Guwahati, February 26: Some of the finest names in Indian hip-hop came together for a showcase, with ‘Red Bull Music Presents Raftaar, Divine, Borkung and Khasi Bloodz’ on Sunday, February 25, at the Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati.
First up on the night was Shillong based band Khasi Bloodz, who got things going with their familiar, old, school hip-hop inspired sound. Known for lyrics that tackle political and social issues, including corruption in the system as well as a commentary on their own social standing, the band performed some of their most popular songs, such as ‘This Is My Life’, ‘We Don’t Care’ and ‘The Rise’.
Delhi-based rapper Borkung, was up next with his socially and politically driven freestyle rap. Originally from Kamlacherra in Tripura, Borkung began his journey with the ertswhile Delhi based hip-hop group DropSquad nearly a decade ago. His debut album, The Journey, talks about the social condition of his home state Tripura, discrimination, racism and drug abuse, but with an underlying message of peace. He performed some of his most popular songs from the album, including ‘Never Give Up’, ‘Free’, ‘The Journey’ and ‘Fighter’.
As Borkung’s set came to a close, Divine took the stage to massive cheers. One of the leading names in hip-hop in the country today, Divine shot to stardom with the track ‘Yeh Mera Bombay’ in 2013. Performing crowd favourites such as ‘Farak’, ‘Mere Gully Mein’ and ‘Jungli Sher’, he had fans dancing from the get-go, and calling for an encore as the set came to a close. Indian-American songwriter and rapper Raja Kumari, who has become a familiar face on the Indian Music Circuit with Divine, also featured in the set as the two performed a number of tracks, including Raja Kumari’s ‘City Slums’.
Up next and headlining the show was Raftaar, whose massive popularity showed as he took the stage to a deafening roar from the crowd. Considered a hugely versatile rapper, he discovered his independent identity following collaborations with Badshah, Vishal Shekhar, Pritam, Sachin Jigar, Humble The Poet among others, and shot to mainstream success with his work on films such as like Bullet Raja, Heropanti, Singh is Bling, Jolly LLB 2, Fukrey 2 and Dangal. Playing over an hour long set, Raftaar enchanted the crowd with some of his most popular songs like ‘Swag Mera Desi’, ‘I’m Ready’, ‘All Black’ and ‘Revolution’.