It’s been 9 years since Emiway Bantai, released his first Hindi rap song ‘Aur Bantai.’ Since then, he has soared to great heights and established himself as a prominent figure in Indian hip-hop. Renowned for his seamless flow and unwavering dedication, Emiway’s ascent to the pinnacle of success is a sight to behold. Not only has he become popular among listeners, but he’s also earned the respect of some of the biggest names in rap music.
Throughout his musical journey, Emiway Bantai has amassed a vast following and collaborated with notable personalities like Snoop Dogg, Macklemore, and Chris Gayle. When it’s all said and done, there’s a chance Emiway might be mentioned right up there with the legends. Continue reading to discover 15 facts you didn’t know about Emiway Bantai.
15 Facts You Didn’t Know About Emiway Bantai
1. What Is Emiway Bantai’s Real Name?
Emiway Bantai’s real name is Bilal Shaikh, given to him by his father. However, due to his mother’s Hindu background, she found it challenging to pronounce ‘Bilal,’ so she affectionately called him ‘Shahrukh,’ inspired by the renowned Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, whom she admires. Emiway’s artist name is a fusion of his two favorite rappers, Eminem and Lil Wayne. Drawing inspiration from Eminem, he adopted ‘Emi,’ and from Lil Wayne, he embraced ‘Way.’ Later, to signify his connection to the streets and representing his roots, he added ‘Bantai’ (meaning ‘Dude’ or ‘Brother’ in Mumbai Slang) to his stage name.
2. Emiway Bantai Was Born On November 13, 1995, In Bangalore
Bilal Shaikh aka Emiway Bantai was born on 13th November 1995 in Bengaluru. Subsequently, his family relocated to Mumbai. Emiway’s mother is Tamilian, and as a result, he is well-versed in the language. He has even showcased his rapping skills in Tamil in several songs, such as ‘Dhua Dhua,’ ‘Freeverse 2023,’ and many more.
3. He Was Introduced To Hip-Hop By His Schoolmates
During Emiway Bantai’s school days, he learned about rap music when his schoolmates introduced him to Eminem’s renowned track ‘I’m Not Afraid.’ This exposure ignited his interest in rap, leading him to listen to the genre more frequently and eventually paving the way for his own journey as a rapper.
4. He Went Into Depression When He Failed In School
Emiway Bantai, the renowned star, encountered a challenging phase in his life when he battled depression when he failed his 12th standard exams. It may seem surprising, but during this period, he faced setbacks, as he completely shifted his focus toward music after completing his secondary school certification.
5. Emiway Bantai’s Debut Track Was An English Rap Song
Emiway Bantai made his debut in the rap scene with the track ‘Glint Rock’ featuring his rapper Minta, which was in English. However, it didn’t receive much appreciation from the audience. It was then that his father suggested trying rap in Hindi. Following his father’s advice, in 2014, Emiway released ‘Aur Bantai,’ a Hindi track that turned out to be a massive hit, garnering over 2 million views and marking a turning point in his career.
6. He Worked As A Helper In The Hard Rock Cafe To Earn Money For His Music
After finishing his secondary school certification, Emiway Bantai decided to leave his studies behind and follow his passion for music as a career. Determined not to rely on his family for financial support, he took up various small jobs. His first job was as a helper at the Hard Rock Cafe. Despite facing initial challenges, Emiway’s hard work and dedication eventually paid off. After a few years of perseverance, he received the People’s Choice Award for the ‘Best Hip-Hop Artist’ on the very same stage of the Hard Rock Cafe where he once worked. This achievement marked a significant milestone in his journey, reflecting his growth and success as an artist.
7. He made an appearance on the TV show ‘India’s Got Talent’
Emiway Bantai showcased his talent by auditioning at ‘India’s Got Talent’, where his performance of the song ‘Aur Bantai’ received a lot of praise and admiration. Notably, Karan Johar, one of the judges, was highly impressed with Emiway’s unique style of rap. Despite the overwhelming appreciation, Emiway did not make it through to the next round, as he was not selected for the competition. Nevertheless, his appearance on the show helped garner attention and recognition for his exceptional rap skills, contributing to his growing popularity in the music industry.
8. Emiway Bantai’s Beef With Raftaar Gave A Significant Boost To Indian Hip-Hip
In 2018, during an interview with Raaj Jones, rapper Raftaar made a statement about Emiway’s earnings. Emiway took offense to this remark and responded by releasing a diss track aimed at Raftaar. Raftaar, in turn, responded to Emiway’s diss with his own diss track, leading to a back-and-forth exchange of diss tracks between the two rappers. The high-profile beef attracted new audiences and brought more attention to the Indian hip-hop scene. As a result, both Emiway and Raftaar gained more popularity, and the entire episode contributed to the growth of hip-hop music in India.
9. He Made An Appearance In The Bollywood Movie ‘Gully Boy’
Emiway Bantai had a cameo appearance in the Bollywood movie ‘Gully Boy,’ where he portrayed himself. The film, released in 2019 and directed by Zoya Akhtar, is based on the lives of Indian hip-hop artists from the streets of Mumbai. In ‘Gully Boy,’ Emiway Bantai had a notable rap battle scene against another real-life Indian rapper, MC Altaf.
10. He Had Beefs With Some Of The Biggest Indian Rappers
Emiway Bantai’s music career has been marked by several beefs with some of the biggest Indian rappers. Emiway’s beef with Raftaar, KR$NA, and Badshah has been a topic of much discussion in the Indian hip-hop community. As for his beef with DIVINE, they were able to sort out their differences and resolve the issue.
11. Emiway Bantai Had Stage Fright
At the start of his career, Emiway Bantai faced stage fright. He experienced anxiety, nervousness, and a fear of being in front of an audience. Nevertheless, Emiway managed to build his confidence and conquer this fear, leading to his remarkable success. Today, he dazzles the crowd with electrifying energy and unwavering confidence during his impressive stage shows.
12. He Is One Of The Most Subscribed Indian Rapper On YouTube
With over 20.4 million subscribers, Emiway Bantai is one of the most popular and successful Indian rappers on YouTube. His chart-topping hit ‘Firse Machayenge’ has garnered over 540 million views, making it his most widely viewed song on the platform.
13. He Has Collaborated With Multiple International Artists
Throughout his music career, Emiway Bantai has collaborated with many internationally renowned musicians, like Snoop Dogg, Macklemore, Kara Marni, Dax, THEMXXNLIGHT, Kara Marni, Celina Sharma, Nana Rogues, and more. In 2021, Emiway also collaborated with the superstar West Indies cricket player Chris Gayle for a song titled ‘Jamaica To India.’
14. He Launched his Own Record Label, ‘Bantai Records’ In 2021
On March 20, 2021, Emiway Bantai marked the official launch of his Independent music label, ‘Bantai Records,’ signing a roster of rappers and producers, including Tony James, Hellac, Minta, Thoratt, and Meme Machine. Subsequently, the label welcomed the additions of Young Galib, Gaush, Swalina, Loka, Jaxk, Hitzone, Shez, Refix, and Flowbo. However, Gaush and Loka later departed from the record.
15. Emiway Bantai Has Won Multiple Awards
Emiway Bantai has received multiple music awards, including the Radio City Freedom Award for Best Hip-Hop Artist (People’s Choice) in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and the MTV Europe Music Award in 2019.