• Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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MC Stan: From the streets to stardom

MC Stan

By: Asjad Nazir

THE explosive hip-hop scene in India has delivered dynamite talents and incendiary tracks in recent years, which have collectively added an edge to commercial music in the country.

Rap sensation MC Stan has been one of the standout talents, illustrated by his superb songs and him winning India’s biggest reality TV show Bigg Boss in 2023. With a fast-growing fanbase and a hotly anticipated album on the way filled with fabulous collaborations, he is a young music star on an unstoppable rise.

Eastern Eye caught up with MC Stan to discuss his music journey, surprise Bigg Boss win, fearless approach, hip-hop hero and favourite tracks.

What first connected you to hip hop?

I first connected to hip hop through the streets, alleyways and the thug life. In these places, people often don’t have enough to eat, leading them to commit unnecessary crimes like murder or theft to get arrested because jail provides free food.

When I first heard hip hop, I related deeply to it, feeling a connection to artists like 50 Cent, Eminem, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and Jay-Z. Their lyrics resonated with me, prompting me to explore hip hop further. It’s not just a genre for me; I embody hip hop.

What songs from your own discography have been closest to your heart?

Astaghfirullah, Tadipaar and Amin are the tracks closest to my heart.

How much of your own life and experiences are in the tracks that you produce?

It would take me at least two days to explain my life, and it’s impossible to convey in just a few minutes. For instance, Tadipaar covers about five per cent of my life and experiences, which include friendship, love, family, trust, ups and downs.

I want to teach my fans to be smart and not live in delusion. Many people, including children and the elderly, get motivated by my lifestyle, whether it’s about clothes, cars, houses or jewellery. What I showcase in my songs is a reflection of my life.

What was winning Bigg Boss like?

Winning Bigg Boss is an unforgettable experience. The outcome depended on God and the audience. I just wanted to get out of the house by any means, and when (host) Salman Khan raised my hand as the winner, I was speechless for a moment. I didn’t know there was so much hype around Bigg Boss because I had never watched it before. I’m grateful for everything.

What has life been like since your remarkable win on the show?

People go crazy wherever I go, but my life was already good before the show, thanks to my audience. However, Bigg Boss helped me gain wider recognition and appreciation for my talent.

Who would you love to collaborate with?

Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Lil Baby, Young Thug, Gunna, Playboi Carti, NBA YoungBoy, AR Rahman and Ajay-Atul.

You are becoming a hero to many, but who is your musical hero?

Lil Wayne has been the most influential to me. I relate to him deeply as he also rose from poverty and a humble background. His continuous inspiration and way of rapping, still fresh and youthful, resonate with me.

What can we expect next from you on the musical front?

My third studio album, Mehfeel, is on the way. It features collaborations with artists I’ve admired since childhood, creating history, not just songs. The album is experimental, offering everything the audience wants, including qawwalis and some surprises they’ve never experienced before.

What music dominates your current playlist?

My playlist is dominated by new school hip hop, along with a lot of old Indian music and qawwalis.

What, according to you, are some of the greatest hip hop tunes?

Lifestyle by Young Thug, We Paid by Lil Baby & 42 Dugg, Embarrassed by Don Toliver, Mirror by Lil Wayne, F*ckumean by Gunna and Chanel by Young Thug.

Tell us something about you that not many people know.

There are many mysteries and secrets about me that people don’t know because I prefer not to talk much about myself. But I could share a secret for a million dollars.

Would you describe your personality as rebellious?

Hip hop itself is rebellious. People might see me as rebellious because I often speak the truth, but many others are harder and more rebellious than me.

Where does your fearless approach come from?

It comes from the streets. Hip hop was created to awaken people with the truth, and it’s a way to express oneself. People are disturbed by too much truth, but we fight for what’s right, and that’s where my fearlessness comes from.

What inspires you?

I inspire myself. Reflecting on my journey, many thought I wouldn’t make it big, but I proved them wrong because I believed in myself and my art. That belief and the success I’ve achieved continue to motivate me. The money I earn also inspires me to work harder and do better for my art and community.

What does music mean to you today?

Music is everything to me. I live and breathe hip hop. Even when I’m not making music, I’m listening to it.

Music is not just a job for me; it’s a part of my lifestyle.

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