MC Altaf’s Likha Maine urges youth to stand up against social issues

MC Altaf has verbalized emotions of an ‘aam aadmi’ in this upbeat number
MC Altaf
MC Altaf

Rapper MC Altaf dropped a new single, Likha Maine, which is hard-hitting and highly relatable, just like his earlier hits. The hip-hop artiste from Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, who shot to fame with Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy in 2019, has verbalized emotions of an ‘aam aadmi’ in this upbeat number. The track touches upon topics like the COVID pandemic, politics, poverty, and the situation of women in the country, and urges the youth to take a stand. In an interview with INDULGE, Altaf spoke about channelizing his rage through the song and why there’s still time for rapping to reach its zenith in India. Excerpts:

What led to the making of Likha Maine?

Likha Maine attempts at portraying the feeling of ‘aam aadmi’. It all began with our studio producer Karan Kanchan (part of the Oscar-nominated film The White Tiger) playing an amazing trap vibe beat, which I really loved. Anything related to flexing or diss track wouldn’t have done justice to the vibe of this beat so I decided to write something on the current situation involving the pandemic, politics, situation of women in our country, poverty among other subjects.

Your tracks always have a message. What is the underlining message here?

I want the youth of today to be aware of the issues around them so that we don’t pass the prevailing social evils to the next generation. And most importantly, they should be strong enough to rise up and take a strong stand against them.

Tell us about the music of the song.

The beat style here is a hard trap. When I first listened to it, it acted as a strong stimulus to channelize my rage, and the lyrics just flowed naturally. Karan Kanchan gets all the credit for producing the beat.

You have collaborated with a lot of artistes in the past. Is there any exciting collaboration that the fans should be looking forward to?

There are lots of exciting projects in the pipeline and not just with rappers but also with musicians, singers, song makers, R&B artists.

What are your views on the current rapping scene in India?

I would say we have just started to build a successful hip-hop scene in India. This is just a spark, it will take time to become fire. Hip-hop is not limited to writing about struggle and gully life, and our listeners will also take time to understand that. There are a lot of upcoming artistes who are not yet exposed to large audiences. To keep the momentum, we will have to support the new talent, and I feel big platforms like YouTube, Netflix, etc should start documenting the Indian hip-hop journey extensively to make people aware as well as to encourage artistes. Our team at Gully Gang is constantly working towards it. Just like Tupac is still alive through his song and brilliant lyrics, I would want our new artistes to put their heart and soul into their music to win the hearts of listeners.

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