Rap & Hip Hop were synonymous with Bollywood Rappers Yo Yo & Badshah until the underground rappers stepped in.
So who are the Top 10 Indian Rappers in 2022?
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The rap scene in India was limited only to the underground streets of Mumbai and Delhi predominantly, but in 2019, with the release of the super hit movie “Gully Boy”, Zoya Akthar managed to bring this musical genre to the mainstream. So what exactly is hip hop, synonymously known as rapping? Rap is defined as a musical form of vocal delivery that incorporates multiple components of “speech, rhyme and street slang”, which is performed in a multitude of ways, using an accompaniment track or backing beats. Content of the song, the flow in which it’s sung and the delivery of it are what make rap successful. It’s 2022 and India has seen a hip-hop revolution, so let’s have a look at the Top 10 Indian Rappers that are the heart & soul of this genre!
Who is the No 1 rapper in India? Who is the rap king in India? There’s only one name to answer all those questions, Divine AKA Vivian Fernandes. So how exactly did Divine become DIVINE!? What is it that makes him stand out from the crowd and gained him the number 1 spot in the Top 10 Indian Rappers list? Divine started his career as an underground rapper more than a decade ago. His initial pieces were in English, but he eventually started rapping in Hindi. In 2013 he released the song “Yeh Mera Bombay” which garnered him immense popularity. However, his song “Mere Gully Mein” which was released in 2019 featuring fellow Mumbai rapper Naezy, ended up being his breakthrough piece. Zoya Akhtar played a major role in throwing the spotlight on the underground rapping scene in India, thereby bringing it to the masses for Entertainment. Her movie, ”Gully Boy” didn’t just bring a hip-hop revolution to our country but also gave rappers like Divine, Naezy, Bantai, Kr$na among many others the much-needed attention that their art rightly deserved. Inspired by the lives of Naezy and Divine, Gully Boy turned out to be a Bollywood Blockbuster.
2. Sidhu Moose Wala
International rappers gaining popularity after their assassination wasn’t unheard of, but to watch the same happen to an Indian rapper was rather shocking and unbelievable for the entire nation. Shubhdeep Singh popularly known by his stage name Sidhu Moose Wala was mainly associated with Punjabi music and cinema, however, his song So High gained him mainstream success. 295, The Last Ride, SYL, Same Beef. Bohemia Ft Sidhu Moose Wala – Same Beef are some of his most trending songs, 295 & The Last Ride having been played the most posthumously.
Dilin Nair popularly known as Raftaar wears multiple feathers in his hat. He is not just a famous Indian rapper but also a lyricist, dancer, TV personality and music composer associated with Hindi and Punjabi music. The Desi Hip Hop label Kalamkaar was co-founded by him along with Ankit Khanna.
His song “Swag Mera Desi” won him the Best Urban Single award at the Brit Asia TV Music Awards. He is currently trending for being the judge of multiple youth TV Reality shows. His diss tracks directed at Emiway Bantai have garnered both artists millions of views.
The Next one on our list of Top 10 Indian Rappers is yet another popular artist who goes by the name Naezy the Baa. The movie “Gully Boy” was based on the life and struggles of Naved Shaikh AKA Naezy who was played by Ranveer Singh. It was this movie that raised artists like Naezy and Divine to mainstream prominence. Naezy’s debut single Aafat which was a DIY music video was made by him using an iPad in 2014. This single is often regarded as the genesis track of the Street rap scene in India. It was Nazey’s collaboration with Divine in 2015 that gave birth to the song Mere Gully Mein, thus giving a jump start to both their careers.
5. Raja Kumari
Raja Kumari is a Grammy Nominated Indian American rapper who’s worked extensively with A-list Bollywood producers & actors. Her main genres are Hip Hop and Pop. Raja Kumari’s catchy lines and smooth flow of verses in the song “City Slums” has made her the most listened to Indian Female rapper. She was nominated for a Grammy award in 2015 for her song “City Slums”. Raja Kumari has sung for many Bollywood as well as Tollywood movies.
6. Emiway Bantai
Emiway Bantai urf Bilal Shaikh is a very popular Indian rapper, singer, songwriter and YouTuber who is often in the news for his beef with other Indian rappers like Raftar and very recently Kr$na. His initial days as a rapper were full of struggles and hardships as his videos got hardly 300 views. He would initially rap only in English but after taking his father’s advice to rap in Hindi, he released his very first Hindi Rap “Aur Bantai ” which ended up becoming an instant hit. Emiway’s breakthrough song was “Sadak” which was in collaboration with Raftar. Soon after in 2018, he got into a diss war with Raftar. Their diss tracks titled “Samaj Mein Aya Kya”, “Giraftar”, “Sheikh Chilli” have crossed 370 million views combined.
7. Dino James
Dino James is an upcoming Indian rapper, singer, lyricist, composer and YouTuber. He recently released his 13-track debut album named “D” which mainly focuses on rap music with melodious compositions. It is a mix of hardcore Hip Hop with a focus on storytelling. Dino rose to fame with his controversial song “Girlfriend”. His top 5 songs are Loser, Girlfriend, Yaadein, Dooriyan and Achi Maza Aai with more than 20 million views each.
Badshah is truly the Badshah of the Indian commercial rap scene who mainly caters to Bollywood. He mainly produces dance numbers that are spunky, lively, and upbeat perfect to get any party started. Some of his viral hits include songs like Kala Chashma, Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai, Kar Gayi Chull, Ankh Lad Jave, Pani Pani and Jugnu among many others. Most of his songs easily cross 600+ Million views making him one of the most sought-after Indian Bollywood rappers.
9. Yo Yo Honey Singh
With a whopping fee of Rs. 25 lakhs per song, the next name on our list of Top 10 Indian Rappers is Honey Singh. He started his career in 2003 as a recording artist. His songs are famous for their outrageous lyrics and high-voltage beats. His songs “Brown Rang”, “High Heels”, “Angreji Beat”, and “Mein Sharabi” were chartbusters in many countries. He has produced music for innumerable Bollywood movies thereby making him a household name.
Krishna Kaul, alternatively known as Ks$na is considered to be one of the aboriginals of the Indian underground rapping scene. Kaul released his originals in the mid-2000s on his myspace account thus gaining his own little fan base predominantly from New Delhi.
“Who is the top 10 rapper in India?” you asked, and we gave you a well-researched list. Hop on to YouTube right away and enjoy some of the best Hindi raps out there!