When the wave of hip-hop, rapping and street art hit the world, India was not too far behind. Over the years, there have been multiple rappers, from across the nation, who’ve managed to express their ideologies and emotions with some seriously amazing tracks.
However, the rap scene in the country has been flourishing elsewhere ― far away from the blinding glitz of Bollywood.
Here’s a list of ten supremely talented rap artistes you must check out if you haven’t already.
Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia a.k.a. Badshah is a well known Indian rapper and singer known for his Hindi, Haryanvi, and Punjabi songs. He is widely regarded as a hit machine in Bollywood. His first commercial success came with ‘Abhi toh party shuru hui hai’ in 2014. His debut single, “DJ Waley Babu” was ranked number one on Indian i-tunes charts within 24 hours of the release.
Launched his first album in 2002 and instantly made his way to the hearts of the audience, Bohemia is one of the pioneers in the rapping industry in India. The real name of Bohemia is Roger David. He is one of the most famous Pakistani American rapper and record producer.
Dilin Nair, better known by his stage name Raftaar is an Indian rapper from Kerala. Raftaar has been seen in many Bollywood hits and is one of the first choices of top music producers of the country. In fact, from commercial to pure hip-hop tracks, Raftaar can pull it off better than any other rapper in the scene. Recently he came into limelight with his Rap battle against Emiway Bantai.
4- Yo Yo Honey Singh
Yo Yo Honey Singh often referred as a revolutionary music changer of India who made rap music so popular in the country. He is considered as one of the highest-paid musical artists in Bollywood. It has been reported that he was paid the highest fee ever for a Bollywood song (as of 2012) of ₹7 million (US$97,000) for a song in the films Cocktail and Mastan. He combines rap music with pop culture making him very appealing to fans. He is also believed to be one of the top music producers who has worked with the biggest superstars of the country.
5- Hard Kaur
Taran Kaur Dhillon, known by her stage name Hard Kaur established her name in a man dominated field. She is a British Indian rapper and hip hop singer; as well as playback singer and actress in Bollywood. She became popular across the globe as a leading female rap singer. At present, she is one of the top female rap singers of the Punjabi music industry.
6- Brodha V
Vighnesh Shivanand, better known by his stage name Brodha V, is an Indian hip-hop artist, lyricist, rapper and music producer. As an independent artist, Brodha V released a mixtape called Deathpunch which had a limited release and which garnered him some attention from the hip hop fraternity. He has always been listed under the best rapper category due to some of the compositions that he has given to the nation.
In the ten years since he first started, he’s collaborated with artists like Raghu Dixit, Vishal Dadlani, Benny Dayal.
A rapper, songwriter, music producer and the founder of the band Muzical Doctorz, Sukhdeep Singh Dayal better known as Sukhe gained huge popularity by his songs- “All Black” & “Jaguar”. His songs went super hit in a short period of time & he became one of the most famous rap stars of India.
8- Emiway Bantai
Bilal Sheikh widely known as Emiway Bantai is one of the biggest names in underground Hip-Hop Rap scene. Emiway streamed on Youtube and into audience’s hearts with his 2014 track Aur Bantai . At present, he is considered as India’s trending and most popular Rapper. He has appeared in many videos from 2014 but he became a viral sensation on the internet after the rap battle with Raftaar.
His back to back diss tracks against Raftaar made him immensely popular among masses. He was also seen in the movie ‘Gully Boy’. This Mumbai rapper has a crazy fan following and he remains independent, labeling himself as an ‘Independent artist’.
9- J Star
J Star is a fresh young Punjabi singer and rapper. He has collaborated with Yo Yo Honey Singh in many successful tracks. Their song Gabru is quite famous. Some of his well-known songs are Gabru, Hulara, Na Na Na, Dream Girl, Chammak Challo, etc. At the beginning of his career, he worked as a DJ. His journey from there to where he is now is quite inspiring.
10- Jazzy B
Jaswinder Singh Bains, the first South Asian entertainer to have his name added to the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame Star-Walk in Vancouver, widely known as Jazzy B, is a Punjabi language Bhangra singer-songwriter. Some of his famous and hit songs includes Oh Kedi , Tera Roop and his hit songs include “Ghugian da Jorra”, “Dil Aah Gey Ya Tere Te”, “Londono Patola”, “Husna di Sarkar” “naag”. He is one of the most popular Bhangra rapper of India.