Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hip hop and Sri Lanka; Where B&S and Iraj ruined the show!

Why would I say something like this when others appraising them as the forefathers of new music generation in Sri Lanka? It’s true that they did something, they changed the whole Sri Lankan mind set about the live performance and they did introduce us with a sound which was new to the ears of the Sri Lankans.

But what happened to the people’s ideology about this new art form which took the world by storm in the early 90’s to present day? Both B&S and Iraj made the big breakthroughs using this art form but they didn’t introduce the whole concept or the roots of the hip hop to the Sri Lankan younger generation who was eagerly followed and still following them. what happened thereafter was that all the guys tend to look like rappers even in their day to day lives and new “wannabe gangsters” rap bands became visible in every inch of this land and everybody tries to rap over the ass of a girl or just some gibberish without any sense over a catchy tune to get to stardom and then all the radio stations make their dough by placing them in the top positions of their charts.

The thing is that they all missed the point. They don’t know anything about The Sugar hill gang or Public Enemy, they don’t know how the disco died and the first rap hit rapper’s delight change the whole spectrum of world music. They don’t know anything about hell like life in projects or the reality of gangster’s life.

When Iraj was just emerging in the scene of music we got to hear good stuff like stop the virus, Sri Lanka 2030 and when he got in to the mainstream, track like J-town story which I think the best music video Sri Lanka has ever produced. But after that it happened other way round. The thing is that both of them; B&S and Iraj, didn’t go there to educate their younger generation about this new art form and didn’t try to use it for worthy causes to inform or to educate people about certain issues prevailing in the society.(they did but it’s not enough) If they did that, misunderstandings in the minds of the younger generation and Sri Lankans about hip hop culture and rap music would have been eradicated and we would have been able to see some rap bands who do music not to just make paper or to gain instant fame, but to use it for the betterment of the society and mankind.

But still I think all the hip hop lovers in Sri Lanka have a hope… in future…

“Music orientated When hip hop was originated”
Zack De La Rocha
Rage Against The Machine


  1. the monkey likes ranidu's music much better...

    at least he makes music for the love of music and not (primarily) as a way to make money and therefore he has not commercialized his music.

  2. The video below is from the early 90's in Sri Lanka. Hip hop was alive and well before Iraj or bathiya.

  3. I think Bathiya and santush are much better than iraj. Hey I’m not some anti-iraj chap.. but the difference between those two is significant, although iraj’s tunes are popular, catchy and rhythmic after sometime you don’t feel like listening to them… the music becomes annoying.. long time back I loved ‘’aloke’’.. but now that’s the last think I would ever listen.. Its so annoying.. but a great musician should be able to capture the audience all the time.. In contrast Bathiya and santush’ tracks are more enjoyable.. Now this is my personal opinion… sadly all tom dick and Harry are musicians in sri lanka...........and lets hope for the better

  4. Hey,
    B&S would be Bathiya and Santhush, right? They produced a Hindi album too... but didn't manage to market it properly in India, so only a few people managed to hear them. I live in the north, so I don't quite know what the reaction was in the south of my country, but since Hindi is not a popular language down there, I don't suppose they would have managed too well there, either.

    I got to know about them because once while channel surfing my brother suddenly realised that all these SL cricketers were on MTV... on one of the B&S' videos'.

  5. thanks Hilal for reminding me of Brown Woogie Nation. I'm sorry that i missed to state the involvement of band like BWN and Rude Boy Republic.but things would have been different if they managed to break out to the mainstream music market in sri lanka...i suppose...

  6. I do believe that B&S is a different standard when compared to Iraj. Coz I also agree with Nifraz here. U can listen to them after sometim... And also I wonder y its juz hip hop U hav mentioned here? Coz from what I c there are more shit kinda rock bands emerging way faster than these hip hop bands.... Wonder where did they go wrong coz U can juz say the Sri Lankan hip hop could be blamed on B&S ++ Iraj. But There ain't much hits(Compared to hip hop) when it comes to the local Rock arena who's spoiled them.... hmmm

  7. Firs of all, the guy who wrote this post confuse about Hip hop and some Angry rapping Theory.

    Blame the people who really deserve it without Blaming admirable artist like BNS who Changed the Sri Lankan Music Industry & took our Island Music to the world. Anyone of you know that their songs plays in BBC, UK, US, UAE Radio Stations.

    It’s really easy to type some words about Hip hop isnt it? But how many of you can show what’s really hip hop is?

    and mixedblessings89 don’t dived the country for north and south.North or south all Sri Lankans and you should aware of what happening every where. Also how you can say BNS Hindi Album didn’t manage to market it properly in India. Do you know number of BNS songs plays in MTV India and Channel V. If you haven’t any clue of what your talking about please don’t do it.

    For Those who really dont know about Bathiya and santhush,
    Read the articles @ Heres the link

    BNS never lost their identity in their mission. Not only they revived dying folk melodies by giving them a western touch of modern RnB and Hip Hop, which is very appealing to the younger generation and which became a trend but even in their international album Sri Lankan folk melodies and instruments could be heard.
    BNS was featured in “BBC World – Asia Today” & "The World" programs and they have also performed at prestigious events and locations such as Cannas Film Festival and Sydney Opera House.
    Their path to success was not smooth sailing at all. But overcoming all obstacles and meeting the challenges that came their way, BNS continues in their journey. Their dream has been conquered to a certain extent and this engraved their name the music history books of Sri Lanka over and over again.

    Read more at > BNS Arena

  8. Hip hop needs voices, the artists these days aren’t standing up for anything, its old and overplayed. I search through a lot of on YouTube and I came across this artist named DeLon, he really got me into what he’s doing.

  9. All good but what about what Sri Lanka had before all this? For once what about the big ass heritage of music and bla bla no one gives a damn about what Sri Lanka had now, all they want is to do some western track. Why not revive something that's ours? it takes courage and talent but people do accomplish things like this. Bands like Eluveitie from Switzerland has merged bag pipes and METAL! Metal is a hard genre to merge stuff with, you really don't know it'll spoil it all or not. You just have to do a complete a whole song to get an idea well to me they sound brilliant and they do have amazing talent with all those native instruments.
    Well B&S and Iraj did some thing but what was the place of Sri Lanka in there music? A mere record of a 'Beraya' used as a beat in some hifi music program ?? is that what shows Sri Lanka to the world?

    As I see it may be Sri Lanka has made music but it was just for the sake of pop culture, where the popularity goes the (most of the)musicians here will follow that. I don't say that we should ban stuff that doesn't contain anything Sri Lankan, all I'm saying is that there should be atleast some people doing something for the sake of what was in this country and what people listened to in much olden days, NOT hindi songs that had sinhala lyrics!