Hip-Hop without the bling
Four year-old desi Hip-Hop band DNOAX will present a mash up of Rap and Indian Classical music at their gig tomorrow
When Hip-Hop emerged from the working class neighbourhood of South Bronx, New York back in the '70s and '80s, DJ Afrika Bambaataa spelt out four elements that would define the genre of music MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing. Along the way, Rap and Beat Boxing also came to be associated with the genre.
Today, Hip-Hop has a glamorous (think flashy cars, clothes and bling) and controversial (drugs, alleged gangsters, uninhibited display of moolah) image.
This is what Indian Hip-Hop band DNOAX hopes to change.
DNOAX adds a desi flavour to the international genre by jamming with Indian classical vocals and instruments as well as adding a bit of Punjabi tadka.
In town to perform as part of The Park New festival, the group believes in detaching from the bling and flashy clothes, and instead focus on Conscious Rap. "Typically, a gig includes our original numbers as well as covers of artists who inspire us.
But the focus is always on Hip-Hop music with Indian tunes, heavy Rap, Indian Classical and Punjabi music," says Meghraj Arvind aka Megh-uh-Watt, from Hyderabad.
Formed in March 2007, DNOAX, an acronym for Desi Number One Artist Xtraordinaire, is the country's first Hip-Hop and Rap crew. The core team comprises seven rappers and Indian classical musicians.
Apart from Meghraj, the band includes Rahul Kumar aka Roll Rida, Pratik Nigade aka Invincible P, Abhishek Dhusia aka Ace, Vamsi Krishna, Monica Rajendra and Naresh Kumaran from Hyderabad and Mumbai. "We keep writing songs whenever we get ideas.
Technology helps us jam. We use Skype and phone chats to rehearse," Meghraj adds. Drop by for this gig to support a relentless effort by this young bunch.
On September 17, 7 pm at The Park, MG Road
Call 25594666 to be on the guest list.