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When rappers unite

Around 14 rappers recently took up the #GhhpvsCorona challenge where they were given a beat and had to rap original verseson their perspective on the pandemic. NT BUZZ finds more

NT BUZZ

With ample time at hand during the ongoing lockdown, Jovin D’costa who is into music production full timeand creates new beats every day,cooked up an old school beatduring the lockdown. He shared this with a couple of his rapper friends and requested them to come up with a rap on how the pandemic was treating them.

As it so happened on the very same day, his pal Neil Nevgi who is one of the founders of the Goa Hip Hop Projekt (GHHP) hit him up saying it would be nice if rappers in the WhatsApp group of GHHP would get themselves engaged in something during the pandemic.

“When the first lockdown was announced, a lot of people were feeling isolated and this started taking a toll on their mental health.To counter this sense of isolation and to provide a platform for rappers to pen down their opinions, frustration, anger, resentment, etc,I thought something needed to be done,” says Nevgi. After D’costa sent him the beat, Nevgi liked the idea and took the initiative to start the #GhhpvsCorona challenge.

Interested rappers had to use the beat and come with original verses about various aspects of COVID-19 – from rapping about the disease, the cops and the civilians, the mental health, religion, people disobeying the law and getting out on the streets, to the government and even the Goan traditions.

At first, D’costa says, they didn’t expect anyone would actually take part in it and were happy when around 14 rappers (one from Angola, one from Mumbai and rest from Goa) jumped in and penned down their verses which were uploaded on the official Instagram page of GHHP @goahiphopprojekt. “Every morning I used to wake up to a new entries and I actually felt really overwhelmed with all this response,” says D’costa who goes by the name Squishy Stone.

How GHHP was born

A couple of years ago Nevgi foundedan event management and marketing brand called Captain Martian which gained fame for organising parties in nightclubs where outstation artistesalso came to perform. It was at this point thatNevgi realised that he could use similar methods to scout and promote local talent.

Having earlier been a part of Goa’s hip hop/street dance crew called ‘Boombox Authority’ which was made up of kids ranging from 14 -16 years old, some of whom were still actively pursuing dance, Nevgi reached out to them and discovered that others also shared his vision to scout and promote the Goan Hip Hop community. Some of the supporters included Yash Sawant (founder of RudeGoa), Datson De Souza (beatboxer), Dino aka Young Taz (beatboxer andrapper), Feleazar Fernandes aka Flaz aka Kid Next Door (DJ).Together they reached out to the entire hip hop community of Goa and hosted their first annual community jam at Esco-Bar with the help of Anant Shirodkar (owner of Escobar) in 2019.This was the start of Goa Hip Hop Projekt. “Over the course of the next one year the network grew larger.This year we hosted a dance battle and a rap cypher for our annual community jam where we saw people come from different parts of the country come to compete in the competition and to showcase their skills and that is where the cause picked up momentum,”says Nevgi, adding that GHHP unites the hip hop community of Goa and is a medium through which people can share knowledge, show off styles, compete, practice and feel a sense of belonging.

(RK)

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