It is not necessary that you have to struggle or have a bad childhood to be a rapper: Raftaar
The rapper-singer says that since the hip-hop culture became big in India, a lot of people have been putting up a facade of having had a tough childhood to be taken seriously as a rapper.Updated: Jun 06, 2020 17:14 IST
If I can’t write a song in my mother tongue, how can I pay respect to my people?” asks singer-rapper Raftaar, adding that when he was young, he would hide his “family name deliberately to avoid being labelled as a Malayali”, because he “thought it was a sin to be a Malayali”.
Raftaar, who moved to Delhi with his family after he was born, says he didn’t have enough time to learn his mother tongue, and hence, he decided on Mr Nair as the title of his latest album as he wanted to tell the world that he is a Malayali guy. “It is important to know who you are, where you come from, it gives you a sense of community and fills your social instincts with empathetic understanding towards your fellow beings. You will see my album cover, I am wearing the chappals and gold, not because of some fashionista itch, it is because I am a Malayali. There lies my root,” he says.
You can listen to the album here:
The album has 16 tracks and collaborations with KARMA, Deep Kalsi, Harjas and Rashmeet Kaur, among other artistes. Raftaar says he decided to make this album to leave a legacy behind. “We’re old-school people, we come from the era of CDs and cassettes. What were cassettes? They were treasures for people. They’re still safe, but nothing in the digital world is going to remain for a long time. A server can crash or anything else can happen. I just wanted to leave a legacy behind and with this album, and I wanted to pay a tribute to my people,” adds the Dhaakad (Dangal; 2016) singer.
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Raftaar adds that he wanted to distance himself from the whole ‘what’s trending’ scene, and the current rat race. “You see, today, one of the biggest myths about this industry, is that people think individuals from small families take up rapping. It is not necessary that you have to struggle or have a bad childhood to be a rapper. You need to have a voice and the mind to weave a story. Ever since the rapping culture stepped in, people put up a façade that they come from smaller families, bad conditions and have seen a lot of struggle,” says the 31-year-old artiste.