August 11th marked the 44th anniversary of the birth of Hip Hop, a genre that was created by DJ Kool Herc and Coke La Rock in New York.
According to History.com, Hip Hop was born on August 11, 1973 at a party in an apartment building in the west Bronx, New York City. The address was 1520 Sedgwick Avenue, and the man who is credited with its creation was Clive Campbell, more commonly known as DJ Kool Herc.
Aged 18 then, DJ Kool Herc decided to try something different during his set and instead of playing full songs, he played their instrumental sections only, and the crowd went crazy. These instrumental sections later came to be known as ‘beat breaks’, a pivotal term for Hip Hop producers. As Kool Herc played the beat breaks, his friend Coke La Rock began to hype the crowd with a microphone; and that was how Hip Hop was born.
Since then, the genre has spread to every corner of the globe and is considered to be one of the most popular forms of music worldwide. And of course, how could Nepal stay behind. The genre that entered Nepal in the late ’90s is enjoyed by a huge mass of listeners.
We asked some prominent Nepali rappers what Hip Hop means to them and who has been their biggest inspiration in the scene, along with one song that had a huge influence on them. Here’s what they had to say.
Girish Khatiwada aka Gorhali G
“Hip Hop is an art form that helps people express their feelings without any boundaries. It comes from freestyle expression of self through poetry, graffiti, musical instruments, dance moves, fashion trends, street language and honesty. At times, Hip Hop provides knowledge and insights – but in an entertaining way. This genre has no rules but only these – ‘Feel the Vibe’, ‘Go with the Flow’ and ‘Keep it Real’.
My biggest influences in rap music have been Dr. Dre, Eminem and 2pac. I also take inspirations from Laxmi Prasad Devkota, Bhanu Bhakta and Bhupi Sherchan. These poets have helped me understand how to write in Nepali, the use of rhymes and how to tell better stories even when rhymes are not around. These Nepali poets had out of the world poetry writing techniques.
The most inspiring Hip Hop song has always been ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem. However, it’s that old school rapper – also considered to be the inventor of the ‘flow in rap’ – who initially inspired me to start solving those rhyme story telling puzzle. The rapper was Rakim.”
Manas Ghale aka Loorey (Nepsydaz)
“Hip Hop is everything that makes my head bob. Hip Hop is being real to yourself – the freedom of being yourself is Hip Hop to me. 2pac’s songs inspired me to get in the game, especially ‘Changes’.
Gyanon Chitrakar (Nepsydaz)
“For me, Hip Hop is a form of art – it’s about being what you are and expressing it. It can be rap or freestyle dance or the music itself. As I was more of a music producer, I am a big fan of Dr. Dre and his beats. I don’t have any specific favorite rapper because everyone has their unique flow and lyrics.
Back in the day when we started, people in Nepal didn’t know much about Hip Hop and even hated it. That has changed, and the form is getting bigger. And not to forget, the trap music also evolved from Hip Hop.”
Sudin Pokharel aka DA69 (The Unity)
“Hip Hop for me is something where I can express myself freely, it might be about anything – love, society, politics, sports, just anything. Girish inspired me first in this scene. Then it were the times and situations that inspired us (The Unity) to write and perform.
‘Aankha Bhari’, a song I did with Pranil Timalsena dai completely changed my life in music.
So, what does Hip Hop mean to you? Do comment below.