A philosopher of a rap star

Rapper Bohemia

Hip-Hop is not only a genre but a way of life. It has originated from protests of the most non-violent form,” says Bohemia.

The Pakistani-American-Punjabi rapper as a homeless kid, got his inspiration from “living hungry on the streets of a foreign land”.

Speaking to Metrolife, the 35-year-old rapper, says, “Rap was developed as a source of income and entertainment first in Africa, because children there were very poor and oppressed by the West. They did not take up music professionally but started speaking their mind though words that meant something for their community. These words were weaved into rhythms and some of the most painful stories have been weaved through this genre.”

Very few know that Bohemia is a shayar-cum-rapper. Rapping is the means through which he performs his shayari. Maybe not in the old-school way, but his lyrics still constitute some meaning which attract more than just party animals.

His album Thousand Thoughts is full of songs that speak of real events that took place in his life. Bohemia doesn’t want his fans to misunderstand and assume that his previous songs were alsofantasy stories just like Bollywood music.

When asked why he chose to rap instead of doingshayari in the first place, the singer says, “When I ventured into rap leaving behind my old-school Punjabi shayari I felt sorry, but a very prominent Punjabi singer-songwriter of those days, Gurdas Maan, said to me ‘If you hadn’t done this, Punjabi poetry and tradition would have died.”

Bohemia explains, “My songs are shayari and less of rap and I consider myself not a party rapper but a methodical musical rapper following the genre’s trends and
developments.”

“I am not famous because I have 10 girls dancing behind me or because I promote alcohol and party, but because my music means something to the youth.”

Bohemia adds, “I am soon going to stop making music videos; they are reducing the music culture to money culture. Very late I have realised that everything can be bought and sold. But my music is not
for sale.”

Bohemia believes himself to be a thinker and philosopher and says, “Another more important thing that I see every time I come here is that people are in awe of American culture, as if they are better off than us. But I would like to tell you that I have lived there half my life and I believe they may be the world power in technology and everything, but India is a world power in art and intelligentsia.”

According to Bohemia people across the world have revolted against this kind of “monopoly and kids here must do too”.

“We have been made to believe that Bollywood is everything and that is why musicians and singers leave their passion behind when they are daunted by continuous failures trying to enter the industry. Music is not so small that Bollywood can incorporate all of it,” says Bohemia.

His message to the youth who aspire to be future rockstars is to “concentrate less
on the clothing and more upon their practice and dream. And overcome the blind belief that money makes you sing well too.”

Bohemia recently performed at ASOM Dwarka, where he drew a large crowd of youngsters who loved his performance. The show was a smash hit and some of his fans had also tattooed the rapper’s face or name on different parts of their body.

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