It is unfortunate every time we hear of another artist, especially a rapper expressing dismay at the state of hip hop in the country. During a recent conversation with a local rapper, the talented artist remarked that family pressure is forcing him to quit because he cannot justify what he has done with his life in the past few years that he has been dedicating a lot of time and sweat to rapping.

Well, I definitely feel his pain, but cannot argue against the rapper’s parents either. Parents have every right to want to see their progeny become independent adults, and that is not an easy thing to achieve as a rapper in most of the country. “Easy” is the key word here. It does not mean “impossible”, it only means that it will not be a walkover to get to Roach Killer’s level. And no! Before you jump to pointing at his foreign connections, let me remind you that EDM DJ Aneesh Gera just got signed to a foreign label recently, and King Jassim (Low Ryderz Crew – Bangalore) was featured on an international reggae compilation this year that even earned accolades from respected reggae artist Sizzla Kalonji. In short, Indian urban artists have already arrived on the world stage.

So why does this despondency exist in hip hop? I believe that the reasons are the same that we have written about previously on this site. Many artists simply do not work hard enough, while many that do are putting a lot of efforts in the wrong directions.

There are plenty of opportunities of getting on high stages to showcase talent, but many hip hop artists simply waste them for whatever reason. Last week, we had the Redbull Street Stlyle event that took place in  High Street Phoenix. It was a spectacular event that was covered by many major local dailies. Before the event, one of the organizers had mentioned that he was having a hard time trying to get emcees (with agreeable terms) to hype up the show. Similarly, I remember talking with an emcee that was pumping up the crowd at a recent B boy jam, and he remarked that before he started out hyping at the jams, most b boy events were held without an emcee. All these signs point to the fact that many event organizers don’t have enough emcees to fill in slots when they need them. Besides these two events, last month, during the well organized  Indo-German Urban-Mela, I visited the venue a couple of times during the week-long festival, and I can count on one hand the number of rappers I met there. Now compare this with local B Boys who were present at all of these events and even took part in them. Truth is that many rappers just refuse to get professional or to act with foresight. And when one of them pulls the right moves and gets a lot of coverage in the media, detractors are content to sit back and criticize them saying artist “x” is being favored because of “blah blah blah”. A good example is the case of Mandeep Sethi. Recently he dropped into Mumbai. Before he landed in the city, he announced out loud on Twitter that he was coming to the city. After arriving, he alerted all media that he was available for interviews, he recorded a session with MTV, and then he finished his quick stop over by attending a cipher at Bandstand (Bandra) which he publicized a lot making it impossible to ignore his presence. Now once again, contrast this procedure with an artist that releases a new track by blasting everyone’s timeline on Facebook, and calls it a day, then later complains that there is no support from the local community.

Hard work in hip hop like in every other field is what pays. It is not a guarantee that it will be met by success, but, please, tell me any field in entertainment that has a 100% success rate.

Now just to make it clear, this write up is not about talking down at anyone, let’s take some cues from Delhi crew F.B.I. which was recently booked for the Manali Summer Sundowners Festival. In an interview with the crew after the booking, they revealed that they had absolutely no contacts with any of the organizers, it was just their organized publicity on Facebook, Youtube, Reverb Nation, and of course their hot music and live performances that got them the deal.

The way out for artists that want to make it in hip hop is simply to get professional, practice to improve your skills, exploit all opportunities that come your way, and make sure you are easily accessible especially online with a neatly arranged website/profile or Facebook page. Remember sometimes a poor picture is all that can cost you a chance of appearing on a publication, and a poorly written address can also cost you a booking.

Comments (1)


  1. Hey i am a teen and i am 13 i luv rapping put my soul into it. Keep writing rhymes on papers like there is no tomorrow. I wanna be a rapper and want to do it as my carreer. But find a hard time figurin out how am i gonna make it happen. I am ready for sacrifices sweat and hardwork. Juzz want da right direction for chasing my dream of being a big rapstar.plzz ppl help me. I am tired of other ppl makin fun me,my raps and my dreams i juzz wanna make it happen and show all of em i can do it and my dreams are not a topic to make fun of. Plzzzzz help me ppl.

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