10 Artists To Listen To If You Like Divine (Magazine Version) – Score Short Reads
An alumnus of Gully Gang, D’Evil is a respected figure in the Mumbai circuit. While other rappers focus on their hustle in a formulaic motivational formula, D’Evil relies on satirical flows and witty wordplay to talk about his life and his city. Kaan Check, Hip-Hop Bajega are some of his essentials while his recent track Todun Taak also appeared on the soundtrack for the Farhan Akhtar starrer Toofan.
From Meri Gully Mei to Chal Bombay, Divine has made his love for Mumbai pretty evident. It is common to find rappers all over the country representing their city and telling its everyday stories. In this regard, Vasudev is an interesting artist to check out as his Ghaziabad Mixtape and Red Line and Blue Line EP both explore the NCR regions of Ghaziabad and Delhi. The latter two even incorporates the theme of a metro ride as Vasudev moodily croons and raps on life in a journey that ends at various stations.
Arguably one of India’s greatest new-wave DJs, Nucleya went from being a Bandish Projekt member to a solo act of his own with high-profile collaborations ranging from Ritviz to Divine. With the MC, Nucleya first collaborated the bass-heavy Scene Kya Hai. They joined forces yet again for Anurag Kashyap’s boxing drama Mukkabaaz for which Divine rapped the adrenaline-fueled Paintra.
MC Altaf has been an active member of the Gully Gang ensemble, helming one single after the other, collaborating with fellow artists such as Divine and D’Evil along with non-Mumbai artists like Full Power. On Divine’s viral hit Mirchi, he even partnered with Jamaican dancehall artist Stylo G.
Mumbai’s Finest is one of the city’s oldest hip-hop crews, actively represented by veteran MC Ace. With the crew producing music since 2006, Ace has been similar to Divine in the sense that he too has been rapping about the city as his muse. Har Gam Mei Khushi Hai and Awaara are some popular tracks by him along with Yaara, a multi-artist collaboration under Oscar-winner AR Rahman.
While Gully Gang’s members are mostly rappers with similar themes to explore, visual artists and musician Afkap presents a mellower and chilled-out sound for the team’s lineup. He has dropped two singles yet, Kyuyu and Ainaa, both of which make perfect additions to your playlist if you are in an introspective mood. So, if you’re saturated with Divine’s constant energy, Afkap can provide a good break.
Sez On The Beat
A godfather figure of Indian hip-hop, Delhi-based producer Sez On The Beat is the one who produced the beats for the trendsetting hip-hop anthem Meri Gully Mei, a track that turned Naezy and Divine into forces to be reckoned with. Sez has been constantly putting out music since then producing Seedhe Maut’s debut album Bayaan along with individual releases under his MVMNT banner.
Ankur Tewari was the mind behind the soundtrack of Gully Boy, the film inspired by and featuring Divine’s music. Apart from serving as a music supervisor on the film, Tewari has been constantly putting out music individually and with his band The Ghalat Family. Yaaron, Zaalim Alien, Dil Beparvah (with Prateek Kuhad) are some of his essential tracks to check out.
Mohali-bred rapper Sikander Kahlon has been a big name in the desi hip-hop scene for a long time, collaborating with Divine last year for Bandana Gang. Kahlon has a massive discography that includes 17 projects (EPs, mixtapes, and albums combined)!
Nitesh aka Nick
Nitesh aka Nick is a Chandigarh-based rapper who raps about love and life in both his current city and his native state of Himanchal Pradesh. With Divine’s MOOSEDRILLA and Drill Wali Baatcheet, the rapper is bringing the UK-based drill rap style towards the mainstream Indian market. However, Nitesh has been playing around with drill beats from way back with songs like Roshni, Karu Mai Flex, and Afwah.