A hip hop hustle

A hip hop hustle

A hip hop hustle

The rap scene in India has barely hit puberty but there are already some who have taken a gamble on it. A Bengaluru-based crew, ‘Hip Hop Hooligans’ is one of the brave few to enter a space that is for the most part, unexplored. And though they have faced some challenges, it’s mainly success that they have interacted with.

Hervin Alex who goes by the stage name ‘ALIEN’ is the one who conceptualised the idea for the crew. A proficient rapper, he and two of his colleagues from 24/7 Customer Pvt Ltd, along with a friend’s brother, started the group in January. Just a few months old, they have already performed 12 times. Despite what it looks like to most, Hervin says that the city has a healthy hip hop and rap scene and is more advanced than other parts of the country. 

“There have been times when we’d be performing and people have asked us to play Bollywood music. That isn’t us so we look for a crowd that appreciates our music.
And we have had many such opportunities in Bengaluru,” says Hervin. The crew also comprises Sourab Kumar aka ‘Ice Cold’, Basawa Chetan or ‘Dead Poet’ and Vinil or ‘B Fab’.
Basawa, a BCom student, is the youngest member of the team. He has been rapping for the last 3 years but took it seriously only a year back. When asked why he likes the genre, he says, “It’s a way to talk about struggles, your own or otherwise, and convey messages in a raw and real way.”

The members practice for long hours to perfect their verses. Basawa raps everyday for 3 to 4 hours. “After finishing college work I practice at home everyday. On weekends, I get together with my friends and we rap together,” he says.

Sourab, who has been in the scene for the last 4 years, also has a similar routine, where he comes back from  work and plays with words and tunes. “I used to be in a crew called ‘Autopsy’ but that didn’t work out which is when I joined ‘Hip Hop Hooligans’,” says the passionate artiste.

Hervin also comes with experience and uses this genre to talk about anything from social issues that are trending to intimate thoughts.

For him, it’s a way to articulate feelings and emotions that many can’t. “Our songs are relatable to our listeners which makes them more appealing,” he says. With feeling and thought, and formatted in a different way, their songs are definitely something new.