Despite lockdown restrictions keeping music venues closed and artists quarantined at home, many artists have been delighting fans with surprise releases over the last few months. It may not be an ideal time for the artists themselves to bring new music into the world, but for all music aficionados stuck at home, this serves as great mood tranquillisers, to be transported into a brilliant musician’s creative realm to temporarily ease the creeping COVID-19 dread.
Indian imprint of Nas’ iconic label, Mass Appeal India and India’s premier hip-hop star and a significant name in India’s ‘gully rap’ movement DIVINE’s Gully Gang have collaborated once again, to curate an exclusive and emotionally driven hip hop and rap compilation album titled “SHUTDOWN”, primed to become a fan favourite, the album is inspired by the stay-at-home circumstances for intentional and therapeutic listening amidst the rise of an unprecedented pandemic.
The newly released album features numerous electric collaborations with an eight-track song listing. The resulting music, made in collaboration with artists like US based rapper Elvis Brown, Gully Gang members Shah Rule, D’Evil, MC Altaf, Aavrutti quartet – Frenzzy, Saifan, Sammohit and Sledge who are gearing up for their forthcoming debut album, as well as KR$NA, Sikander Kahlon, Kaka Sady & 7Bantaiz is restless — itching to start a party at a time that it wouldn’t be prudent to do so.
Neither over- nor under-delivering on the promise of its title, the album circles around major themes such as the success of the underdog, social hierarchy and quotidian hustle. Every sound in every track is so perfectly placed that each listen feels akin to watching a master at work in real time, making the album an almost interactive experience. Using artistic sampling, conversational flow, lyrically heavy compositions, free flowing hooks and straight-talking verses.
Stream “Shutdown” EP by Gully Gang here –
An Indo-US multilingual collaboration, “BRINKS” forges a connect between the streets of Los Angeles and the gullies of Mumbai with street hustle serving as inspiration. “BAG” layered with trademark hip hop punchlines and swashbuckling verses, navigates through the themes of accomplishment and outshining competition through hard work and hustle. “BAS KYA BA” is a double entendre commonly used in the colloquial Mumbai Hindi dialect, implying ‘zero doubt’ and ‘non-underestimation’.
“I’M SORRY” imbibes deep rooted socio-political and religious themes at its’ core while “FLAVOURS” bats for skilled variety in artistry. “BANDANA GANG” which sees long time collaborators, DIVINE & Sikander Kahlon teaming up together after almost four years is the result of two rap introverts attempting extroversion. “ALAG HAI DISHA” gives an aspirational perspective on individuality and originality. “NAHI PATA” urges the need for human emotional connections and at least do #OneGoodDeed
Divine stated, “The album is an attempt to present hip hop as one of the realist genres, capable of showcasing stark reality for what is, but yet having an innate ability to heal and keep listeners motivated and positive. Making music during lockdown has been a welcome distraction from everything that’s going on all around us just now. We at Gully Gang wanted to offer something special to our fans to help them through these dire times and viewed this lockdown not as a limitation, but as an opportunity to present our artistry in the most authentic manner.”