A wise man once said to me, “If you’re an emcee, you’re also an entertainer.” Today I completely understand what he meant to say. Being an emcee is like poetry in motion. Movies are poetry in motion. You need to perfect all aspects of being an entertainer to inspire people in more ways than one. This is a list of Desi Hip Hop musicians who have broken the barrier of just being in music videos, to featuring on the big screen.
Yo Yo Honey Singh
Love him or hate him, there’s no ignoring the man. Yo Yo Honey Singh tripled his fandom by slowly emerging into the movie screen from the Punjabi industry. He then moved up the ladder with his entry into Bollywood land with “Xpose” alongside Himesh Reshammiya. He also came into the spotlight in a leading role with “Zorawar”. Honey Singh has built a core fan base which multiplied its strength once he hit the big screens. Apart from this, he has also run his own talent hunt show “Raw Star” on TV.
This British-Pakistani emcee and one third of the incredible “Swet Shop Boys” kills ALL the roles he plays. And boy are there so many of them to watch. My personal favourite would be ‘Aaron’ from the movie “Ill Manors”. This movie bagged him the Berlin International Film Festival Award for Shooting Star.
Riz MC is as talented on-screen as he is on the mic. He has a decade long experience as an overall entertainer. Riz Ahmed has acted in 18 movies including his upcoming “The Sisters Brothers”.
In India, Hip-Hop Tamizha is a success story best told by their own movie! The stellar duo shot to fame with their song “Club le mabbu le” and they have been on the up and up ever since. They have done the soundtracks and scores for multiple Tamil movies. This year, they released their biopic of sorts with “Meesaya Murukku”. Adhi of Hip-Hop Tamizha makes his directorial debut in this one. The story is a one of a kind romantic musical, expressing the duo’s creativity, struggles, early days and rise to fame all packed in one! Happy viewing!
She has been a staple name in the Bollywood industry. Ever since her special appearance in the song “Move Your Body” in the 2007 movie Johnny Gaddar, she has been featured in songs on the big screen almost every year since. Her major roles have always been playing herself. HK also did a role in the movie Patiala House starring Akshay Kumar. She has certainly brought her own flavor to hip-hop in Bollywood throughout her decade long presence.
Baba Sehgal is a name and a face that you cannot forget when it comes to rappers in India. During the days when Hip-Hop had not even hit the public, he was already writing and performing old-school raps in movies. His Bollywood debut was in the 1998 film “Miss 420”. He has also been consistent with his ‘jingle raps’ that he spreads all over social media. Baba has also acted in Tamil and Telugu movies as well. He recently acted in the 2017 Riteish Deshmukh/Vivek Oberoi starrer “Bank Chor”.
Imran Khan has created his own unique style in the soundscape of Desi music. In 2015, he debuted in Bollywood featuring in a music video for Arjun Kapoor/Sonakshi Sinha starrer “Tevar”. In about a year, the song garnered over 2 million hits widening Imran Khan’s ever expanding fan base.
One of the most entertaining people in the underground scene in Indian Hip-Hop – D’Evil has a ‘Bhalti Soch’ for everything, even in real/reel life! He has already appeared in various Marathi TV shows and in 2016 featured in the Nawazuddin Siddiqui starrer “Freaky Ali” in a comedic role. Can you spot him in the movie?
Femcee Evil was called to step into the Tollywood movie screens after the success of her track “Befikar”. This track revolved around women empowerment and was an ode to rape victims and spread awareness of issues surrounding female oppression. The movie “ThamizhananeN-1” revolves around women’s safety and martial arts. As a result of this, the track fits perfectly in the movie!