Kolkata, a city where music is an intrinsic part of daily life, is now witnessing the rise of a new niche form of music, Bengali rap.
Meet Flame C and Bunny, two budding rappers. They learnt to rap in unassuming school corridors. They’d imitate their favourite artists, and would draw loud cheers during school competitions. From there, they’ve come a long way. Both college students now, have both been covered by Rolling Stones and other magazines.
Cizzy, is the most seasoned Bengali rapper, who started it all, over ten years ago.
He has gone on to rap for a TV serial and also do collaborations with popular bengali artists like Anupam Roy and Rupankar Bagchi.
All three of them, however, had initially started rapping in English.
Despite their successes so far, they say that the Bengali rap community still has much left to achieve. Money, exposure and the lack of investors remain their biggest hurdles.
Rap isn’t restricted to Kolkata. It’s on the rise all over Bengal. While Calcuttans regularly enjoy the privilege of meeting up with fellow rappers and engaging in community activities, those from the outskirts are at a disadvantage. Two rappers Bodhayan from Asansol and Anubhav from Durgapur echo this sentiment.
Overall however, the rap community is happy and hopeful of a steady growth.