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Music from the streets

Meet rappers, Vivian Fernandes and Nawed Shaikh, who rap about the streets of Mumbai and their ghettoes in the song, Mere Gully Mein

They are proud of their localities — Mumbai 59 in Andheri and Mumbai 70 in Kurla — and have been rapping about life on the streets. After many requests on their YouTube videos, rappers Vivian Fernandes (Divine) and Nawed Shaikh (Naezy) finally got together for the song, Mere Gully Mein.

Vivian Fernandes aka Divine (left) and Nawed Shaikh aka Naezy
Vivian Fernandes aka Divine (left) and Nawed Shaikh aka Naezy

The groovy Hindi Rap song was shot around their houses in the two localities. "We had always been rapping about normal life situations. Rap is poetry and we write stories. We were first introduced to Rap through the DJs playing in our gullies," says Fernandes.

While Mere Gully Mein features a lot of Mumbai street lingo, both Fernandes and Shaikh can speak and rap in English as they have studied in English medium schools. Shaikh also raps in Urdu and Hindi: "Though I was convent-educated, my aunts used to teach Urdu and we would speak in Urdu at home too."

Talent on the home turf
Both have the same motto for their Rap song — to present their localities in a different light. The local talent from 'Mumbai Sattar' and Mumbai 59 is evident in the video. "We shot with the kids doing the cycle stunts (from Andheri) on Sundays, as they had school. The dancers are from Mumbai Sattar," says Fernandes.

Two of the most interesting members featured in the video include Fernandes' friend's mother and the rapper's friend's uncle shown dancing with gay abandon. "While Aunty was embarrassed and said she looked funny in the video, Uncle, who has always been interested in dramatics and features in all of my videos, knew that he looked cool," laughs Fernandes.

Ask them who were the first rappers they were introduced to, and Fernandes says, "A guy once wore a 50 Cent T-shirt to school and that's how I got to know what he looks like. His songs would play on the radio too." Shaikh adds, "I first heard Sean Paul and Eminem through Gully DJs and later started listening to old school rappers."

The duo will soon be launching a T-shirt line as well, called Gully Gang, to make people aware that gangs are not just about violence but also about unity in the gullies and a symbol of the Hip-Hop movement on the streets.

The song is available for downloads and streams across all leading channels.

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