It has not been long since the Bhutanese society started to accept RAP as one kind of songs. RAP, for the long time, has apparently been viewed by Bhutanese audience as the song that only the thugs and mischief would sing and listen. However, RAP which stands for ‘Rhythm and Poetic‘ is now picking up in the country with lots of young and enthusiast rappers coming forward and some becoming the main face of the RAP.
Erasing the unproven skeptical about the RAP and the Rappers and turning it into one form of much loved creative arts and entertainment, there are number of Bhutanese rappers who are a now nationally loved and a recognized artists.
Here are 3 top favorite rappers of Bhutan;
1. Kezang Dorji
Kezang Dorji, the rapper of ‘Kuzu Zangpo’ from ‘Kuzu Zangpo Tours’ who is well known for the RAP song called “Ama Kadrinchey’ is perhaps the one and only first Bhutanese artist to feature in BBC and even in CNN news.
Kezang Dorji, while growing up had his own share of childhood struggles after the separation of his parents. Yet he never gave up growing and rising. The Kuensel for the first time named him as the ‘Rising Star of Bhutan’ in 2016.
This star after singing several famous rap songs like Kuzu Zangpo and Ama Kadrinchey set the new bench mark for music and the composition. His raps are usually targeted to advocate and address the social issues related to youth. He take Rap as the social vehicle to transport and mobilize the positivism.
People of all ages like his rap song because the lyrics instead of love and romance are all about the love towards the country, King and People. It is about patriotism, and bringing the positive social changes.
In order to further inspire and get in touch with the youth, Kezang Dorji organizes the edutainment tours in various colleges and schools where he interacts and inspires the young minds. Recently, Kezang Dorji, in his recent tours to the remote schools, he is donating the projectors and other needed school accessories for the benefit of the younger rural generations.
Rap Nala (Nima Tshering)
Nala, whose proper name is Nima Tshering is the new face in the town as ‘Rap Nala.’ Just like Kezang Dorji, he had a difficult family issues with an alcoholic mom, a father who has committed a suicide and an aunt who treated him no better than a slave.
These situations forced him into drugs and gangs. In 2013, he was imprisoned for 3 years for fighting. In the prison cell, he discovered his passions for singing. After completion of the prison term, the situations didn’t improve although he tried to promote his songs through broadcasting channels but there were minimal supports and supporters. He was again back to drugs and fights until he met Gary Chai who was a youth volunteer with department of youth and sports.
The meeting with Gary Chai has been like he was given a new life. He quit the drugs and fights and devoted himself into the noble things. He dedicated into singing and composing, and it is in the M-studio where he did the first recording of his rap song called ‘Nge Ghi Soong– My story.’ This rap contains a deeper meaning and it went viral, and that’s when the name called ‘Nala’ was known.
Following this, Nala has also sung several rap songs like “Zamling Aie” which contains the message to protect our environment and save the mother earth. His next rap song with MTV on “Ningjey“-meaning compassion is releasing soon, and people are already so much excited about it.
In just few years as a new Nima Tshering or as the Rap Nala, he has inspired many youth to overcome drugs and difficulties. He is also the strict vegetarian and advocate the people to avoid meat consumption through his rap. He has also made live performances in various stages and events including the recent live performance at Ladhak upon the invitation of his eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa.
Maynia Dhubee OG
Maynia Dhubee OG, 24 from Punakha is another Bhutanese rapper in pursuit of American dreams. He gave up his college degree to pursue his passion into singing rap songs. Unlike many other rappers of the country, Maynia whose proper name is Thinley Namdul Rangdol, is mostly raps in English.
Because his raps usually contain profanity terms, he is often looked as a bad guy who doesn’t follow Bhutanese culture. But he says it adds powers and punches to the songs and expresses emotions, which I also candidly agree to it.
Maynia in personal level is very passionate towards the music especially the hip-hops and rocks. He has over 30k followers in his facebook page and getting inspired every time.
Bhutanese rap is a new evolution in the music industry with various rap artists coming forward with their rap song as the social vehicle to bring positive social changes. Through their hard-hit rhymes and lyrics, most of the rappers want to bring new societal change. Their lyrics are mostly patriotic and educative rather than the love and romances.
Apart from these 3 rap artists or the rappers whom I have included in my list above, there are many other rappers who are equally talented and deserve the applause and recognition. The veteran rapper like Drona Basnet is one who takes rapping to another level. (A separate and a whole story about Drona Basnet will be soon in my next post. Please keep visiting this website.)
Similarly, there are other young and rising rappers like Karma Eudon Norbu and Sonam Wangchen, whose raps are now gradually dominating the music market with M-studios and others.