'Rapping is easier than singing'

FRANKLY SPEAKING

Mumbai-born Canadian rapper Gangis Khan has more than a story to tell about his entry into the rap scene and his life as a rapper thereafter.

Gangis Khan

On his recent India tour that included a stop at ‘Pebble — The Jungle Lounge’ in town, he caught up with Metrolife after the show, thronged by his fans. Based in Toronto, Gangis Khan is better known as a ‘Camoflauge’, a name that was given to him by his fans. “I was always wearing army clothes. That was how the name came about,” he says.

Besides rapping in English, he manages to touch the pulse of many Indian fans through his music. He claims his best show in the country so far has been the one in Bangalore. The crowd was in quite a frenzy, dancing away and singing along with this acclaimed rapper. Talking about his early life, Khan says, “I started rapping at the age of 13. It came naturally to me and it is easier than singing.” What started out as a hobby turned into a profession after a single life-changing incident for Khan. “In 2006, I got shot at in a club in Canada.

After that, I didn’t want to waste any time. I began rapping professionally,” says Khan.  Some of the greatest hits by the artiste include his first album, ‘The Return of the Red Eye’, ‘Gangstas Code’ and the hit single he released in 2009 called ‘Scardogg Millionaire’. His brand of music is rather personal, almost like a chronology of events in his own life. “My lyrics are inspired from my life and what I have seen,” says Khan and admits they have evolved over the years to turn into something better.

When asked what it takes to be an Indian rapper in a country where the scene has been easily dominated by Afro-Americans, he says, “It is confrontational. It is a positive thing. Especially after many Indians have entered the scene, it has become easier.” The turning point in his career came when he met hip-hop artiste Raekwon for the first time.

It was Raekwon who listed ‘Camoflauge’ as one of the artistes on his music label ICEH20 and went on to create a buzz in Canada. Khan’s music is themed and the kind that would easily connect with a crowd of any kind with its lyrics, if not style.

Though rap has been his first love, he does have plans of doing other things. “I also do reggae and Soca, a form native to Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, I will be performing Soca at Trinidad and Tobago this year,” he says.

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