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Putting rap on the Bengaluru map

The Hip Hops With Smokey The Ghost

The Hip Hops With Smokey The Ghost  

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Head to The Humming Tree tomorrow for an evening of spectacular desi hip hop at the Hum Hip Hop Festival. ALLAN MOSES RODRICKS raps in the details

Come Saturday, and hip hop in the city promises to head in an all new direction with the Hum Hip Hop Festival. Slated to be one of the largest hip hop events seen in this side of the country, the festival will feature a total of eight rappers from across India collaborating in an epic evening of power-packed hip hop music at The Humming Tree this weekend.

Sumukh Mysore aka Smokey The Ghost, who co-pioneered the project, says this is a big step for the Bengaluru hip hop community. “On June 18, we will be having one of the biggest hip hop events the country has witnessed so far.” The eight rapper line-up will include Smokey, Bijju, Prabh Deep, 3rd Degree Originals, G’nie and Su.1.

The festival birthed with the Hum Hip Hop Property (HHHP), an initiative by The Humming Tree and Smokey the Ghost. It’s goal: To make Indian hip hop and rap accessible to the Indian audience and proliferate the genre among music lovers.

The HHHP started as a property held every third Wednesday of a month as a community event at the venue, points out Sumukh. “The property has had around seven shows so we wanted to hold a finale. That’s what led to the creation of the Hum Hip Hop Festival. This will be an accumulation of hip hop artistes from across the country that we hope will turn out to be the Indian hip hop festival in the country.”

He adds that unlike a DJ event, where people just dance, this will be a curated, MC-oriented event. “It’s a conscious-driven effort. The artistes will be addressing issues about Bengaluru, traffic, social media and others. It is programmed systematically to create a story as a showcase of the Indian hip hop culture.”

Recalling their initial response, Sumukh says they’ve come a long way from when they started off.

“As we progressed, we’ve learnt how to market hip hop. We’ve picked up quite well. A Saturday night gig at The Humming Tree itself is a big step towards making it a larger property. That itself is proof that the scene is growing.”

On the showcase itself, the rapper says it is framed in such a way that each rapper speaks about why he is present at that place and how he represents his country.

“It’s difficult to be a rapper in India. That’s the truth. There’s a thin line between wanting to be a wannabe and a real artiste. These guys have managed to make that transition. This space will allow them to say ‘this is what I did, this is who I am and this is my song’.”

Suvan aka Su.1, the head of business development and entertainment at The Humming Tree and the in-house DJ, says this festival is a dream come true. “We’ve been making efforts to escalate the scene. “The genre is creating its own space; and very diversely, in fact, with regional languages.”

He wants people to take back the experience itself. “This is eight rappers coming together from Goa, Delhi and Bengaluru. With Punjabi, Kannada and English rappers uniting, this will be a pleasant mix.”

In the current situation, festivals like this are important, Suvan points out. “Apart from the genre, it’s critical to push the artistes and producers as well. It’s a progressing curve for now since we’ve seen footfall quantify in our venue.”

Prabh Deep, one of the performing artistes, sums up with utter excitement to perform in Bengaluru. “There’s no crowd like the Bengaluru crowd. While our music is conscious, at the same time, I like to make people dance to it. So they are sure to have a good time.”

Catch the best hip hop action in town at the Hum Hip Hop Festival at The Humming Tree on June 18 from 8.30 p.m. onwards. Entry Rs. 500. Call 7022359288 for details.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:40:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Putting-rap-on-the-Bengaluru-map/article14425980.ece

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