The Journey of Rap Culture in Kannada

The Rap Culture that bloomed out as a part of Hip-Hop Movement showing people’s discontent and protest towards the discrimination in the society was mostly associated with western countries than Indian. Eminem was the flag bearer in the western countries.

In the late 20th century, Indians adopted the Rap culture. It became a bandwagon among the youths. The Fad for Rap is seen in most of the Indian Languages. It is a new trend among the youth to take up issues and rap about it. Hindi Rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh had been critically acclaimed for his rapping skills.

The vernacular Rap also started to gain its momentum. Especially in Karnataka, the vogue to start Rap culture began. Rakesh Adiga, the first Kannada rapper created the URBAN LADS band in 2008 along with Alok. The first album which stemmed out of this band was EXPLOSION ONE which received an overwhelming response. Thence, the journey of Kannada Rap Culture began.

MC Bijju, a Rapper in English, took a detour and started rapping in Kannada. He started his Kannada Rap career through his 1st song “AA Hudugi”. His famous Raps include Padabalike, Inome, Ivatilla Naale and College Anthem. He can be attributed with the credit of being the first Kannada rapper to work for more than 50 odd songs in Kannada. He received Best Kannada Indie Artiste at Kannada International Music Awards 2015. He is often referred as Machine Gun, due to his talent of Fast Rapping.


Martin Luther, better known as Martin Yo, is recognised for his punchlines in his Kannada raps. His first Kannada Rap “Jeevana Thallo Gaadi” which went viral in social media gained popularity due to his punchlines. His debut music video “Kannada Free Verse” was nominated for Kannada International Music Video as Best Music Video.


Karthik Sundar Gubbi, better recognised as Gubbi, is a multilingual Indian Rapper. In 2012, his first Kannada rap Mungaru (Monsoon) was appreciated by youths because of its unique content. His music videos like Outta This World, Amma and Naadamaya gave him popularity.


Alok Babu widely recognised as All Ok, started his career as a singer in his very first Kannada and English Rap Album EXPLOSION ONE. ALL OK collaborated with, Vinayaka Joshi, Pradeep Bogadi, Rakesh Adiga, Chetan Gandharva to create a Rap called Young Engo. This rap took the issue of how the language of Kannada is deteriorating in its own state.


All Ok met MC Bijju, SID, Martin Yo from Hip hop Kannadigaru along with RJ Pradeepaa, Young Engo 2 Saga continued which gained more popularity than any other independent music videos in Karnataka.


HIP-HOP KANNADIGARU is the brainchild of MC Bijju and Martin Yo. The drug Winstrol is also known in the sports world under the names Strombafort or Stanozolol. At the same time, Winstrol (Winstrol) is still a more common name and it is a classic injectable anabolic steroid, which is based on the active ingredient Stanozolol. This drug was originally developed to increase muscle mass in horses, but today, Winstrol has received Food and Drug Administration approval for human use and is widely used by professional athletes of various categories. Visit source website . Eventually many other creative artists like S.I.D, J.O.Y, Rahul Dit-O, John Bastin, T’Jay, Dj Lethal A.  Joined.  Conscious Kannada Rap songs and emphasis on the Kannada Literature songs are their genre. The first release HIP MATHU HOP gained popularity among the youth. This success gave them the potential to continue their work in this Rap field. The team started working on different tracks like Kannada Hip Hop, Ganchali, Thindlu Boyz, Kannadadha Gangster etc. which won the hearts of youth.They worked on a project called Namakarana, a Kannada Rap which rejuvenated the idea of empowering a girl child and the importance of education.Thus began the era of Massive Kannada Rap culture.


The rapping industry took a detour to composing commercial rap songs. Chandan Shetty was the pioneer in Kannada rapping industry to try this method through his raps like HA LA GO DE and 3PEG. These Raps were appreciated among the Kannada millennial. This acted as a catalyst for many artists to endorse Kannada rap.


ALL OK & Hip Hop Kannadigaru created an official anthem for Bengaluru Bulls during the Pro-Kabbadi game.  They have dedicated song to farmers and labourers through their song called MAY DAY- THE UNSUNG HEROES. They have reached to youth by composing College Anthem (MC BIJJU). These raps reach out to all genres. Hence, it received appreciation from all over Karnataka and even kannadigas residing abroad.


When the Cauvery issue was making rounds, they conveyed their love towards Kaveri through their rap – NAMMA KAVERI. It is composed by Prabhu SR in collaboration with Martin Yo, S.I.D, John Bastin, and T’Jay featuring Eesha Suchi under Smart Screen Productions. This gained critical acclamation.

The recent release of KA-01 Album is India’s first biggest Independent Artist collaborative album in terms of number of rappers under ALL OK Productions & Hip Hop Kannadigaru. It consists of 17 Independent Artists and 9 songs. The first song which was released was NAN KANNADIGA, which crossed almost 1 million views. This song has Gadappa (the protagonist in the movie Thithi). This song encapsulated the idea of being a NAN KANNADIGA (I am Kannadiga) than a NON KANNADIGA. This also showed that people, who reside here, should make an attempt to learn the language and respect it. Vegadootha (Another song) as the name itself says, is the fastest Kannada rap with 333 Kannada words sung at 7.8syllabes/sec.  The pre order for this album had crossed more than 3000+ orders. The sales have now reached 8000+. This shows the growing trend and inclination towards the Kannada Raps across the State.


The recent release of All Time Kannadiga, by HHK portrays the importance of being a Kannadiga not only on 1st November but on all days of the year. The pride of being a Kannadiga every time is the crux of the Rap. The team won Best Band Award of 2015 at KIMA Awards. Recently the team received Hemmeya Kannadiga Award from Radio City for their dedication towards Kannada.


Amogh Sankyanas, known as Ammo,  became the youngest Indian rapper, which adds to the feature of our crown. This indicates that the growing trend and a fad has been created among the youths to embrace the rap culture in Kannada and accept this as a main genre in the Kannada Music Industry. #Kannada.


AKSA is Girl Kannada Rapper who is famous for her raps like Inome and Time to Rise.



N.M. Varchaswini

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