Rapper Dino James: Can you deny some girls are gold-diggers?

Updated: Nov 18, 2018, 11:49 IST | Aastha Atray Banan

Rapper Dino James defends his #EmpowermentForMen songs with 'I'm writing what I have experienced'

Rapper Dino James: Can you deny some girls are gold-diggers?
Pic/Sameer Markande

When we heard rapper Dino James's first song Girlfriend (which released two years ago but has picked up pace now; it has 13 million views), we were disturbed to say the least. It's written from the point of view of a man whose girlfriend has left him, and he is venting about the cruel and savage ways women con men.

They are gold-diggers, and c***-teasers, and s**ts. "But it's not a generalisation. Can you deny some girls are like that? My songs stem from some personal experiences. But, I have also sat at many coffee shops in Mumbai and noticed couples, and my friends and I would often try to figure who is the alpha from the duo. It's about those observations that, to be honest, are exaggerated in the songs," says the 31-year-old who hails from Kerala but was born and brought up in Bhopal.

The rapper, who had no intention of ever becoming a musician, moved to Mumbai in 2012, after he just couldn't convince himself to join his dad in the family business. He tried to be an actor, even worked at call centres, but it wasn't really working out. So he got depressed and started drinking heavily, and was often spotted at Versova beach with a bottle of Old Monk. But then one day he met a musician, who created a song in front of him, and he knew what he had to do. "It was like all my senses opened up to music that day. I knew that I was going to talk about my life, and rap it out.

I never let things go, and that was serving me well now." Today, he has nine songs; one million subscribers and over 50 million views on his channel. Though he has written about his dog (Hancock), and motivational songs like Unstoppable, it's his women-bashing songs that are most popular. In Achi Maza Aayi, he sings about telling his ex, that she deserves the mess she is in now. His tag line for these songs, "Aaj sabse jyada need hai for #EmpowermentForMen", is making him go viral, garnering attention from both disgruntled male fans and those critical of his views. "That hashtag and line is supposed to be funny," he laughs, "I am writing what I have experienced. But it doesn't mean I don't respect women or movements like #MeToo. I just refuse to get caught up in the hype, and my upcoming songs will be about boys and the disgusting things they do."

For James, what's more important than reacting to criticism and trolls, is being relatable to his listeners. "I always tell people that if you haven't heard my other songs, then you really don't know that I am much more than you think. I am not here to provide just entertainment or please everyone. I am here to connect to people. So, when someone messages me that they didn't commit suicide, as they heard my song, that's what matters to me. That's the only validation I require."

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