10:53 am - Saturday July 22, 2017

Album review: Adhi (Hip Hop Tamizha) – Hip Hop Tamizhan

Of resisting linguistic imperialism to social issues, Hip Hop Tamizhan is not your average hip hop album. Crafted beautifully by taking into account their aims, Hip Hop Tamizhan is a story with a plot running through the album. Every song is connected to each other and the delivery by Adhi and his team makes this album one of my all-time favourite.

Hip Hop Tamizha’s much awaited debut album Hip Hop Tamizhan was launched on India’s Independence Day, August 15. The album consists of eleven tracks (including the intro, outro and a skit). Jeeva composed the music for all the tracks in Hip Hop Tamizhan, except for the last one which Srik did. Jeeva did a magnificent job in producing the beats and laying out what Adhi needed to make this album stand out from the rest. Lyrically, this album will amaze you as it will surely relate to your own experience.

The album starts off with Manithan Tamizhan – a unique of way of introducing the album. Unlike other intros, this one uses excerpts of research regarding Tamil civilization and Tamil language which was carefully selected by the Hip Hop Tamizha team to set the tone of the album. The selected portions do not only aim to create the awareness of the richness of Tamil language but to ignite the spirits of Tamil enthusiasts and Tamizhans. The highlight of the intro is when Adhi starts addressing his audience, the one that stood out the most was:

“Language is just for communication, whatever our mother tongue is – Telugu, Malayalam, Kannadam, Hindi, we should be proud to represent ourselves”

This is what Hip Hop Tamizhan is all about – representation. Manithan Tamizhan leads to the next track – Tamizhanda – a track which comes straight at you in full force. Heavy beats, power-packed lyrics, a classic hip hop track. Hip Hop have changed in recent times with all the bling-bling and implicit sexual reference, Adhi goes beyond that and brings back the actual definition of hip hop in Tamizhanda – which is about representation and upliftment of his society. Tamizhanda explores the history of Tamil and how in recent years, Tamil has been neglected and at times viewed negatively, which consequently leads to the following track Tamizh Theriyum.

While both Manithan Tamizhan and Tamizhanda took off in a serious tone, Tamizh Theriyum pokes fun at those who mock the language or act like they do not speak the language. Here, Adhi addresses a serious issue in a light-hearted manner. Today, many do not speak their mother tongue because they believe it is less superior to a certain language. This situation is known as linguistic imperialism. Tamizh Theriyum is the tip of the iceberg as the rejection of one’s mother tongue will eventually led to lifestyle change (such as identity change and cultural change) and this eventually leads to the next track – the most controversial, Club le Mabbu le.

Club le Mabbu le is often highlighted as chauvinist and bias, but many have missed the bigger picture of this track – lifestyle change and erosion of values. The erosion of values – such as the influence of alcohol, drugs and pre-marital sex will lead to the destruction of family institution (which Adhi explores in Iraiva). Adhi talks about the westernization of modern culture and this can relate to cultural imperialism – how one culture is viewed superior or dominant to another. Club le Mabbu le is track which looks at smaller things of the bigger picture. The following track is Sentamizh Penne, a track which is totally opposite to Club le Mabbu le. Sentamizh Penne is about a culturally rich girl, a traditional girl who Adhi pays respect to. It is mellow track, with well-paced rhymes. From the mellowness of Sentamizh Penne comes Ini Illaiye Hum, a dub-step inspired track. It is clear that Jeeva has done his research and he tries to incorporate different types of music in the album. Many hip hop artists these days are fusing rap and dub-step to evoke emotions and both Adhi and Jeeva brilliantly pull this off. It is a love failure track and it will appeal to you if you are into dub-step or electro, if you are not, it is most likely that you would not enjoy it.

Cheap Popularity is Adhi’s response to those who criticized him for searching for popularity through Club le Mabbu le. However, the skit is not an ultimatum but rather a portion of interview between RJ Ophe and Adhi. Regardless everything said about Club le Mabbu le, it did give a lot of media attention to Hip Hop Tamizha and I believe all publicity is good publicity.

Next up, Iraiva, is one of the best tracks in this album as it depicts the stories of troubled teenagers. Adhi raps the story of two teenagers Selvi, who drifts away from education because of the lack of attention from the family and the influence of love, and Saravanan, who is left unnoticed by his mother, ultimately ends up on his deathbed because of gang violence. These issues, such as pre-marital sex, sexual disease, suicide, violence and gangs are very common in our society today, be it in Tamilnadu or Kuala Lumpur. Adhi has beautifully delivered his rap verses in this track, bringing a sense of realism while the chorus by Chitra and the music by Jeeva add dynamism to this track.

If Iraiva is about lost teenagers, Karpom Karpipom is the solution for these issues in our society – education as the main tool to solve our social problems. Personally, Karpom Karpipom, is my favourite track as I am enthusiastic about education. Education can change lives and with Karpom Karpipom out there, it can be used as a tool to get youngsters back into education. Well-paced lyrics, beautiful chorus and bridge by Susan, Karpom Karpipom is a classic Hip Hop Tamizha track.

Hey Do What I Say is sampling at its best as Srik samples Captain Vijaykanth’s voice. The traditional music and the sampling makes this track appealing to those who love the nature of hip hop, it might not appeal to mass listeners but if you love old school hip hop, then this is for you. There are numerous hidden messages in this track and I don’t want to spoil for you. Finally, the outro, Stop Piracy, if the intro was unique and set the tone for the entire album, the outro is all about expressing gratitude. Unique flow and a beautiful piano set, all I would like to say is thanks to Hip Hop Tamizha for crafting this album, if you are a hip hop enthusiast, this album should be in your collection.

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4 Responses to “Album review: Adhi (Hip Hop Tamizha) – Hip Hop Tamizhan”

  1. vignesh
    September 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    i like ur fav alb on one of the vadi pulla vadi
    i love is song to very machi

  2. October 12, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    i love the karpom karpipom song very much

  3. nivetha
    February 25, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    I luv ur song…vaadi pulla vaadi…!!

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  1. Anirudh pairs up Aadhi and Honey Singh for Ethirneechal Adi | MyTamilChannel.com - November 16, 2012

    […] of Hip Hop Tamizhan needs no introduction in MyTamilChannel as his debut album received positive ratings from us. His album, Hip Hop Tamizha which was released on August 15, […]

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