In the late 1980s and early ’90s specifically, a hip-hop subgenre evolved and started to spread throughout the world’s mainstream music. Gangsta Rap, which is characterized by its violent lyrics and hardcore music, captures the grimy reality of urban life, forging a sonic landscape brimming with raw passion, vivid expression, and an unrepentant embrace of violence. The subgenre quickly became one of rap’s most beloved and glamorized gang, gun, and criminal culture in hip hop.
The 5 Best Indian Gangsta Rappers Of All Time
In the realm of Indian hip hop, where we adopted Western music and culture, the genre of gangster rap rose with some of the biggest Indian rappers bravely recounting their stories of struggle, resiliency, and the inexorable reality of their surroundings. In the meantime, these artists’ boldness in defying social conventions helped to popularize their distinctive style among younger audiences. Join us as we delve into the world of the best Indian gangsta rappers, exploring their captivating journeys and the cultural impact they have forged along the way.
5. MC Stan
Beginning his life in one of the wildest slums of Pune city, MC Stan has a dark history behind his glamorous lifestyle. Stan was raised in a neighborhood where several people were engaged in criminal activities. Due to his surroundings, he and his peers also became a part of the street culture. Fortunately, MC Stan was aware of the frightening aspects of this lifestyle, so he steered away from such evil entities and started making music.
With his 2020 debut album ‘Tadipaar’, MC Stan brilliantly demonstrated a glimpse of his life during the time he was imprisoned after being accused of 302. The musician recently disclosed that he had previously been attacked by his rivals several times and nearly lost his life seven times.
Although MC Stan is not a gangster and has never desired to be one, his past is tragically still haunting him. In spite of this, MC Stan has become one of the most prominent figures in the Indian hip-hop scene, demonstrating a complete refusal to follow any predetermined route. Stan emerged from the shadows, battled his destiny, and became the leader of the new-school gangsta rap. He transcends boundaries and captivates a generation that yearns for authenticity and revolt with his music, a blend of unfiltered lyrics and cutting-edge production. Draped in designer threads, MC Stan hasis now a household name by winning Big Boss 16 and is living a luxurious lifestyle.
One of the foremost and best Indian gangsta rappers, Sultaan, is a pioneer of modern Punjabi rap. With his unflinching opinions and nonchalant attitude, this rapper has been an integral part of the subgenre. Sultaan is known for his captivating rap style and has also made headlines for his involvement in several high-profile beefs within the Punjabi music industry. These beefs have added an extra layer of intensity and drama to Sultaan’s career, showcasing his fearlessness and willingness to defend his artistry.
One of Sultaan’s most notable beefs was with rapper J Hind. Another popular beef in Sultaan’s career was with fellow Punjabi rapper NaseeB. The two artists engaged in a series of back-and-forth diss tracks, trading scathing lyrics and personal attacks. The beef between Sultaan and NaseeB showcased the competitive nature of the rap game and the power of words as a means of self-expression and retaliation. Sultaan’s gangsta rap is marked by aggressive delivery, powerful metaphors, and a commanding mic presence. His music, characterized by its raw and unfiltered depiction of street life, has been both celebrated and criticized. Some critics argue that his lyrics promote violence and glorify criminal behavior. However, Sultaan defends his music as a reflection of the harsh realities he has witnessed and experienced firsthand.
Representing Delhi 92, Ravi Mishra aka Raga has emerged as an artist who defied conventions and etched his name into the annals of Indian hip hop history with his versatility, unique flavor, and gangsta rap style.
In his songs, Raga possesses an undeniably magnetic aura. Raga’s gangsta rap is a force to be reckoned with, combining gritty realism with complex rhyming chains that penetrate the deepest corners of the soul. He is a poet, a storyteller, and a chronicler of the streets, offering a raw and unfiltered narrative of the urban life of Jamnapaar that resonates with audiences far and wide.
With his signature raspy voice, Raga transports listeners into a world where street corners hummed with a symphony of chaos and dreams. Raga’s gift lay not only in his lyrical prowess but also in his ability to infuse his music with a sense of infectious energy and charisma. While Raga’s artistic journey may have had its fair share of ups and downs, his indomitable spirit and unwavering dedication to his craft never wavered.
In the inner city of Pune, also known as Compton of India, where harsh realities of life crash against the shores of self-expression, one artist shot quickly to fame as a tempest of rhymes, embodying the spirit of rebellion and grit, the enigmatic force known as Sambata Don, a maestro of Marathi gangsta rap whose style transcends boundaries and leaves an indelible mark on the Marathi hip hop landscape.
Sambata Don, with his commanding presence and fearless demeanor, is a sonic architect, constructing lyrical edifices that challenge conventions and defy expectations. His gangsta rap is unique, a symphony of violence and unfiltered truths. Sambata Don’s rhymes dance with an unrivaled cadence, sharp as the blade of a street poet’s pen, cutting through the silence and leaving a trail of sonic excellence in their wake. With each bar, he crafts a vivid tapestry of life in the underbelly of the concrete jungle, unearthing the hidden stories and unveiling the unseen struggles.
Sambata has been indulged in the gang culture since his childhood and recently, his beef with another popular Marathi rapper, MC Dido garnered him headlines in the scene. Sambata’s music encapsulates hard-hitting beats that resonate in your chest like an earthquake, his music becomes an immersive experience, transporting listeners to a realm where passion and pain intertwine. With only 4 songs out, the artist has gained almost 5 lakh subscribers and millions of views on YouTube, making him one of the fastest-growing artists in Indian hip hop.
1. Sidhu Moose Wala
Unarguably, the best Indian gangsta rapper is Sidhu Moose Wala, a maverick of gangsta rap whose artistry ignites the spirit of revolution with each syllable that dances upon the rhythm. Sidhu Moose Wala, like an alchemist of words, captured the scene with his music. His fame and charisma crossed boundaries and made him a ground-breaking figure in the industry and beyond.
His music conjures sonic potions that blend the flavors of Punjab’s rich heritage with the unfiltered realities of the streets. His gangsta rap is a vibrant fusion, a harmonious marriage of traditional Punjabi folk melodies and the raw energy of urban hip-hop beats. Through his tracks, he told the stories of the unsung heroes, a troubadour who carried their struggles and dreams on his lyrical shoulders. Sidhu was a warrior poet, wielding his pen like a sword and carving his name into the hallowed halls of Indian and global hip-hop history.
His songs like ‘295’ and ‘Last Ride’ are the battlefield where truth and fiction collide, where he fearlessly confronted social issues with an unwavering gaze. His lyrics become a rallying cry, a call to arms for those who have been silenced, as he unearths the skeletons of the system, demanding justice with poetic fervor. Unfortunately, gangsta rap was one of the main reasons behind Sidhu Moose Wala’s tragic passing. But with a legacy that will go on forever, Sidhu Moose Wala was the greatest hardcore gangsta rapper in India ever.