How Bombay Rapp revolutionized the Indian music scene

Music has played an essential role in shaping humanity as a whole. Since the time we are born music becomes, knowingly or unknowingly, an essential part of our life. Initially through lullaby, then through nursery rhymes and poems. In a country like India, Bollywood doesn’t let you sit idle in your free time. One will always find themselves humming the latest catchy Bollywood songs. Over the past couple of years, a new genre has emerged in the Indian music scene and has completely revolutionized it. It’s called Indian hip-hop, more famously known as Bombay Rapp. And here is why it was successful in doing so:

It is real:

What Bollywood has done since its birth is that it has created a sense of fantasy around itself. It’s a wonderland and so is its music. Bombay Rapp took the complete opposite approach. It’s as real and raw as it gets. What’s fascinating is that rappers still make it look cool and hip. Rather than having expensive unreal sets their videos will include shots on a random Mumbai road with a chai tapri and a rickshaw stand.

Vivian Divine

“kalakar mei,

kalko akar dun,

yehi hai dharm meri dusri koi jaat na

maa hai rab meri gali ye meri mashuka”- Spitfire (Asli Hip Hop)


Relatable art has always conquered. The verses that Mumbai rappers write are all inspired by their own life experiences. The reality that they faced while growing up in a country like India. For instance, the mention of the class divide can be seen in a lot of songs. They talk about poverty, the real face of capitalism, corruption, familial problems and many more things which need to be talked about. The masses relate to what they are saying and that’s why they listen.

“Ha Mera Bhai Hai To

Noto Ki Sarkaar Hai Na

Note Se Banate Apne Beto Ko

Ye Star Hain Na

Baaki Poora Desh Doobe

Inki Naiya Paar Hai Na” — Divine(Azadi)

One genre many styles:

Bombay Rapp is arguably the only genre of music that has sub-genres. A rapp can be about love, society, party or anything else. One artist can write three songs each one of them evoking a drastically different emotion than the other. Here are some songs by KaamBhari which do the same: Mohabbat, Zeher, Aala Re

Kaam Bhari

“Sukh dukh mein tere main kaantu savere

Jo aankhon ke neeche jo

Kaale ghere saare apne bana loon

Main tumko chura lu main tumse

Hum aafat-e-aashiq

Iss kagaz ke tukde pe likhte hai ISHQ.”- Kaam Bhari (Mohabbat)

Destroying stereotypes:

The majority of songs being written and composed in India used to be about love or party because that’s what Bollywood used to buy from singers. They had no other choice. Punjabi rapp started out strong but then it eventually went to the stereotypical money, cars and women showoff. Punjabi rapp was never thought provoking but just a superficial flex of a rich lifestyle.

bling bling bling

“Blue eyes hypnotize teri kardi ai mennu

I swear! chhoti dress mein bomb lagdi menu”-Honey Singh(Blue Eyes)

Mumbai rappers didn’t know how it felt to have money, they had never driven a Mercedes and chicks had never danced with them in a club because they had never been inside one. And we know the golden rule of Bombay rapp: Don’t sing it if you haven’t lived it. This is also the reason for negligible mention of sex, guns, and drugs ( which is prevalent in American hip hop).

on the sets of Gully Boy

“Boys from the naka 59 East Side hum Andheri ke

Mere fans Royal Opera se Gaiety pe”- Divine( Kohinoor)

Voice of the streets:

This new genre has done something larger, something which transcends the boundary of music and affects real life. They have given the common folk a voice which they previously lacked. No one was listening to the pain of the bottom tier of society. A section of society, which was previously suffering silently, now has a channel through which they can express themselves and make their problems heard.

a still from ‘doori’

“Kya Shu Ek Tarfa Tarazo

Kya Shu

Aa Teri Hansi Mere Aansu

Kya Shu

Aa Ghut Ghut Ke Kyun Saans Lu

Kya Shu

Usse Dega Kya Hisaab Tu..?” –( Azadi)

The underdog story:

When people see that a boy from the slums can become the next big pop star by recording songs on his phone it gives people hope. It inspires them. This helps the rapper as more people listen to his songs while they are taking inspiration from his come-up story. This helps both, the society and Indian hip-hop.


“Ye shabdo ka jwaala

Meri bediyan pighlaayega

Zinda mera khwab

Ab kaise tu dafnayega

Apna time aayega”-Divine ( apna time aayega)

The hip-hop scene is still really new in India and many people are yet to discover it. It has a bright and promising future.

Here are some artists you can start your Bombay Rapp journey with:

Divine, Emiway Bantai, Kaam Bhari, MC Stan, Naezy, Dopeadelics

-Atharva Sangle

Bombay ikyasi se

Jaake pooch apne baarein me

student, writer, overthinker Instagram: @authorva.s