Northeast India, known for its rich culture of music, has adapted and transpired hip hop music — also called rap music — into something unique of its own, with artistes pouring out their powerful messages and rhymes.
Singers from the region have set the standards for others in ‘mainland’ India to follow, and in doing so, have also spoken up for themselves and their communities through signture grooves and poetic rhymes.
Let’s check out five such rap sensations that are grooving the region:
The group came into being on December 14, 2014. Consisting of some powerful, young and dynamic artistes, the Shillong-based young guns have managed to garner a big fan following not just from the region, but from beyond, with their powerful rhymes on social issues and problems. Their sincerity and passion for music also speak for themselves. The group consists of Praiselyson Lyngskor, Meailin Shanpru, Ibamelari Kharsohnoh, Adonihosea Kharbithai, George War and Iarilang Shanpru.
Defining their style as ‘alternative conscious hip hop, the group says: “Our lyrical content touches on our society, our day-to-day lives and everything in between.”
Meailin, the youngest and the most expressive member in the group, is a fine example of pure raw talent.
Their song, ‘Can’t Break Us’ has got over 2 lakh views and counting on YouTube.
Moksh aka Mrinal Paul is a young and enthusiastic musician from the Scotland of the East — Shillong. Brimming with talent and attitude, the 23-year-old rapper has taken hip hop music into a new level.
From penning original songs in his teens, Moksh is now a prevailing artiste with lots of achievements under his belt. He belts out numbers in English, Hindi, Bengali and occasionally Khasi, Assamese and Sanskrit.
Borkung Hrangkhawl (BK)
The star of Tripura, Borkung Hrangkhawl also known as BK, is a very well known artist from the region for his well versed and his poetic rhymes. The 31 year old spills out the ground reality on the social issues of the region and also inspires people with his straight forward messages in his songs. Gaining popularity over the region and also the national scene of rap music, BK has released some ground breaking singles and music videos over the years. The release of his debut song “The Roots (Chini Haa)” garnered over one lakh views in less than three weeks.
On being asked about the emerging rap culture in Northeast India, Borkung Hrangkhawl stated, “Hip hop in North East has always been there from the start. We don’t have platforms in NE and that’s the only problem. But i see lots of new Mc’s with potential and in days to come North East will have its own Hip Hop scene and that’s for sure. We should not limit ourselves to our states alone but try to breakthrough other markets as well. So to all the emerging rappers out there, always try to push the envelope and “Never Give Up.”
At present, BK is a torch bearer in the hip hop scene of the region, thriving with his originality in expressing his gut about the struggles of life in reality and also the socio-political situation in the region.
Karken Bado, also known as K4 KEKHO on stage is a very passionate rapper from Loewer Chinhan of Arunachal Pradesh. He came into the rap music scene after winning the first “Rap-Riot” in the year 2015. The 23 year old speaks volumes with his catchy yet simple rhyme and he adds street lingos to enhance the possibility of reaching to more people with his songs.
KEKHO pulls out the socio political and the discriminatory issue faced by the people in the region, and transforms it into a perfect melodic rhyme with a positive vibe to spread spreading awareness and also expose the issue for the people.
Calm as the winter breeze, Adalou is an interesting rapper from Kohima, Nagaland. Pursuing his Bachelors degree at Baptist College Kohima, Pao rhymes about the struggles of his own people and also voices out against the injustice done to his own people. The upcoming 20 year old takes inspiration from rappers like Eminem.
Pao came into the scene of rapping with his own discovery of letting out his inner thoughts and expresses his feelings through rapping. With a beautiful mindset to spread out the beauty of music through rapping, the young rapper is making a good run as a prominent rapper in the state.