvedi showcasing their rapping skills. The film highlights the raw talent and passion of these artists, giving them a platform to showcase their abilities to a wider audience. It also sheds light on the social and economic challenges faced by underground rappers, as they navigate through a world that often overlooks their talent.
The film’s contribution to the popularity of Indian rap
‘Gully Boy’ played a pivotal role in popularizing Indian rap and introducing it to a mainstream audience. The film’s powerful portrayal of the underground rap scene resonated with viewers, who were not only entertained by the story but also educated about the struggles faced by these artists. It sparked curiosity and interest in the genre, leading to a surge in popularity and a newfound appreciation for Indian rap music.
Effect on the underground rap community
The success of ‘Gully Boy’ had a profound effect on the underground rap community. It brought much-needed recognition and validation to artists who had been working tirelessly to make their voices heard. The film inspired a new generation of aspiring rappers, motivating them to pursue their dreams and express themselves through music. It also opened doors for collaboration and opportunities with mainstream artists, bridging the gap between underground and commercial rap.
Definition of Underground Rappers
Differentiating underground rappers from commercial artists
Underground rappers can be differentiated from commercial artists by their independence and rejection of mainstream trends. Unlike commercial artists who often prioritize commercial success and conform to market demands, underground rappers focus on artistic expression and authenticity. They are driven by passion rather than fame and are usually not signed to major record labels. This allows them to maintain creative control and stay true to their unique style.
Characteristics of underground rap music
Underground rap music is characterized by its raw and gritty nature. It often addresses social issues, personal struggles, and provides a voice to marginalized communities. The lyrics of underground rap are introspective and thought-provoking, reflecting the artist’s personal experiences and emotions. The beats are usually experimental, incorporating a wide range of musical influences and often deviating from conventional rap styles. This genre of music values originality, self-expression, and pushing the boundaries of traditional rap.
Independent nature of underground rappers
One of the defining characteristics of underground rappers is their independence. They are not bound by major record labels or commercial expectations, allowing them to create music on their own terms. Underground rappers often produce, record, and distribute their music independently, relying on social media, live performances, and word of mouth to connect with their audience. This level of autonomy enables them to maintain their artistic integrity and stay true to their vision.
Top 10 Underground Rappers in India
Introduction to Seedhe Maut
Seedhe Maut, consisting of rappers Encore ABJ and Calm, burst onto the Indian rap scene with their hard-hitting lyrics and energetic performances. Hailing from Delhi, Seedhe Maut gained popularity with their tracks like “Class-Sikh Maut Vol. 1” and “100 Kadam,” which showcased their technical skills and unique wordplay. They are known for their relentless flow and thought-provoking verses, cementing their position as one of the top underground rap duos in India.
Karma and his impact on the Indian rap scene
Karma, also known as Kalamkaar Karma, is a prolific underground rapper who has made significant contributions to the Indian rap scene. His hard-hitting tracks like “Kalam” and “Paise Wala Gaana” have garnered millions of views on YouTube, showcasing his ability to capture the attention of listeners with his powerful delivery and engaging lyrics. Karma’s thought-provoking verses often tackle social and political issues, making him one of the most influential voices in the underground rap community.
Kaam Bhari’s rise to fame
Kaam Bhari, a talented rapper and lyricist associated with the Kalamkaar label, rose to fame with his performances on the reality show ‘MTV Hustle.’ Known for his impeccable flow and lyrical dexterity, Kaam Bhari has impressed audiences with tracks like “Mohabbat” and “Gumrah.” His ability to weave intricate wordplay and deliver rapid-fire verses has set him apart as one of the most promising underground rappers in India.
Loka and his unique style of rap
Loka, also known as Salim Shaikh, is an underground rapper who has gained attention for his unique style and infectious energy. Hailing from Mumbai, Loka’s rap style blends elements of trap, desi hip-hop, and reggaeton, creating a distinct sound that appeals to a wide audience. His tracks like “Off,” “Pani,” and “Samaj” have gained popularity, showcasing his versatility and ability to seamlessly switch between different musical genres.
Exploring Fotty Seven’s discography
Fotty Seven, also known as Nitesh Prakash Sharma, is an underground rapper known for his witty wordplay and humorous lyrics. His tracks like “Baap Se” and “Police” have garnered millions of views on YouTube and have become anthems for young rap enthusiasts. Fotty Seven’s ability to combine humor with hard-hitting verses has made him a fan favorite in the underground rap community.
Raval’s contribution to the underground rap community
Raval, an underground rapper hailing from Gujarat, has made significant contributions to the Indian rap scene. Known for his powerful delivery and introspective lyrics, Raval’s tracks like “Dil Pe Zakham” and “Aag” have resonated with listeners, reflecting his personal struggles and experiences. Raval’s emotional depth and storytelling abilities have earned him a loyal fan base and solidified his position as a respected underground rapper.
Tsumyoki’s underground rap journey
Tsumyoki, also known as Samyok Tamrakar, is an emerging underground rapper from Sikkim. Known for his introspective and socially conscious lyrics, Tsumyoki’s tracks like “Yow Zingang” and “Billy Jeans” have gained traction, showcasing his ability to blend personal experiences with broader narratives. His storytelling abilities and versatility have earned him recognition within the underground rap community.
Frappe Ash and her influence on Indian rap
Frappe Ash, a talented underground rapper from Mumbai, has been making waves with her unique style and confident delivery. Known for her captivating stage presence and empowering lyrics, Frappe Ash’s tracks like “Ladkiyan” and “Say My Name” have resonated with female rap enthusiasts. Frappe Ash’s ability to empower women through her music has established her as a prominent figure in the Indian underground rap scene.
Yungsta’s achievements in the rap industry
Yungsta, also known as Sanchit Malhotra, is a versatile underground rapper who has made significant achievements in the rap industry. Hailing from Mumbai, Yungsta is known for his distinct flow and honest storytelling abilities. His tracks like “Fasla” and “Sararara” have garnered attention, showcasing his ability to connect with listeners through relatable lyrics and emotive delivery. Yungsta’s achievements include collaborations with established artists and a loyal fan base.
Muhfaad and his notable rap releases
Muhfaad, also known as Gaurav Rawat, is a renowned underground rapper who has established himself as one of the leading voices in the Indian rap scene. Known for his hard-hitting verses and energetic performances, Muhfaad’s tracks like “Baaki Hai” and “Bholenath” have gained popularity, showcasing his lyrical prowess and dynamic flow. Muhfaad’s notable rap releases have earned him recognition and respect within the underground rap community.
Skill and Technique of Underground Rappers
Analysis of underground rappers’ lyrical abilities
Underground rappers are known for their exceptional lyrical abilities. They possess a keen sense of wordplay, often employing metaphors, double entendres, and intricate rhyme schemes in their verses. Their lyrics delve into personal experiences, social commentary, and introspection, allowing listeners to connect with their stories on a deeper level. Underground rappers’ lyrical abilities set them apart from mainstream artists, as they prioritize substance and depth in their music.
Unique styles of writing among underground rappers
Each underground rapper has a unique style of writing that sets them apart from one another. Some emphasize storytelling, crafting vivid narratives that transport listeners to different worlds. Others focus on wordplay, using clever punchlines and metaphors to engage listeners. Some underground rappers incorporate intricate rhyme schemes and multisyllabic rhymes, showcasing their technical prowess. The diversity of writing styles within the underground rap community reflects the individuality and creativity of these artists.
Exploring the technical aspects of underground rap
Underground rap is not only characterized by its lyrical content but also by the technical aspects of the music. Rappers often experiment with flows, cadences, and delivery, seeking to create a unique sonic experience for the listener. They play with rhythm and tempo, seamlessly switching between fast-paced verses and melodic hooks. The production value of underground rap is equally important, with artists incorporating unconventional beats, samples, and instrumentation to create a distinct sound.
Innovation and experimentation in underground rap
Underground rappers constantly push the boundaries of traditional rap, embracing innovation and experimentation. They are not bound by commercial expectations, allowing them to explore different genres, musical influences, and production techniques. Their willingness to take risks and break conventions sets them apart from mainstream artists, creating a dynamic and ever-evolving underground rap scene. This spirit of innovation and experimentation is what keeps the genre fresh and exciting.
J-Trix: A Rising Underground Rapper
Introduction to J-Trix
J-Trix, also known as Jayanta Dey, is a rising star in the underground rap scene from Kolkata. Known for his distinct flow, rhythmic style, and energetic performances, J-Trix has been making waves with tracks like “Firework” and “Seven Days.” His lyrical abilities and storytelling skills have earned him recognition and a growing fan base within the Indian rap community.
His contributions to the underground rap community
J-Trix has made significant contributions to the underground rap community through his music, performances, and support for fellow artists. He actively collaborates with other underground rappers, fostering a sense of camaraderie and unity within the community. J-Trix’s unique style and high-energy performances have inspired aspiring rappers, motivating them to pursue their dreams and push the boundaries of their craft.
Growing popularity and recognition
With each release, J-Trix’s popularity and recognition continue to grow. His tracks have gained traction on social media platforms, generating thousands of views and positive feedback from fans. J-Trix’s infectious energy and dedication to his craft have caught the attention of music enthusiasts and industry professionals alike, positioning him as one of the promising rising stars in the Indian underground rap scene.
KR$NA: The Best Underground Rapper
KR$NA’s impact on the Indian rap scene
KR$NA, also known as Krishna Kaul, is widely regarded as one of the best underground rappers in India. His impact on the Indian rap scene is undeniable, with his music resonating with listeners and his skills as a lyricist setting him apart. KR$NA’s tracks like “Vyanjan,” “TBA,” and “Ready For My Vengeance” have garnered millions of views on YouTube, showcasing his ability to captivate viewers with his thought-provoking verses and powerful delivery.
Exploring his discography and notable hits
KR$NA’s discography is filled with standout tracks that showcase his lyrical prowess and versatility. From hard-hitting tracks that tackle social issues to introspective songs that delve into personal struggles, KR$NA’s music covers a wide range of themes. His notable hits include “Cute Song,” “Na Hai Time,” and “Players Anthem,” which have not only gained popularity but have also become anthems for rap enthusiasts across the country.
Recognition and critical acclaim
KR$NA’s contributions to the underground rap scene have earned him recognition and critical acclaim. He has been nominated for and won several awards, including the Rolling Stone India’s Editor’s Pick for Best Hip-Hop Song in 2019 for his track “Vyanjan.” KR$NA’s lyricism and ability to convey powerful messages through his music have set him apart as an artist who not only entertains but also inspires listeners.
Influence on aspiring underground rappers
As one of the best underground rappers in India, KR$NA’s influence on aspiring rappers cannot be overstated. His success story and dedication to his craft serve as an inspiration for young artists, motivating them to strive for excellence and authenticity. KR$NA’s impact extends beyond his music, as he actively supports and collaborates with emerging talent, fostering a sense of community and mentorship within the underground rap scene.
Baba Sehgal: Pioneering Rap in India
Overview of Baba Sehgal’s career
Baba Sehgal, often referred to as the “King of Indian Rap,” is a pioneer in the Indian rap music industry. He began his career in 1992 with the release of his album, “Dilruba,” which marked the introduction of rap music to India. Baba Sehgal’s unique blend of Hindi and English lyrics, catchy hooks, and infectious beats resonated with listeners, making him a household name and revolutionizing the Indian music industry.
His role in introducing rap music to India
Baba Sehgal played a significant role in introducing rap music to India at a time when the genre was virtually non-existent in the country. His fusion of rap with catchy Bollywood beats and Hindi lyrics brought rap to the masses, making it accessible and relatable to Indian audiences. Baba Sehgal’s songs like “Thanda Thanda Pani” and “Aaja Meri Gaadi Mein Beth Ja” became massive hits, paving the way for future rap artists and influencing the sound of Indian popular music.
Legacy and influence on current underground rappers
Baba Sehgal’s legacy as a pioneer of Indian rap continues to influence current underground rappers. His ability to combine humor, wordplay, and infectious melodies in his music laid the foundation for the storytelling and technical skills that define Indian rap today. Baba Sehgal’s influence can be seen in the lyrical abilities and melodic sensibilities of underground rappers, who carry forward his legacy by pushing the boundaries of the genre and delivering meaningful music to their audience.
In conclusion, the early days of social media paved the way for the rise of underground rap in India. The release of the Bollywood film ‘Gully Boy’ brought mainstream attention to the Indian rap scene, contributing to its popularity and growth. Underground rappers differentiate themselves from commercial artists through their independence, unique characteristics, and focus on artistic expression. The top 10 underground rappers in India, including Seedhe Maut, Karma, Kaam Bhari, Loka, Fotty Seven, Raval, Tsumyoki, Frappe Ash, Yungsta, and Muhfaad, have made significant contributions to the rap industry with their skill, technique, and innovation. Rising underground rappers like J-Trix and established artists like KR$NA carry the torch forward, while Baba Sehgal’s pioneering role continues to influence the current generation of underground rappers in India. The future of Indian rap looks bright, with these artists pushing boundaries and creating meaningful music that resonates with listeners.