The popularity of rap and hip-hop genres in the Indian music landscape has increased dramatically in recent years. This transformation has resulted in the emergence of numerous talented artists who have won the affections of millions of Americans.
As we delve deeper into 2023, the query arises: who reigns atop India’s rap game? Get your answer from our list of the Top 10 Best Rappers in India in 2023, ranging from Divine to Naezy.
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Top Rap Artists in India
Rappers are musicians who compose and perform rap music, originating in African-American and Latinx communities during the 1970s in the United States. Rap music is distinguished by its rhythmic and rhyming lyrics, typically spoken or chanted rather than sung, and by its typical drum machine, sample, or live instrument-created rhythms.
Rappers frequently compose and perform lyrics that reflect their personal experiences and perspectives, and they often use rap music to address social and political issues. Old-school rap included early MCs and deejays like Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Kurtis Blow, and the Cold Crush Brothers.
Grandmaster Caz, a member of the Cold Crush Brothers, is controversially considered to be the actual author of some of the most powerful lyrics in “Rapper’s Delight,” the song that signified the beginning of rap’s commercial success. Among the most famous rappers in history are, among others, Divine, Emiway Bantai, Jay-Z, Nas, Eminem, and Kanye West.
Top 10 Indian Rappers in 2023
|1||Yo Yo Honey Singh|
1. Yo Yo Honey Singh
Yo Yo Honey Singh, born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, on March 15, 1983, is well-known for fusing mainstream and hip-hop music. In the music industry, he is also recognized as Hirdesh Singh. Honey Singh is one of India’s most prominent rap artists, having achieved worldwide renown and popularity. He is also a music producer, performer, songwriter, and actor, in addition to being a rapper.
His famous albums include ‘International Villager,’ ‘Desi Kalakaar,’ and ‘Honey 3.0. He charged Rs. 7 million for a song in the film ‘Mastan,’ making him the highest-paid Bollywood singer. Numerous Bollywood films feature his compositions. According to reports, Yo Yo Honey Singh’s estimated net worth is Rs. 180 crores.
Raftaar, whose real name is Dilin Nair, is a well-known rapper and TV personality, presently one of India’s most well-known rap artists. Born in Delhi to Malayali parents, he rose to fame with the song “Swag Mera Desi.”
Raftaar has contributed his voice to several popular Bollywood tracks, including those from the films “Bullet Raja,” “Fugly,” and “Dishoom.” From 2013 to 2020, he recorded more than thirty Bollywood compositions.
In addition to his musical career, Raftaar has served as a judge on numerous reality television programs, including MTV Hustle, Dance India Dance, and Roadies.
Krishna Kaul, better known by his stage moniker Krsna or Kr$na, is a New Delhi-based rapper. Early in the twenty-first century, he began rhyming in English and signed with a record label. In 2010, he rose to prominence with the song “Kaisa Mera Desh” and released “Vijay” to benefit a children’s NGO. Raftaar observed that Krsna raps in Hindi and English and invited him to join his record label, Kalamkaar.
Recently, he engaged in a diss track combat with Emiway following the success of his song “Vyanjan.” Krsna’s “Free Verse Feast (Langer)” was a response to Emiway’s “Free Verse Feast (Dawat), and his reply track “Makeover” displayed his English rapping abilities. Despite beginning his rapping career in English, Krsna has an impressive cadence and a vast Hindi and English vocabulary.
Badshah, whose actual name is Aditya Prateek Singh Sisodia, was born in Delhi to a Haryanvi father and a Punjabi mother on November 19, 1985. As a rapper, singer, film producer, and businessman who creates music in Hindi, Haryanvi, and Punjabi, he has amassed an enormous fan base in a brief time.
His tune “Kar Gayi Chull” was featured in the 2016 Bollywood film “Kapoor & Sons.” His tunes “Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai,” “Aaj Raat Ka Scene,” “Genda Phool,” and “DJ Waley Babu” have become popular at parties, weddings, nightclubs, and even in automobiles.
Badshah is the only rapper to have appeared thrice on Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list as one of India’s highest-paid personalities. Numerous honors have been bestowed upon him, including the 2016 GIMA Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Best Punjabi Music Director. According to reports, Badshah has a net worth of approximately Rs 41,300,000,000.
Divine (stylized as DIVINE) is the stage name of Indian rapper Vivian Wilson Fernandes. Born in Mumbai, Maharashtra, on October 2, 1990, “Yeh Mera Bombay” (2013) helped him acquire popularity, and “Mere Gully Mein” (2019), a collaboration with Mumbai-based rapper Naezy, propelled him to stardom.
Divine reached a significant milestone on December 12, 2020, when his album Punya Paap (2020), which topped Apple Music India’s rankings, was featured on a billboard in New York City’s Times Square for Spotify.
As the first Indian rapper to appear on the Spotify Times Square billboard in New York City and to attend the 64th Annual Grammy Awards in 2022, he has also reached several career milestones. Divine is recognized for depicting the street life of Mumbai. Divine’s estimated net worth is approximately Rs. 8.2 crores.
6. King Rocco
King Rocco, also known as King, is a talented artist from India who is known for his singing, rapping, and songwriting. He gained recognition when he became one of the top five finalists in the MTV reality show ‘MTV Hustle’ in 2019. King Rocco was born on October 10, 1998, in Uttar Pradesh, India, and later moved to Delhi.
In 2012, King Rocco started his YouTube channel, ‘King Rocco.’ However, his musical journey began in 2015 when he uploaded his first video, ‘ Boombass,’ to his channel. This was the start of his musical career.
On October 5, 2018, he achieved a significant milestone by releasing his first music album, Circumstances. This album featured several songs, including “She Know,” “Red Dirt State,” “The Division,” and “Clearly By Now.” These songs showcased his unique style and musical talent.
In 2020, King Rocco continued to make waves in the music industry by releasing his album ‘The Carnival.’ This album included tracks such as “Dracula,” “90s,” “Mafiia,” “Let The Eyes Talk,” “IICONIC,” and “Tu Aake Dekhle.” These songs displayed his versatility as an artist and cemented his position in the music scene.
In 2022, King Rocco expanded his horizons by debuting in the Bollywood music industry. He lent his voice to the song “Sahi Galat” in the Hindi film ‘Drishyam 2.’ This marked a significant achievement in his career as he ventured into Indian cinema, showcasing his singing skills to a wider audience.
7. Emiway Bantai
Emiway Bantai, also known as Bilal Sheikh, is a well-known underground hip-hop artist widely recognized for his famous song “Machayenge.” He began his musical career in 2013 with “Glint Lock” and ascended to prominence with “Aur Bantai” in 2014.
Currently, he is regarded as one of India’s most renowned independent artists, as evidenced by his official YouTube channel, which has more than 10 million subscribers. Emiway Bantai’s “Samjh me aya kya,” a diss track directed at the renowned rapper Raftaar, garnered him widespread attention.
8. Seedhe Maut
Seedhe Maut is a hip-hop duo hailing from New Delhi, India. This dynamic duo comprises two talented individuals: Siddhant Sharma, who goes by the stage name Calm, and Abhijay Negi, known as Encore ABJ. Their journey into the world of hip-hop began in the vibrant underground rap scene of Delhi.
Their paths crossed at Spit Dope Inc., an underground battle rap league in Delhi, which MC Kode and Encore ABJ himself organized. It was here that the seeds of their musical partnership were sown.
In May 2017, Seedhe Maut made their mark by releasing their first track, “Seedhe Maut Anthem.” This was just the beginning of their musical journey. They followed it up with their debut EP, “2 ka Pahada.”
What makes Seedhe Maut’s story even more interesting is Calm’s transition from rapping in English to rapping in Hindi. This switch in language allowed them to connect with a broader Indian audience.
As they continued to evolve, the duo released two studio albums – “Bayaan” and “Nayaab,” with a mixtape titled “न” (pronounced as “na”) in between. Their music features the creative production work of Sez on the Beat and contributions from Calm himself.
Seedhe Maut’s lyrical prowess knows no bounds. They’ve used their craft to touch on various topics, including politics, romance, Indian society, and even the education system. Their music serves as a reflection of the issues and experiences that resonate with the youth of India.
9. Karan Aujla
10. MC Stan
Altaf Tadavi, also known as MC Stan, is a controversial performer on the Indian hip-hop scene. Born on August 30, 1999, he released his debut single, “Wata” in 2018. Since then, he has consistently released successes and risen to prominence with his incredible rhymes.
MC Stan’s distinctive style and potent lyrics have made him a prominent figure in the music industry. He has collaborated with several notable performers, including Divine and Emiway Bantai, and his popularity has increased since he won Bigg Boss 16. According to reports, MC Stan’s estimated net worth is between Rs 15-20 cr.
1. Who is Divine?
Divine is a Mumbai-based rapper who rose to prominence in 2015 with his song “Mere Gully Mein.” He is well-known for his socially conscious lyrics and distinct flow, and he has worked with a number of renowned Indian singers.
2. What is the state of Indian hip-hop in 2023?
In 2023, Indian hip-hop has grown and evolved, with various outstanding musicians coming from cities nationwide. The genre has garnered popularity, acceptance in India, and international acclaim.
3. Who is the richest Indian rapper?
Honey Singh, Emiway Bantai, Krsna, Raftaar, Divine, and MC Stan are the richest rappers in India in 2023.