Approach to Hip Hop doesn’t change whether you are an underground or a commercial artist: MC Square

Abhishek Baisla aka MC Square is a rapper, lyricist and a rising phenomena from Faridabad, Haryana who has been soaring heights with every passing year. His name MC Square comes from his keen interest in science. MC Square means energy, Abhishek Baisla is the energy and hence, MC Square = Abhishek Baisla. He has recently been signed with Def Jam India and his latest release ‘Gurjari’ gives a glimpse of what is to come from this collaboration going ahead. We had an interaction with him recently and here are the excerpts:

How did ‘Gurjari’ shape up?

In various cultures we see that there is term used for girls, for instance they are referred to as ‘Jatti’ in Punjabi, etc. With this song, I have tried to identify a term for girls, ‘Gurjari’, in our ‘Gurjar’ community. That is how the title of the song, and the song overall has shaped up. ‘Gurajari’ got composed in about 4-5 hours along with one more song that is in my song bank to release at some point.

Watch the song here:

How do you classify your genre within Rap, ‘Gurjari’ for instance is a rhythmic rap?

I do various styles of rap in my work, depends on the context and song. Apart from Gurjar dialect, I rap in pure Hindi, parts of English, Haryanvi with the bent of hard-core Hip Hop as well as rhythmic and melodious rap.

How did the collaboration with Def Jam India happen?

We had been in discussion for some time. There was a song writing camp that was organised by Def Jam India. Producers, Indian and International, were also a part of this campaign. I joined the songwriting camp, and we composed this song while at this camp itself. This is how organically the collaboration has happened between me and Def Jam India.

What is next planned with Def Jam India then?

To be honest, we made around 2-3 songs at the camp itself and beyond that there could be more as well. Too early to say much for now, but yes, there is definitely more to come from Def Jam India and MC Square.

Photo Credit to MC Square and his team

How has life changed after MTV Hustle 2?

Changes are very positive for me. For some reasons, I had already manifested that I will be heard by much bigger audiences. J Cole in one of his songs ‘Love Yourz’ said, ‘Its beauty in the struggle, and ugliness in the success’. So, I would also say that the days of my early struggle were more beautiful and memorable. Today I am in much better shape and position, but the days when I was running pillar to post have a very fond memory with me.

How is Gurjari dialect different from the Haryanvi dialect, as it is known to people in general?

Gurjari can practically be taken as a sub-dialect within Haryanvi. It comes from the region which lies within Western Uttar Pradesh, Southern Haryana and North-Eastern Rajasthan along with Delhi. It’s a mix of the spoken languages in all these regions. To be honest, Haryana itself has various other languages. Northern Haryana has Punjabi as its major language, Western Haryana has Wagdi dialect, Mewar has Brij dialect and so on. Gurjari is also a part of this vast culture that Haryana has.

What are the challenges for an artist to transition from underground to a commercial scene?

Approach to Hip Hop doesn’t change whether you are an underground or a commercial artist. Song becomes commercial and the artist becomes commercial because money is riding on you, but your authenticity remains the same. Having said that, becoming mainstream also means that one has to draw a balance between his or her core audience which is rooted to Hip Hop but at the same time, it should strike a chord with non-core audience too.

Photo Credit to MC Square and his team

Which Hip Hop artists do you think you vibe the most with?

As an artist I like to explore various art forms within Hip Hop. Some songs of mine which are yet to release have bars after bars, people will keep decoding and deciphering them. Then there are some which are simplistic in nature with fun flavour. But if I see overall, my vibe is an old-school rap, which resonates a lot with Divine Bhai and Punjabi Hip Hop artists in general who, like me, talk about their roots.

Along with your contemporaries in Delhi Hip Hop, like Paradox, Spectra, Panther and more, do you think all of you together can elevate Delhi Hip Hop scene to next level?

From where we started to where we are now (as a Delhi community overall), there is a lot of support and unity within the artists. Seedhe Maut, Yungsta, Raval, Hari Om Badana apart from the ones mentioned above have a lot of love and constructive competition amongst each other. This is only going to further elevate the Delhi Hip Hop scene.

Well, rightly said, the scene is getting elevated and better with every year! While we are hooked to ‘Gurjari’, watch out for more to come from MC Square, we can’t wait for sure!

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