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Before Gully Boy, meet the real rappers who inspired the Ranveer Singh film

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By
Feb 13, 2019 04:00 PM IST

Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy tells the story of a rapper Murad played by Ranveer Singh but there are several talented artists who inspired it.

Director Zoya Akhtar’s latest film Gully Boy is making all the right kind of noise before its release. From being called one of the ‘best Hindi films ever made’ to getting critical acclaim from a few of the biggest publications in the world, Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt’s film is well on its way to become a superhit.

Based on the life of a rapper born in the slums of Mumbai’ Dharavi, the film tells his journey through music. He fights the world with poetic words and tunes born out of his own life experiences. However, to bring the character to screen, Zoya found inspiration in several talented artists who are trying to (or already have) make it big on the Indian hip-hop circuit. From Divine to Naezy, the singers and their lives heavily influenced the story that Zoya has ultimately told to the world.

Rapper MC Altaf with his family.
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Before Gully Boy’s release, the makers have shared videos of seven rappers from all around India. The shorts videos introduce the world once again to their talents, their lives, their families, their cities and everything that they sing about. There is Naezy, Spitfire, MC Altaf, KR$NA, Dub Sharma, Kaam Bhari, and Dee MC.

These rappers are from Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Kandivali, Dharavi, Chhatarpur and Kalyan. The videos are all stunningly shot and show the rapper in their home towns and their own gullies. From the sky-high towers and the Metro trains of cyber city Gurgaon, to the calm, narrow lanes of Chhatarpur, the videos take the viewers to the world the rappers live in and create their art.

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The rappers’ age ranges from 19 to 30 and they are lyricists, producers, dialogue writers, singers and so much more. They introduce us to their families and friends as they give the viewers a short teaser of their talents. Watch the videos here:

KR$NA, Naezy and all the other rappers have been brought into the limelight with the film release. It has given them a platform to talk about their craft and also the hip-hop scene in India. Asked if rap is misunderstood in the country, KR$NA told IANS: “Hip-hop and rap as a genre is diverse and continuously changing. People tend to pick on the worst parts to stereotype it and that is why it’s misunderstood.” The Delhi-born rapper of Kashmiri descent believes the film can, in a way, give people an insight on how tough it really is to be considered a good rapper.

Naezy whose real name is Naved Sheikh said, “We have a limited audience (for hip-hop). I hope that through the film, our audience gets expanded and the whole of India gets to see the real hard work of the underground rappers.”

The film will release on February 14.

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