Dreadlocks have been an integral part of mankind’s history since the last 3,000-4000 years. Dreadlocks can be found in the depictions of Spartans, Greeks, Romans, Celtics, Aztecs, Africans, Indians and many more cultures. They symbolise patience, power, spirituality, and knowledge. Traditionally, the dreadlocks were grown by the “neglect” method, in which the individual had to refrain from combing, brushing or cutting the hair.
In ancient Egypt, most kings and warriors had been denoted wearing dreadlocks. These dreadlocks have also been mentioned in the Bible. In Rastafari culture, the dreadlocks represented a disregard for worldly vanity by letting go of how one looks physically. It is a journey towards spirituality.
In India, we have had Sadhus, Tapasvis and Aghoris who already made dreadlocks a part of their journeys since inception. And since art also represents the same qualities, it’s only natural that the both go together but culturally and spiritually. This is a list of a few Desi artists who have adopted the Dreadlocks and made it a part of their life.
1) Bob Omulo
The Bombay Bassment frontman has been a veteran emcee since the band’s formation. From hosting podcasts and events to performing at Glastonbury, the man has seen it all. He carries his ankle length dreadlocks with pride everywhere he goes.
He is also a DJ and plays at various clubs around the city, and is a permanent host of “Hip-Hop Thursday Nights” in the city. Playing along with DJ Ishani, they both are a powerful combination for keeping the scene alive every week. This is a job they have undertaken so well.
Bob has also DJ’d in different parts of the world like the Middle East. A hard working person who has dedicated himself to the culture and connected a lot of people together. His impact on Hip Hop in India is massive.
When Bohemia co-signs you due to your skills and says that you are next up, that’s a star right there. Pardhaan has been in the Hip-hop scene since it’s early days. He is a part of the crew called “Desi Beam”.
His style of rap doesn’t necessarily need to be liked by all. He caters to a different audience and promotes his brand well. This emcee has the sound that can go commercial and stay underground at the same time.
He recently has been seen rocking dreadlocks in his latest videos. The dreads (though coloured) put a stamp of maturity through art in his music. We see the evolution of Pardhaan from his early days to now and are proud of what he has to put out.
Gullygang boy! Joel D’Souza (JD) is the star-maker behind the scenes of Divine’s success. Him and Divine have rolled together ever since the early days. Since the past few years JD has rocked the Dreadlock look which makes him stand out from other cinematographers.
The man has great vision, is humble and does a great job with the videos he makes. He is also entering the DJing zone nowadays and has DJ’d across a lot of venues in Mumbai.
4) Monti & Splash (The Capital Crew)
The Capital Crew is a Delhi based binary crew. They are accompanied by videographer Daniel. One of the crew members – Monty has grown full Dreadlocks. Splash has kept and unkempt look for his growing locks too. They are a pretty recent formation but their sound is unique. It goes without saying that in due time these are the voices that will be heard.
In their song “Free Speech”, Splash has shown his command over a beat and Monty is seen on the 2nd verse spitting some real knowledge and also chopping up a flow. They are a new sound coming out of Delhi and present a different outlook onto life than the rest. More power to this crew!
5) 99 Clips
In the early days, Hip-Hop used to be majorly behind the internet screens. There were next to no events, jams or cyphers happening offline. It was during these times that Gangtok based emcee “99 Clips” was honing his skills. With text battles and audio battles on the rise, he was dominating everything in his path.
Ittefaq aka 99 Clips is a lesser known face in the hip-hop scene today but make no doubt, he is responsible for us getting to where we are. He has helped many emcees learn and grow. But most noticeably, he has been a good friend of the scene. Showing support however he can. He has thick dreads growing on his hair and has carried this look for a while now. His wisdom reflects through his look and he shares it with the people close to him.