Female hip-hop artists in India face a steep uphill battle to become recognized because such a career is not considered suitable for women. Until recently, the hip-hop scene throughout India has been completely dominated by men. However, there are several female rappers who are changing the face of the industry and breaking societal norms. Pushing through the skepticism from family and the community, these women have managed to prove everyone wrong. Here are the top female rappers from India you need to know about!
Kaur Dillon, known on stage as Hard Kaur, was born in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Although she was born in India, her family moved to Birmingham, England in 1991, when her mother married a British citizen. Kaur says her interest in music started when she was still in school.
Hard Kaur gained a loyal following in the UK with her debut album, “EK Glassy,” back in 2006. Eventually, she became popular throughout India for the song “Move Your Body,” which was a collaboration with Shankar Mahadevan for the hit Bollywood movie, Johnny Gaddaar.
Since then, Kaur has sung in other popular Bollywood movies, including Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Singh Is Kinng, and Ugly AurPagli. Her most recent new release was the Kaara Fankaara track for the movie Ok Jaanu in 2017.
Deepa Unnikrishnan, who goes by the stage name Dee MC, has also made a name for herself as a female rapper in India. This 24-year-old hip hop artist was born and raised in South India, but she currently lives in Mumbai Maharashtra. She has been performing since she was five and her songs reflect the journey of her struggle to become recognized as an independent female artist.
According to sources in hip-hop management, Dee MC got her big break in 2018 with her debut song, “Talk My Way.” She is very active in social and political issues and usually raps about women’s empowerment and gender equality.
Dee MC has faced gender discrimination her whole life, and her songs reflect a strong personal message. Two of her most popular songs, “Taking My Time” and “Chaar Logo Ki Baatein,” tell the story of how people tried to discourage her career choice, but she believed in herself and became successful anyway.
Most recently, her voice was featured in the song “Jagga Jiteya” from the hit Bollywood movie, Uri.
Raja Kumari is an Indian American rapper and songwriter currently living in Claremont, California. She’s one of the most popular and well-known female hip-hop artists today. She has contributed to several major western hits, including collaborations with top artists like Gwen Stefani, Fallout Boy, and Meghan Trainor.
Her breakout solo was “Mute,” featuring Elvis Brown. Raja says that it is her love for India that has made her become a full-time rapper. She wants to give back to the Indian people through her music. She collaborated with the artist Divine on the song, “City Slums’” in an attempt to bring awareness to the slums of Mumbai city.
Kumari’s message of female empowerment and self-confidence is a common thread in most of her songs.
One of Bollywood’s youngest female hip-hop stars is Deane Sequeira. This songwriter and rapper is only 23 years old, but she recorded her first original song (called “Random”) when she was only 14. Unlike many female artists in India, Deane’s father encouraged her career and used his connections as a producer and manager to help her advance her career.
Although she is from Mumbai, Deane’s music was inspired by famous western artists like Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, AKON, and Eminem. She has worked with big names like Arya Acharya, Sachin-Jigar, Pritam, and many others. Her verses were also featured in the song “Bezubaan” in the movie Anybody Can Dance.
Ish Kaur was born Ishita Kaur in India’s capital city of New Delhi. Ishita has had a love for hip-hop music since she was a child and began recording at the young age of 13. Although she faced bullying from other students at school, she pursued her dreams and joined up with the student hip-hop group, Gangster Soul.
This talented young woman raps in three different languages: Punjabi, Hindi, and English, and often mixes them up in her music. Her single titled Ghaint Kudi tells the story of an independent girl with a strong message of self-confidence. She plans to do more songs that focus on women’s empowerment and gender equality.
These talented and driven women have proven that the hip-hop industry is no longer just for men. However, there’s still a lot of work to do, as much of Indian society still disapproves of this career choice for females. Congratulations to these women who have carved out a place in the history books and continue to inspire the new generation of future hip-hop artists in India.