Say what you want about Ranveer Singh, if he puts his mind to something – he gets it done. From attending a cypher in Bombay to being a big part in the success of Gully Boy, Ranveer Singh has been incredibly influential in getting Indian Underground Hip-Hop on the map. And if that wasn’t enough, he surprised everyone when he announced his Hip-Hop label called ‘IncInk’ in May of this year. Now, we have the first release from the label courtesy artist Spitfire – an EP called ‘Paathshala’.
GULLY BOY 2.0
This EP starts with a mysterious 2-minute intro which essentially proclaims the coming of the title track ‘Paathshala’. This song sets the tone for the entire EP. It’s aggressive, angry and fast. What is interesting to here is the elements of different genres – such as Drum n Bass and Dubstep, something the song is filled with. From then on, the EP sees even more exploration in terms of sounds explored in the song ‘Tum Jaano Na’ and EP closer ‘Vartalap’. In this half of the EP, the electronic influences are noticeable. But one thing that ties it all together is Nitin Mishra’s (Spitfire) loud frontal voice and the quintessential anthem choruses, really reminiscent of the work done in the songs for Gully Boy. It seems like this is the next evolution in ‘Hindi Rap’ from Gully Boy.
THE PRODUCERS BEHIND THE SOUND
One thing that is clear from the very first second of the EP is the insane production – the EP sounds insanely good! It can quickly compare to any international Hip-Hop record released on major labels. But this goes further – the song arrangements, the kind of elements used and the way it all comes together, it certainly gets you excited – which is essentially what the songs feel like. No wonder it was done by Anushka, and Shikhar Manchanda who both in their rights are incredible producers and musicians. It’s interesting also to note that all of the IncInk releases will have Anushka and Shikhar in charge of the production and if that means more music like this? I’ll gladly have more thank you. Whilst Anushka and Shikhar bring a unique sound to this whole mega pool of new Indian Hip-Hop, they were keen on making sure that their production worked hand in hand with Spitfire’s style as well. Considering the amount of over-produced music in the Bollywood and mainstream industry, it’s nice to see that producers still want to work with artists in creating unique sounds rather than just telling them what to follow.
A PROMISING FUTURE
‘Paathshala’ by Spitfire is a reliable indication of what to expect from IncInk records and Hp-Hop in India shortly. Here’s a record label, very similar in style and work ethic to Azadi who are entering a different market in the ever-growing Hip-Hop subculture and bringing it out to the mainstream. And for a first impression, this EP is excellent. At the same time, I wish there was a bit more experimentation in terms of the songs considering it’s such a short EP. It seems more like a solid first half of a full record rather than a diverse sounding EP. This is something that I feel drags the EP back a bit, but I’d like to listen to some diversity in the music they release in the future. I’d give this EP a strong 7/10.
If you liked the EP, you should go check out Spitfire on his EP launch tour below: