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Wah Wah to hip hop in Urdu

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Mudassir Ahmed and Syed Irshad of Thugs Unit are unable to contain their excitement about making a comeback with hip hop album Resurrection 040 on Apple Music today (Friday, Nov 20). Syed Irshad says, “The album will feature exclusively on Apple Music once it goes live on November 20, following which it will be released on other music platforms after a fortnightly exclusive with Apple. We are elated that Bobin James, Editor and Artists Relations Lead at Apple Music liked them enough to feature our music on their platform.”

Within the hip hop community, Mudassir Ahmed and Syed Irshad are popular as ‘Mo Boucher’ and ‘Irish Boi’ respectively. The duo from Hyderabad is known as one of India’s finest hip hop groups who pioneered Urdu hip hop genre in Hyderabad. Explaining the essence of Resurrection 040, Mudassir says, “The tracks in the album blend eastern and western music producing a mystical confluence of Sufism and hip hop genres. The 12-track album features expressive lyrics in Urdu, English and Jamaican styles. It has tracks include . ‘Rubaroo’ (Face to face), ‘Raahe Rast’ (Straight path), ‘Suroor-e-Ishq’ (Exhilaration of love), ‘Pardafash’ (Unmasked), ‘Azmaish’ (Test), ‘Atishbazi’ (Fireworks), ‘Bossman’, ‘Bus’em’ (Bust Them), ‘Hate monger’, ‘Intro’, Kun (Be) featuring Rebel of Khan Artists, and ‘Original Rajah’ (Original ruler). Our music is Sufism-inspired, self-reflection and raises voice against community evils and power establishments.”

Giving a little background of where the two started from, Mudassir says, he’s been writing, creating and recording his music since 2006. He says, “Around the same time, I came to know of Irshad who used to hold hip hop parties and events. Without wasting time, I met up with him and also performed at his hip hop events. We got along instantly and decided to create our own music with our experience. We cut a few mixed tapes in 2008 and 2010.” The duo later released a couple of singles in 2012 and 2014 on myspace and YouTube. “After our musical journey and the continuous association, I felt I was stuck in a loop; we seemed to be creating one track after the other and yet, I found no contentment. I took a break and pursued a spiritual journey in 2014.” Mudassir explains his spiritual journey ‘as the quest to reflect the purity of thoughts in music.’

Some of their mixed tapes are The Beginning (2008), The Movement (2010) and Poets Word (2012). Later in 2019, the duo reconnected to create Resurrection 040.

Why in Urdu? “To bring the real flavour of what Hyderabad has to offer in terms of music. All our music is a mix of Urdu and English for ease of understanding by people of all languages. In the early days, Irshad and I experimented with local languages and decided to go with Urdu as we loved how it sounded. Our followers too appreciated the Urdu hip hop, so we decided to make it our signature style. We also lace it with Jamaican flavour by adding a bit of reggae,” explains Mudassir.

Irshad adds, “We see hip-hop as a tool for spreading knowledge and shifting mindsets. Essentially, hip hop is a genre for representing the voice of the people; we use it as a tool to voice our thoughts against oppression in all forms. When we see something wrong in our community, we speak about it in our music.”

The artistes are very proud that the music for the album is produced by Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum producers like Buck Wild. This also makes the duo the first from Telangana (and perhaps from India) to work with the US-based Grammy-nominated producers.

Resurrection 040. will be available for streaming and purchase on all leading music platforms including Spotify and Amazon among others after 15 days.

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