NepHop or ‘Nepali Hip Hop’ is a form of musical expression mainly related to hip hop culture that is performed by an individual or group belonging to the Nepali heritage. The NepHop culture includes all the hip-hop elements like Rapping, DJing, Graffiti, B-boying etc. DJ AJ has been credited with coming up with the name NepHop in 2003.
Birth of NepHop
In the early 90’s when western hip-hop music went mainstream making Eminem, Outkast, SnoopDogg popular, Nepal was still limited to working households. Internet was an unheard term and the reach of television was limited. Radio was the only medium to entertain people and that too mainly playing Nepali Folk/Pop and English Rock music. Hip Hop was played nowhere. When Girish Khatiwada started the rap culture in the 90’s, that is when Nepal became familiar with the genre.
It was in 2000 when the first NepHop album was created. Rappaz Union (Sammy Samrat and Nirnaya Da’ NSK) dropped their first Nephop album in English and the rest is history. The popular song ‘Ma Yesto Chhu Ma Usto Chhu’ featuring DA69 was considered to be the first hip-hop song to attract the Nepalese audiences to rap music.
In the year 2003, NepHop got international acknowledgement when Nurbu Sherpa released his debut album ‘Nurbu Sherpa Representing K.T.M.C’. It was the first Nephop album ever to be recorded in the United States and he was nominated for the Best Music Video Award in 2004. This influenced many artists who started following the hip hop culture and creating music. The likes of Mad Zone, Nepsydaz, Shreking, and The Unity released rap albums in a mixture of both English and Nepali, topping the charts.
DJ Santosh and DJ Raju started remixing old skool Nepali hits which gave Nepali Hip Hop the appeal to the general public.
New Skool NepHop
In 2010, the underground NepHop scene was dying and that’s when Mr K.C hosted an online NepHop Tournament on YouTube with judges DJ AJ, Rapper Sash and music producer MK. The response of the tournament was overwhelming and it paved the way for some new artists such as MC Flo, Dox, Mr TMG, Shatter-P to name a few. Yama Buddha was one of the famous Nepali Rapper until his death this year. He had dropped a number of albums which were appreciated by a lot of hip-hop lovers across the world.
NepHop is interesting and there is a lot more to explore in the coming years with a lot of NepHop artists coming up with their respective albums. We are happy to see this culture rise and are here to support you! #UnityThruHipHop