Hip-Hop culture has always been about being authentic and unfabricated in all aspects. The genre itself serves as a form of art one can utilize to convey their thoughts, feelings or narrate an incident if need be. Rage Hip-Hop and Gangsta rap have a lot in common, mostly being a sub-genre about presenting yourself as powerful and violent too, in some cases.
However, Raaj’s “Kaal Ke Pukaar” is a fresher concept while being relevant to Rage or Gangsta Rap. It is aggressive but all for the right reasons, rather than unnecessarily bragging about being a big deal, he answers back to the ones who think too less of him seeing his regional background. Released on the 10th of July, the album features 8 tracks including an intro and a skit. The Sasaram-born Jamshedpur-based rapper can be seen rapping his heart out in belligerence while he talks about life in his area, the potential they have, and how proud he is of being from Bihar.
Everything, from the cover art to the sound and the lyrics, projects aggressiveness. The aggressiveness is intended to achieve it all and prove people wrong. He raps about how classists behave with his people, the discrimination Biharis feel and his determination to be the best and represent his community. “Jha Ji(Skit)” features the voice of Kat Jr., a fellow Hip-Hop artist, who rants about the atrocities he has faced being a Bihari, and how he is still persistent towards working on his art and changing things through his art. Raaj’s style remains the same throughout the album; he intends to deliver an effect that makes the doubters reconsider. While his rhyme schemes are simple, his hostile flow carries the vocals of the album.
Sonically, the album poses a refreshing version of grime sound. Produced by Sampliyaha, Harxhit, and Laudrup, the album has features from Harass and Arj Aman apart from a skit by Kat Jr. The overall soundscape seems sinister, there are a few mosh-worthy tracks in the album too, especially ‘Ka Marde’. Simple samples with drums and well-structured elements contribute towards delivering a fierce experience.
“Kaal Ke Pukaar”, Raaj’s sophomore album, sees him curate a project in Bhojpuri for the first time. This is also his first project completely created in the grime genre. His past works, including Ginti with MC Kode and Inquilab with Sez on the Beat are quite different from his musicality on this album, hence this piece speaks of his versatility too. Overall, “Kaal Ke Pukaar” is a callout to all the people who look down upon the people from the Bihar-Jharkhand belt, and a testament to the artistic caliber they have.