Shillong, March 16 : Popular for rapping numbers like "All black", "Swag mera desi", "Toh Dishoom" and "Dhaakad", Raftaar says Indian rappers are getting the admiration they deserve in the country.
Rap music has got a whole new expression in Hindi cinema today. Asked if rap artistes are gradually getting respect in the industry, Raftaar told IANS: "Yes, because rapping has been in India for sometime now. It has been 15-20 years that people have been paying attention to it, and now it has become mainstream.
"But it has not gone to that big level that we do huge concerts. So. I'd say it is good, but still evolving."
The 29-year-old rapper said certain names in the industry command huge popularity among the teenage crowd, which he hopes will become the big spenders on their shows in the near future.
"I get a lot of respect and I have seen that. Then there's Badshah and Yo Yo Honey Singh who also get a lot of respect. I have seen Bohemia too. Divine is new, but he has also got a name, and then there are new kids on the block who are getting the audience they need.
"The audience (for rap) today is of people around 15 or 16 years old. If they start listening to this music today, five years later they will spend on their favourite artiste's show. So, we are starting young," he said.
Raftaar is currently seen as a gang leader for the 15th season of youth-based show "Roadies Xtreme" on MTV. He was here for the shooting of a task.
Given that he is busy with the show, is rapping taking a backseat for now?
"Never. No way. I fact, I have got all my stuff out of which I make music from... Plus, I am writing and I have completed all the recording sessions of all the songs that we release this month," said Raftaar, whose real name is Dilin Nair.
He has also signed up five underground artistes.
On working with underground rappers, Raftaar said: "I have signed five people now. So, from thinking (of working with them) to signing five people is almost a big thing for me now."
Raftaar is himself signed to Zee Music now for a three-year contract.
"My first album is about to drop. I have done so many films and shot with actors for that and for the next album I am planning in this three-year deal, I am going to have better actors," he said.
He also hopes the hip-hop genre becomes commercially mainstream.
(The writer's trip is at the invitation of MTV. Durga Chakravarty can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)