How Dharavi found its groove18 min read 28 Jul 2018, 09:07 AM IST
An underground hip-hop movement had been brewing on the streets of Asia's second-largest slum for a few years. In 2018, its moment has arrived
Dressed in baggy brown camo pants and a black hoodie, shoulder-length hair spilling out from under his baseball cap, Tony Sebastian, 27, looks like he’s just stepped out of a Snoop Dogg video, an impression that is only reinforced by the lit spliff in his right hand. It’s an overcast July afternoon, and we’re hanging out on the rooftop of a five-storey building in Matunga Labour Camp, just a few hundred yards from the outer fringe of Dharavi, Asia’s second largest slum, in Mumbai. In the far corner, a group of 18-20-year-old boys dressed in 1990s hip hop attire stand in a circle, listening attentively as one of their number spits out a verse he’d written the day before. In the background, a devotional song blares out from a temple loudspeaker, competing with azaan from a nearby mosque. “Yeh freestyle azaan hai," jokes Sebastian, who also goes by Stony Psyko, and forms one third of the Dharavi-based rap crew Dopeadelicz.