Hyderabad: “Hyderabad – bahut ne bola tere baare mein, is baar dekhle, such ayega na samne. Mama, Irani chai la re do 2 garam, bolna hai logon ko apne me kitna hai re dum…” begin the lyrics of Varun Rao Mandalika’s popular rap song ‘Hyderabad Zindabad’.
Rap songs have the power to motivate you within minutes. And if you listen to this hip-hop artiste’s raps, apart from feeling instantly energised, you will feel proud of the places you were born and grew up in. The 29-year-old’s Hyderabad anthem went viral over a year ago and he is now coming up with new music. Uploaded on his YouTube channel ‘Hyderabadi Chora’, it has 36,950 plus views and is also available on Spotify and Amazon Music.
The Telugu rapper is the first artiste from India to rap in Hindi and Tamil on the WazirX NFT platform. He has been featured in the world’s first NFT documentary directed by Ratee Apana, played at the Indian Film Festival in Cincinnati. “I am a verified artiste on the WazirX platform. I can rap in Telugu, Hindi, English, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, and Gujarati. I am fascinated by different languages and constantly keep learning. Rap is not just singing about drugs, parties, girls, revenge, or alcohol – I like rapping about the beauty of different States and singing about social issues,” says Varun, who raps about topics like job crunch and the middle-class lifestyle.
His next will be a Telugu romantic rap track that he’s shooting right now. “I’ve been in the industry for about three-four years now. It’s not necessary to be ‘cool’ to be a rapper; you can be from the corporate world too! I am a product manager taking care of data science and analytics at a US-based company, and I rap on the side. I began rapping actively when my father passed away. The song I wrote then was ‘Safar’. My mother wasn’t very confident about me pursuing a rap career as we are from an orthodox Brahmin family, but she eventually understood,” says Varun.
Talking about the rap scene in Hyderabad, he says, “Rap scenes are pretty dark in general. Most of the artistes aren’t able to find a balance between passion and career. And most of them are in the industry to just pretend to be cool. Rap isn’t just about cursing someone and there’s no shortcut to success.”
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