Will I have the ability to do it? What if I find yourself making a joke about myself? Many questions got here to my thoughts when my colleague requested me to strive rapping and write a narrative in regards to the expertise.

I’m a classically skilled singer. I sing Hindu music and devotional songs based mostly on ragas. “Let’s see what happens when you try to rap,” stated my colleague. I preferred the thought, however earlier than I may give it some thought, she despatched me off with a deadline and the telephone variety of Kannada rapper Gubbi.

When I broke the information to my dad and mom, they had been amazed. My grandmother used to taunt me: “Idondu baaki ittu ninage kaliyodakke” (“You still had to research this one stupid thing”). My pals had been shocked. But you had been excited. He stated, “Wow! Soon we’ll have a rapper among us.”

I come from a conservative household that believes rap is verbal abuse disguised as music. I’m quiet and do not open up simply. My clothes model is straightforward and formal – no outsized hoodies, neon hats, necklaces and rings.

But there was no turning again. my
Colleagues have requested me if I may rap for them.

Class begins

Before the digital courses I made a decision to seek out out about my mentor Gubbi whose full title is Karthik Sundar Gubbi. He’s 32 and a full-time musician. His tracks are successful on YouTube and “Gubbi – Outta This World (Beautiful Day)” has racked up a whopping 3.07 lakh views.

Gubbi appeared on the display screen and stated “Hello” in a tender voice. He wore stylish sun shades, earrings and a necklace. My first concern: would I’ve to decorate like him?

He spoke in regards to the historical past of rap and its growth for the reason that Seventies. Blacks used it to talk out in opposition to oppression. The story goes that they weren’t allowed in nightclubs, in order that they began their very own yard events often called block events. DJ Kool Herc was the primary to throw a hip hop social gathering. It was August 11, 1973 on Sedgwick Avenue in New York. Over time, gangsters began rapping, he stated.

In the hour-long class, he spoke to me about his personal 16-year profession and his idol, Eminem, whose adolescence was stuffed with poverty and allegations of abuse.

He requested me to observe documentaries about rap. American rapper Ice-T’s “Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap” is sweet. I additionally preferred Hip-Hop Evolution and Tupac: Resurrection.

Gubbi belted out rap songs to display beats, kinds and punchlines. I may hardly perceive the lyrics.

These classes came about twice per week and totaled 10 hours. On the times after I did not have coaching, I used to be presupposed to do my homework.

I added new songs to my playlist to take heed to on the way in which to work. Now I had tracks by American rappers like Eminem and Russ alongside my devotional songs folder!

Drake Raps from Canada and Raftaar, Badshaah, All Ok, MC Bijju, Brodha V, EmmJee and Urmi from India quickly crammed my record.

I did not just like the style at first, however I got here round, particularly after listening to Gubbi’s full works. Its tracks like “Naadamaya”, “Aagaaga”, “Hongirana” and “Chandamaarutha” are a superb mixture of hip hop beats and candy melodies. In his lyrics, he meticulously avoids swear phrases.

For his themes he attracts from on a regular basis life. “Chill” exhorts folks to observe their goals, like Gubbi did – he was once an R&D engineer, I discovered. He gave up a profession with a German luxurious automotive model and devoted himself totally to music. “Enlightened” emerged when he noticed a visually impaired individual getting on a bus who appeared joyful. During lockdown he launched Calm, an EP with Conscious Rap. It’s a subgenre of hip-hop that speaks out in opposition to violence, discrimination and social ills in society, I’m informed.

I began with every day voice coaching, saltwater gargles early after which respiration workouts. I practiced English and Kannada tongue twisters in opposition to an upbeat tempo. I sang alongside on a number of songs, making an attempt to match the staccato singing.

Some days I’d gown in a hoodie, shorts, and a necklace to embody a rapper’s character.

Gubbi’s objective was to not solely get me to rap a music, however to get me to jot down it!

I needed to full this problem as I had promised my colleague.


I wished my first rap monitor to be Kannada in my native language, so I selected ‘thaayi’ or mom because the theme.

An uncommon selection, I do know. What is rap with out revolt, anger and profanity? But to my shock, Gubbi preferred the topic. I stated, ‘Shall we do one thing extra gangsterish?’ No, no, rap songs will be about any topic, be it social, political or private, he assured me. “Even I rapped about my Amma,” he joked.

Now it was time to jot down the lyrics and get them right into a rhythm. Gubbi informed me that even skilled rappers battle on this entrance. I come from a musical background so it might be simpler for me, he assured me. But I had by no means written lyrics earlier than.

As I sat down to jot down, I knew I needed to rap in 4/4 time. He had demonstrated this in one of many classes, taking a phrase and enjoying round with it to kind a line after which a paragraph.

It took me two hours to jot down the primary 4 traces. I had some English phrases canadaized – “poweru” and “brotheru”. Fusion is cool I assumed. When I despatched these traces to Gubbi, he was happy and that motivated me to maintain writing. The remaining 12 traces took a full week.

Surprisingly, as soon as the lyrics had been prepared, it took lower than two hours to suit them to a beat. We determined to begin the music with a melody hook and throw a mixture of basic alaaps. I did not need the alaap to sound like some widespread raga. I harassed the “pa”, the fifth observe. Like sa, the primary observe, pa brings decision and stability to the melody, and do not we see these attributes in our moms?

My data of classical music helped me with rhythm and spontaneous improvisation. My singing was in tune. Not that hip-hop locations a lot emphasis on pitching.

Finally the traces had been completed and I needed to sing. The problem wasn’t over but – I used to be apprehensive in regards to the look on her face. I had to supply the sensation and the enjoyable.

Gubbi performed “Happy Old School Beat” on YouTube and rapped the verses to point out me the way it’s executed. It’s a preferred hip-hop beat, he stated. Understood. I adopted him, slowly making an attempt to sound as pure as doable. To my amazement it sounded good!

“Your voice sounds fresh and you don’t imitate anyone. Let’s record it in a studio with my fellow rappers,” Gubbi said, praising my first attempt.

recording room

Gubbi brought other rappers together for the recording. They were EmmJee, possibly the first female rapper in Kannada, and Urmi, a Malayali who excels in sound production and Kannada rap. I was nervous.

Finally, I stood in front of a microphone. I had to sing my lines over and over again. But the trio was patient.

After three hours and more than 15 repetitions, I recorded the song and added classic alaaps to it. “You didn’t sound like a first-timer. Welcome to the club,” they introduced my journey into the world of rapping. I wished to leap for pleasure. But I used to be too shy to do it there. I went residence and, properly, I jumped.


My mom was overjoyed to listen to the monitor. I had sung and recorded some Indian classical, movie and devotional songs however this was my first recording within the hip hop style. That was additionally the primary time I wrote lyrics and sang rap. ‘Wow, nice!’ She stated. My cousin Rachana liked it. She yelled, “Benki!” (fireplace) and demanded that I rap on her birthday.

Rap will get a nasty rap, however why?

Why is the thought of ​​a classical singer making an attempt out a rap music so stunning? Looking for a solution, I referred to as the well-known Carnatic classical singer RK Padmanabha. He did not disguise his displeasure at what I had executed. “When a classical singer raps, he goes astray. He can do it for personal gratification, but it is against pure classical form, and he should not present it in public. And even if you rap, you shouldn’t mix classical with rap. I respect both forms, but they should not be mixed,” he stated. He hasn’t heard a classical musician attempt to rap.

Rap borrows components from totally different genres, so it could’t be referred to as a definite type of music, he mused. “Classical music involves mind, body and ‘manodharma’ (improvisation) as opposed to rap which is only made for dancing. There’s no personal development in pursuing rap,” he said, contrasting it with classical music and its graduated lessons that grow in complexity.

But my own Guru Bhagavant Allapur raised no objection. He appreciated the lyrics, the classic touch and the subject matter.

RV Raghavendra, founder of the Ananya Cultural Academy, also saw the experiment positively. He said: “As long as the lyrics are not vulgar, any form of music, including rap, should be encouraged. Classical musicians should try all genres.”

Some classical musicians are modern, he stated, referring to violinist L Subramaniam, who “uses different forms of music in his work”. “Before Sriniva’s mandolin became famous, several Carnatic musicians were reluctant to accept the mandolin as a classical instrument,” he added.

My rap mentor Karthik Gubbi understands the place the criticism is coming from. “Because rap has its roots in the streets and there are no ‘gurus’ in that direction, classical musicians might not like it,” he stated.

But he is fast to level out, “Konnakol is nothing but a rap of rhythmic syllables with no lyrics. Even Bharatanatyam dancers know Konnakol and can try their hand at rapping.”

Rap is a freeform art, but it might have its purists. “Some rappers just want rap elements and don’t want to merge them with ragas. They say rap shouldn’t sound like mainstream music,” he defined.

And it is a rap

Thaayiye nanna modala devaru

(mom is my first god)

Hetthu saakuvalu ee nanna poweru

(She is robust to provide start and care for her youngster)

Prashnegalig uttara needuva motherru

(She has solutions to all questions)

Bere inyaaru yaake beku bruderu

(So ​​why do I would like another person, bro?)


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