Dopeadelicz. SlumGods. 7 Bantai'Z. Bombay Mafia. Dog'Z. These are the names of a few hip hip collectives that have rappers, b-boying and graffiti artists, beat boxers and deejays. And all of them have been formed along the 90-feet road stretch in Mumbai's Dharavi, where, they say there are around seven or eight hip hop crews.
Dopeadelicz, as the name suggest, rap about stoner culture and call for the legalisation of marijuana. The band's first viral single, aai shapath me nvahto, chronicled an encounter with a policeman in Mumbai. SlumGods, a reference to Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, which was released when the band was formed, started out as b-boyers. They rap in a mix of Hindi, English, Marathi and Tamil.
For the members of the groups, rapping is similar to the political movement that took off in the United States in the 1990s. "Rap is about giving a message. Not like I got this, I got that, I got bitches...," says a member of Dog'Z at one point in the documentary.
Here's a sample of their lyrics:
suno, yeh hain bharat ki barbaadi, (Listen, this here is India's destruction)— Dog'Z
kya fayda hua inhe hero ki kurbaani (what good came of heroes' sacrifice?)
jahaan dekho wahaan corruption ki man maani (wherever you look corruption rules)
nahi maangta humein netaon ki meherbaani (we don't want favours from politicians)
gir pada hum garibo par tension (we, the poor, are faced with anxiety)
parle G ka bhaav bad gaya, why don't you mention (Parle G is more expensive, you never mention this)
yahaan garibon ko khaane ka waanda (Here, people don't have enough to eat)
wahaan tum khate ho franky with kaanda (And there you eat frankies with onions)
Watch some performances from these groups.