Gully Boy, a film that brought the underdog hip-hop culture into mainstream cinema and gave several rap artists a much wider space to showcase what they got and bring a movement, has hands down one of the most powerful albums in the recent times. But why are we talking about it now in 2021? Because the world hasn’t gotten any better and the album still speaks to us. The one song that instantly pops into anyone’s mind is “Apna Time Aayega”. It did not just become the anthem for all the youngsters soon after its release, but the phrase got adapted in everyday lingo. Be it house parties, clubs or even Saturday night antakshari with friends; people would rap word to word and dance to Ranveer Singh’s voice who plays the protagonist Murad in the film. But, the album is much more than that, and below are a few tunes that we are hooked on to!
“Sher Aaya Sher”
The song is set up in a college, followed by a small performance by soulful Jasleen Royal who plays Juhi. As she comes up on the stage, a couple of college students comment on her, and when asked ‘why’ by MC Sher, played by brilliant Siddhant Chaturvedi, boys reply, “Ladki boring lagi.” And you can immediately see the anger in Sher’s eyes which soon explodes in the form of this rap number.
Written and sung by DIVINE, the idea of penning this number is right there, without much use of metaphors. Lines like “Tujhe chedney ki talab hai, tu nakli wala marad hai, mardaangi pe kalank, hawainiyat ki shakal” are there for all such people who have made lives of women scarier in this world, which is later followed by educating them with “Dadagiri bandh kartu chal tho sambalkar, Khudko tu dhoond ke tu usko amal kar”. We know that just one song is not going to change the entire scenario, but in a world full of lyrics like “Laal dress me raani bilkul red velvet ka cake lage,” the impactful words of DIVINE along with the groovy music of Chandrashekar Kunder aka Major C is a big relief!
There’s not one sentence in this song that is unnecessary. “Azadi”, is a revolution, a cry for freedom from everything we see, and experience around us but never dare to speak of. The rap opens up with anguish in DIVINE’s voice calling out the system with the use of lines such as “Vote milne par ye khaas phir gaayab poore saal” and “Note se banate apne beton ko yeh star hainna.” Right from religion-based politics, education system, water problems, nepotism, corruption, and crimes; “Azadi” speaks about it all. Penned, sung, and composed by Dub Sharma & DIVINE, the song has the right amount of rage and potency to force one to think and more than that speak. What stands out in the song is when the beat drops and then there’s a low-key sound “Shhhh” which represents all those elements of the society that oppress the raising voice of the revolution. Yet DIVINE continues to rap and urges listeners to chant “Bolo Azadi”.
Unlike the two songs that we mentioned, “Doori” doesn’t have the dynamic mood, but the tone is as strong as the rest. The song talks about two contrasting worlds that live in one world, presented in legendary lyricist Javed Akhtar and DIVINE’s words, “Ab dekho toh hum paas lekin, Socho kitni doori hai.” Through the lens of cinematographer Jay Oza, the idea beautifully reaches the audience through Murad’s teary eyes, the cramped surroundings and expressions like, “Right mein building aasmano ko chhu ri, Left mein bacchi bhookhi sadko pe so ri,” and “Ek duniya mein do duniya ujala ek andhera, Ek Sethji aur ek Chela.” - Srivalli