Ye Mera Area: Awessum Frankie #IlakaRAP
Kolkata is a storehouse of talent and there is no denying that slowly but steadily we too are crawling from culture to pop-culture. We are brimming with new talents ready to be exploited in the right direction.
Talking about talent, breaking away from the stereotypical genre of music that we have been conditioned to, Awessum Frankie, a rising stars in the hip –hop rap culture that is being appreciated in Kolkata by many eminent artists and mass alike, has got us laughing to his Rajabazar Ilaka Rap video on loop.
Here’s Ilaka Rap for you!
The rap is an audio-visual treat for the listeners, who can sense the vibrating pulse of that locality through the lingo, sounds, and visuals of his rap. If you were even remotely acquainted with the Rajabazar area, you would not be able to miss the raw elements of everyday life there.
Team The Beacon Kolkata caught up with the rap star of the season and was the first to do an in-depth interview with Awessum Frankie.
Why did you choose this name?
The reason is really silly. I have always been complimented that my work is awesome, so I took that word from there and wanted to give it my own branding, hence I changed the spelling; and Frankie, because that was my nick name as I have always been very frank with people. Hence, Awessum Frankie.
When did you develop a passion for Rap?
Since class 7 I have been rapping as a hobby but later it became my passion and that’s when I joined The Cypher Projekt where I jammed with many other rappers.
When did you start with this Ilaka Rap?
The Ilaka rap concept began this year and till now I have featured Rajabazar and similar areas like Kelabagan, College Street, Sealdah, Park Circus, Hadibagan, Gobra, etc in the same video. I have also done a monsoon rap on Behala and I would also want to rap about other areas as well. Now I am being flooded with messages of people requesting me to do a rap on their areas. People are actually relating to it.
Is there any particular reason why you chose such areas?
Yes, because I am from Rajabazar and I know what the regular happenings of this area are. When you go there you will see that even the kids are not scared of anyone. This is what I wanted to show through the video.
How did you get the people to participate in the video?
We dint really approach them. They saw the camera and enquired about what we were doing and when we asked them if they wanted to be shot, they gladly agreed. You can see how much fun they were having. Even the van that I was sitting on at the beginning of the video, was not booked or pre decided, it was all spontaneous. We saw a cycle van pass by and asked him to stop for the video, he said he was in a hurry and could not stop so we figured that it would not be a problem if he kept going while I sat on it. So, we had a lot of fun shooting the video there.
What was it about the ilaka rap that has caught people’s attention?
The name itself and the references used like Quest, Shiraz, Arsalan, etc. People tend to relate to these places.
How long did it take you to come up with this rap?
Just 23 minutes. While I was travelling to give my demo for the ilaka rap and that was when I penned this rap down. This was my first time rapping in Hindi and it turned out to be quite good. I am used to rapping in English but I could not do that for Rajabazar Ilaka rap because probably people would not to relate to it.
Which is your favourite line from the rap?
‘Maa kasam ek call karega toh kaam tera tamaam hai’ this is what you get to hear regularly in that area, so it is also my favourite line.
What is the response that you are getting from people?
People love it. It even got played in some areas on Eid. It is still being played in cars, cafes, etc. people send me videos of themselves rapping on the song or playing it in their cars. I am being flooded with messages. It is getting hard to even manage my inbox. I had recently gone to one café and my song was playing there and they asked me if I was the same person in the video. Few days back a kid came up to me and said that he heard my song and even quoted a line from it.
What was your family’s reaction to this?
Since I come from orthodox family, I dint tell them anything throughout the recording, production and release period. I only told them on the occasion of EID after the namaaz as it was a safe and happy time to break the news.
The Beacon Kolkata, has an unseen & exclusive video of the Rajabazar ilaka rap by Awessum Frankie in English. Stay glued to our Facebook and Instagram handle.