Monday, December 04, 2006

Tamil rap

I saw this video by a tamil rap band on youtube at a friend's place a few weeks ago and totally enjoyed it. Since then, this link has been forwarded to me almost as many times as it has been viewed on youtube (120,152 by the latest count). So I decided this was something that I had to blog about. The album is called Vallavan, and it is created by Yogi B and Natchatra. I have to say these are really cool sounding names in the mould of hip hop legends like the the Notorious Mr. BIG or Tupak Shakur! They even have a web-site for their album. Someone mentioned these guys are Malaysian Tamils, I'm not sure about that.

Coming to the song in question, its a remake of the 'madai thirandhu' by Ilayaraja in the movie 'Nizhalgal'. Its an amazing song where Chandrasekar (yeah, the guy who always loses one arm or gets screwed over by someone or the other in every movie!) with aspirations to become a music director just lets go and dreams about a life of fame, fortune and babes chasing him on the beach. The song was just another example of how 'mottai' was way ahead of his times. These guys have taken this framework and have added some amazing rap lyrics to the mix. This could've been funny if it hadn't turned out right. But it is clear a lot of hardwork and commitment have gone into making this song and video. And its all worth it!

I loved the 'petta rap' song in 'Kadhalan'. The rap was very hummable and merged perfectly with the song. Though the song was a big hit, it was not followed by similar efforts from directors who seemed to be focussing more on our own ethnic 'ghana' culture. So will the concept of rap in Tamil catch on agin after this album? Its difficult to say. I heard A.R.Rahman is working with a rapper on an album in London. Apparently, this is the guy who has rap bits in recent songs from 'Vettayadu Vilayadu' etc. Would be interesting to see how that turns out. But I feel that Tamil as a language poses quite a few problems in writing rap songs. Do you rap in pure Tamil (like Yogi B and co) or in colloquial Tamil (like petta rap)? Can you use swear words (what's rap without them!)? Well, you know you can't rap about friday night parties, booze, women, different types of asses or any of the other gangsta' shit in Madras. So what do you rap about? Water problem, politics, theppa kulam festival, ration queues etc I presume.

The song closes with a one-liner by Kalignar Karunanidhi in his coarse voice. I'm not sure if this was intended to be serious or funny, but I found it extremely hilarious. Definitely worth a lookesy you guys -> Yogi B n Nachathira Feat Lock Up - Madai Thiranthu.


Blogger Kaapi Prash said...

Hey .. that was an amazing video. Thanks for writing about it and sharing it with all. These days we note a lot of experimenting going on with Tamil music. Guess rap could play a vital role ... cheers.

12/7/06, 12:58 AM  
Blogger mohanavanan said... proud to say that
these guys are tamils from malaysia, living in Kuala lumpur which is heavily influenced city by variety of culture and lifestyle. i am a malsyian tamil as well just back from UK. surprised to hear bout this Vallavan (Yogi B). Cool stuff. These guys are the hottest selling artists now in malaysia. Albums are doin well in malaysia especially Rock and Hip hops. You can check out bout these guys, songs in which u can get the entire album. enjoyzzz

12/12/06, 2:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


how can i get this album in Chennai or somewhere in TN.

12/30/06, 11:21 AM  
Anonymous MILZTA said...

Check this blog 4 more tamil

1/19/07, 9:43 AM  
Blogger Arm Pitt said...

The closing one liner is not by Karunanidhi..It is by M.R.Radha and the line goes well with the lyrical content of the song.

2/28/07, 2:39 PM  

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