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Raising the bar – mumbai guide

Hip-Hop music has three ‘E’s — education, empowerment and economy. The foremost practitioners of the genre seek to impart knowledge to the listeners, remind them of their rights, and tell them that music can be a tool to escape the sort of abject poverty that people in the Bronx in America faced in the ’70s, which is when this musical style was invented. Aklesh Sutar aka MC Mawali has done the same in an Indian context with his new track, Shambhar Bars, produced by Bamboy. In it, he takes a dig at the commercialisation that has crept into the genre, diverting it from its core ethos of the three ‘E’s.

Sutar pulls no punches. But at its heart, the song is filled with empathy. Some of the Marathi lyrics translate to, “There are disasters all over the world with glaciers melting/We are forgetting about nature while immersing idols in the sea.” The rapper says, “Talking about gold chains, cars, alcohol, being better than others and all that stuff is the oldest content [in the genre]. People have been doing it for about 40 years. So, I feel that it’s time to say something that’s never been heard before and show something that’s never been seen.” It’s a courageous thought, and one that can only elevate this art form in the country, where it’s been steadily picking up steam.

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