Recently, Mumbai witnessed an amazing lineup of hip-hop performances from artists across the country, who performed at the Haq Se Hindustan concert. The concert featured performers such as The Dharavi Dream Project (Mumbai), Dopeadelicz (Mumbai), MC Manmeet Kaur (Chandigarh), MC Heam (Mumbai), Khasi Bloodz (Shillong), Gubbi (Bengaluru), Swadesi + Bandish Projekt (Mumbai/Ahmadabad) and many others.
All the artists feel hip-hop has a bright future in India because a lot of youngsters from different parts of the country, especially the millennial, are showing interest in the genre. Talking about the same, Bengaluru-based rapper Gubbi said "The millennial are taking a lot of interest in hip-hop. I think in the beginning they would want to do it because it seemed cool. But the ones who sustained have realised that this is the best way they can put across their emotions."
According to artists of the musical group Dopeadelicz, relatability is the factor that clicks with young listeners. "Whatever content is coming through hip-hop, youngsters can relate to it. There is a lot of real content that is coming out that Bollywood or other music industries and genres don't show. So, I feel hip-hop is very close to people and they can relate to it. We think, the future of hip-hop in our country is big because there are a lot of young talents coming from different parts of the country," they said.
Artists of The Dharavi Dream Project believe that a revolution has started in hip-hop in India. "Hip-hop has gained popularity with rappers like Yo Yo Honey Singh. Now, a new revolution has started happening with hip-hop in India. Very soon hip-hop will create its own space in the mainstream as it has become in the west. The most important thing is that kids are showing interest in hip-hop. They are getting inspired. So, we have opened a school where we teach hip-hop. This includes beatboxing, graffiti, b-boying, rapping and DJing, which is a recent addition. Youngsters from different places contact us," they said.
They also shared that a prevalent misconception about hip-hop among Indians needs to be corrected. "We need to spread messages about the wrongs happening in our society and speak about reality. This misconception needs to be corrected that hip-hop talks only about girls, alcohol and addiction. This is not correct."
Shillong-based rap group Khasi Bloodz feels the future of hip-hop in India lies entirely in hands of youngsters. They said "It depends on the youth. We cannot force them to go to any direction, they will have to decide by themselves and our youth are not dumb people. They are very smart. A lot of young talented artists are coming out from everywhere, Mumbai, Kolkata and the North-East. Fifteen, sixteen year olds are killing it."
Rapper MC Heam believes that new-generation listeners connect with hip-hop because it is all about the truth. He said "Hip-hop is all about truth, that's why it is increasingly becoming popular. I think everyone can connect with hip-hop if the person is from the street, slum, poor or rich everyone can connect with it because there is truth in it and the person who is presenting it is doing it from their heart."