Listen: Twenty One by Moksh

If you are looking for is a set of catchy beats in the background to dance to or aggressive urban poetry aimed at making you feel like you own the streets, all you need is to reach out for the nearest hip-hop album at the record store. But it isn’t the 90’s anymore and music has evolved with the times and the ever-changing status quo. The raw and visceral appeal of hip hop has since bled into other countries with different landscapes, particularly India.

Shillong-based Moksh is the latest in the recent wave of Indian hip-hop acts to embrace the movement. With his debut EP, Twenty One, Moksh fully embraces the Age of Trap with a diverse set of tracks featuring assorted aesthetics. The songs on the EP are loosely held together with themes of depression and the desperation behind trying to solve life’s problems. However, Moksh never minces words with his direct lyricism and catchy hooks. What he lacks in terms of nuance and subtlety, he makes up for with a smooth flow and watertight production while alternating between English, Hindi and other vernacular languages.

Each track features Moksh in a distinct state of mind from the whiny and self-loathing personality on ‘Bad Trip’ to the chest pounding and braggadocious ‘Views’. Moksh manages to be philosophical without being preachy throughout the record over earworm-like instrumentals. The tracks, even the ones with a weird flex, reveal damage and conflict while making the issues that he is rapping about relatable.

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