Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Some Tamil rap for yo' ass - Yogi B & Natchatra

I posted recently about the ways that US hip-hoppers have appropriated Indian cinematic music for musical inspiration. And while some of those tracks are pretty cool, generally speaking they do not connect or engage with the source material in any way - it is merely another sound to be borrowed.

But what if the hip-hop artist is of Indian background? Below is an example of music from a Tamil movie being interpolated into a Tamil hip-hop song. The artists are Malaysian-Tamil rather than Indian Tamil - Yogi B is a veteran of the Malaysian hip-hop scene and sounds more like Xzibit or Ja Rule than any desi has a right to. Whether or not this is your thing, it's an example of what feels like a more natural blend of hip-hop and Indian music.

Takes a bit before the song itself actually kicks in.

I find it pretty catchy. As a language for rapping in, Tamil doesn't sound too bad - not as good as English or French, but better than German.

Although the singer looks a bit too much like someone's Indian uncle to be rocking that hip-hop gear.

The source material is the song Madai Thiranthu from the 1980 Kollywood* flick Nizhalgal. The video is absolutely whacky, but I expect nothing less from an Indian movie. Nice melody.

* Kodambakkam + Hollywood = Kollywood. Kodambakkam is the district in Chennai that is the base for the Tamil movie industry.

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