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Hip-Hop Schools in India – Score Short Reads

Hip Hop music or rap music is a genre developed by African-Americans in the United States in the 1970’s. The hip-hop culture includes MC’ing or rapping, DJing, break dancing and graffiti writing. This genre has become immensely popular in India and has lately become mainstream.

Indian Hip Hop or Desi hip hop has become a sub-genre of the hip-hop movement. It is basically a combination of hip hop and Indian influences performed by artists of South Asian origins. The term ‘desi hip hop’ was coined by Bohemia, one of the most popular hip hop artists in the industry. 

Hip hop has been heard in the country since a long time and few of the earliest performers included Apache Indian and Baba Sehgal who introduced rap to the Indian audiences. Yet rap or hip hop had never been a part of mainstream club music but an underground music genre until now where hip hop has become the rage all over the country. 

The following schools have come up in India to teach hip-hop to young aspirants across the country:

The Dharavi Dream Project: India’s only official school of hip hop, takes online classes with students from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Canada. It is a free school of hip hop and teaches the theory of hip hop, how to write beats and lyrics, produce music and more.

This school was started in 2014 by Samir Bangara and Dolly Rateshwar and was backed by AR Rahman and filmmaker Shekhar Kapur to promote local talent. MC Kode, Gauri Dabholkar, and D-Cypher amongst others are taking classes online due to the pandemic and is a 10-month weekly course.

Front Row Online Class: Top hip-hop artists – DIVINE, MC Altaf, Shah Rule, D’Evil, MC Heam, JD and Stunnah Beatz are mentors and guides to the world of hip hop in these online classes. This course starts from the basics of rap, and moves to creating songs-it has everything to help you kickstart your hip-hop career.

The course will help in building your brand, basics of mixing, performance tips-all designed in collaboration with the ‘Gully Gang’ and is in partnership with The Dharavi Dream Project. The course is priced at Rs.799 with lifetime access to all the classes.

Beat Pro Rap Music Production: This Mumbai based music school is taking online classes for Rap Music Production which will enable the students to make a complete track with vocals along with learning mixing and mastering and complete track processing method. This school has been in business from twenty years and is offering the course at Rs.40,000/- along with lifetime access and support for the students.

SVKM’s Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management in Mumbai: It is the only college in India to start a certification course on Insights to Hip-Hop Culture. It is a value-added 60 hour certification course, conducted online and is a combination of practical as well as theoretical knowledge. This course is designed and conducted by Dr. Yatindra Ingle, a noted hip-hop artist and emcee himself.

All upcoming artistes have their own style of rapping and that reflects India’s multiculturalism beautifully. Their music is more often than not about their lives, experiences, their surrounding environment and their perspective of the world.

Rappers from across the country are rapping not only in English but even in their vernacular languages. Borkung ‘BK’ Hrankhawl from Tripura uses rapping as a medium to express himself as an Indian. This success has been inspiring more and more youngsters to take up the microphone and to consider hip hop as a serious genre of music. Indian Hip Hop has seen a phenomenal rise and had especially made its mark as serious business in the past two years.

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