Many of us have grown up listening to English rappers from all over the world – Drake, Tupak Shakur, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj and Jay-Z, to name a few. However, not much has ever been said about Hindi rap. Rapping is considered to be a style of music that involves vocals to be delivered in a particular way and is usually accompanied by a beat. When it comes to Hindi rap, one should listen to Emiway Bantai’s “Dhyaan De”, which seems to speak about Bantai’s own journey to the hip-hop culture.
Born as Bilal Shaikh, Emiway Bantai initially began to rap in English but was advised by his father to start rapping in Hindi in order to reach the masses. He took the name ‘Emiway’ as a combination of Eminem and Lil Wayne, and started making fun videos to pass the time but was soon overwhelmed by the response. He released his first rap “Aur Bantal” in 2014 and went on to release the songs “#Sadak”, “Samajh Mein Aaya Kya” and “Giraftaar” as well.
Coming to “Dhyaan De”, it has all the elements of a rap song. The music video is shot in the beautiful wild locations in Dawki, Meghalaya, thus breaking the conventions that rap songs should always be shot in foreign locations. The song seems to me Bantai’s response to naysayers who wouldn’t support him in his career, and about how he has finally managed to reach a high stage in his life. The language used in the rap song is typically ‘tapori’, which essentially refers to a less socially accepted form of speech usually spoken by lower-middle-class men in Mumbai. However, it is this form that gives “Dhyaan De” it’s rough and raw form, which can resonate with the masses all over the country. The song was sung and written by Emiway himself, and produced by the Kraytwinz.
Each scene of “Dhyaan De” seems to be a photographer’s dream location in Meghalaya, complete with forests and the sunsets on the mountains. Traditional Khasi drums make an appearance as well, and Emiway looks the quintessential rapper in every way with his eclectic dressing, hairstyle and beard. The rap song is intended to be a moral message for all of those who struggle to achieve their dreams but are facing obstacles in the form of naysayers. The main theme of “Dhyaan De” is to keep dreaming and working hard, and everything will work out just fine.
Last but definitely not the least, Emiway Bantai has been featured in the Bollywood song “Asli Hip-Hop” from the Ranveer Singh-Alia starrer ‘Gully Boy’ as well. Now, what could be more exciting than that?