Srinagar, the Capital of Jammu and Kashmir is home to a number of Rappers/Hip Hop Artists in Kashmir. Hip-Hop/Rap came into prominence in 2010 after Roushan Illahi aka MC Kash burst into the scene of Rap in Kashmir. 13 Years down the line, Today we take a look at top 5 Hip Hop Artists From Srinagar.
- MC Kash Aka Roushan Illahi: Roushan Illahi better known by his stage name MC Kash is a Kashmiri emcee/rapper. Taking his stage name from his place of birth- Kashmir, MC Kash is an independent musician based out of Srinagar.
Born in 1990 in Srinagar, located in Jammu and Kashmir, Roushan Illahi’s father is a doctor and his mother is a teacher. He is recognized as a notable alumni of Burn Hall School. Illahi completed his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Srinagar in 2012.
He later pursued a Master’s degree in Convergent Journalism at Central University of Kashmir in 2015. In 2016, Illahi was selected as a participant in the Swedish Institute’s South Asian leadership program, Young Connectors of the Future.
It was a track from Beastie Boys, titled “No Sleep till Brooklyn,” that introduced Kash to hip hop music. He cites 2pac Shakur and Eminem as his major musical influences, as well as being inspired by the civil rights movement in the United States of America.
Kash is credited as the individual who initiated the inception of Hip Hop music in Kashmir, earning him admiration and inspiration from many young and emerging rappers. He is known as the person who started Hip Hop Kashmir, which led to the growing popularity of rap music in the region.
Kash’s fame has led to his appearance in various documentaries, including Diversity in Cannes (2018), for which his work MC Kash was nominated.
He has also appeared in other documentaries such as Take It in Blood, directed by Rana Ghose, which follows MC Kash as he meets with Kashmiri activist Parveena Ahanger. Kash was also featured in the award-winning music documentary Soz: A Ballad of Maladies (2016).
2. Ahmer Javed: Ahmer Javed is a Kashmiri rapper from Srinagar known by his stage name Ahmer, who made a successful debut with his album Little Kid, Big Dreams in 2019, produced by Indian hip-hop pioneer Sez on the Beat.
He performed to packed club crowds in Mumbai and Delhi, which was not a common experience for independent artists from Kashmir.
. In the midst of the crackdown and COVID-19 lockdowns, Ahmer wrote his second album Azli, which describes the mental and emotional trauma of those years.
Azli is a desolate post-mortem of the collateral damage from a stalled revolution. Ahmer composed and co-produced the album along with a small group of young Kashmiri and mainlander producers.
The music is composed of blown-out bass and minor-key synths with snatches of Kashmiri folk song, all filtered through a haze of menacing distortion.
Ahmer intertwines personal and familial struggles with Kashmiri history into compelling witness testimony, documenting physical and psychic violence barely acknowledged, and waiting for justice that is unlikely to come. His album Azli is a powerful testament to the trauma and suffering of the Kashmiri people.
3. Mir Gazanfar aka SXR: SXR, a rapper from Srinagar, Kashmir has made a name for himself with his powerful words and captivating performances. He has gained widespread recognition for his ability to address social and political issues through his music, and his fans appreciate him for his honesty and authenticity.
SXR’s music reflects the unique culture and struggles of the Kashmiri people, and he has become a symbol of hope and inspiration for many. His bold lyrics and dynamic stage presence have earned him a loyal following, and he continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in the world of hip-hop.
With his ability to touch people’s hearts and minds with his music, SXR has become an important voice in the music industry. He is a rising star who is poised to make a lasting impact on the world of music, and his fans eagerly await what he has in store for the future.
4. Arif Farooq aka Qafilah: Arif Farooq, who goes by the stage name Qafilah, is a hip-hop artist hailing from Kashmir. His music is deeply influenced by the conflict in the region and his lyrics are known for their conscious nature. Qafilah’s tracks are characterized by poetic lyrics and socially conscious themes.
5. Anwar Mehdi, also known as A-Killar, is a rapper hailing from Down Town Srinagar. He is recognized for his lyrical prowess in the Kashmiri language. Despite briefly leaving hip hop, he made a comeback with the release of “Mouji,” a track dedicated to mothers. Following the success of “Mouji,” Killar dropped another hit song called “D Town,” which refers to Down Town and his struggles navigating through the alleys of Srinagar.
2 thoughts on “Top 5 Rappers From Srinagar”
Love to oll .but my personal favrts are mc kash and one nd only akillar..
Akillar is not the rapper.He the god of kashmiri lyrical lines..who so ever wanna compete with him has to be extremely god skilled person.