One in every of Mumbai’s earliest Tamil rap crews, Dopeadelicz weaves its South Indian upbringing into new album Mapulz
By no means had Tony Sebastian imagined himself rapping his approach out of a Mumbai police station. However that’s what life had deliberate for him, again in 2013. “I used to be getting back from a efficiency and the cops picked me and my buddy up due to our look. To show that I’m an artiste, I needed to rap in entrance of the cops on the thana (police station),” he remembers.
Tony, aka Stony Psycho of the Dharavi rap crew Dopeadelicz, revisualises this expertise in his music, ‘Ai shapath saheb me navto’, a catchy rage rap quantity in opposition to police bullying. The music, launched as a single, has crossed 11 million views to turn into probably the most favored songs of the crew’s upcoming album, Mapulz.
Releasing on December 27, Mapulz (from the Tamil slang, ‘Mapul’, which means homie) is a 10-track album, of which 4 singles are already out. The tracks have been labored on by a number of producers, from California-based Sean Jean to Mumbai’s Captain Fuse.
The crew has been going experimental with the tracks. ‘Daddy’s Daughter’ by Rajesh Radhakrishnan aka Dope Daddy, the opposite arm of Dopeadelicz, is a softer melodic piece devoted to his six-year-old daughter. “Individuals usually have a stereotypical gangsta picture of hip hop; I need to change that,” says Rajesh.
In the meantime, ‘Wake Up’, shot in Chennai and Mamallapuram, opens with a pattern of ‘Suprabhatam’. “We all the time attempt to maintain an Indian aspect to our music, whether or not it’s utilizing devices just like the sitar, veena, or shehnai, or Bollywood and Kollywood samples. And nonetheless, on the finish of it, it has to sound worldwide,” says Tony.
Origins of multilingual rap
Giving their music a singular, cross-cultural, pan Indian sound has been attainable due to the crew’s numerous backgrounds. Although Tony belongs to a village close to Tirunelveli, he grew up in Dharavi. “My father got here to Dharavi on the lookout for higher work, and we settled right here. Dharavi is a giant place with quite a lot of Tamil inhabitants. I met Rajesh in faculty; he’s half Malayali. We shared the identical curiosity in hip hop and music,” says Tony.
Between the 2 of them, they had been fluent in Hindi, English, Marathi, Tamil and Malayalam. A collaboration between them and Agnel Avinash Benson, aka Ben Z, led to the creation of this style of multilingual rap in 2012. The crew typically raps about what it was like rising up in Dharavi, coupled with their very own private South Indian tradition.
“My roots are down South, so I can’t overlook my id. However on the similar time, I additionally need to join with the folks round me who communicate Marathi and Hindi. Although I’m most snug writing verses in Tamil, I select the language in accordance with the problem we’re speaking about, and whom we need to attain,” provides Tony.
The music ‘Mumbai Metropolis’ from Mapulz is Rajesh’s Tamil rap love letter to the town and its grind life. In an in depth weblog for Purple Bull, Karan Amin, the crew’s supervisor, writes concerning the completely different spots within the metropolis which noticed the crew evolve: from railway tracks and tea outlets on 60 Toes Street, the place they might sit and write, to the ‘Dope Compound’, an space close to Tony’s home, dwelling to a number of cyphers. “Earlier on, police would come by to chase us away from right here, however our ‘Gangsta Grannies’ all the time had our again. They might drive the police away so we might chill right here,” writes Karan.
“We knew our music was severe enterprise after I acquired a name from [composer] Ram Sampath in 2015 to look on Coke Studio, for ‘Rangabati’,” says Tony. As recognition snowballed, Dopeadelicz ultimately labored with the movie business as nicely, most notably for Rajinikanth’s Kaala and Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy.
Paying it ahead
Wanting to provide again to the hip hop scene, the crew based ‘Dharavi United’, a bunch with 7Bantaiz and Enimiez. “We began mentoring the brand new technology of rappers on the right way to produce tracks, shoot music movies, and market themselves. We’re extra like brothers than crewmates,” he says.
Wherever Dopeadelicz would carry out, they might be certain that Dharavi United acquired some stage area as nicely. The group additionally contributed to Mapulz’ remaining multilingual monitor, Cypher. They’re now engaged on one other album, ‘Straight Outta Dharavi’, in an ode to Crompton, California.
This collaboration with the brand new college rappers extends to Tamil Nadu as nicely. “We’re working collectively on some tracks proper now. So in 2021, you will note a serious Mumbai-Chennai collab between OG hip hoppers from each cities,” says Tony.