New Delhi, Rapper Deepa Unnikrishnan, better known as Dee MC, advises aspiring female rappers to always strive to have their own identity. She says, “If you’ve entered this genre with the hopes of making a name for yourself, then set your own path and don’t follow trends.”
In an interview with IANSlife, Dee MC speaks about her journey of eight years in the industry, the challenges she faced and more. Read excerpts:
How has your journey thus far in an industry that is dominated by males in India?
Dee MC: Any and every field in the world is male dominated so Hip Hop or any other genre falls under the same. India as a country is no different, in fact due to our population and regressive patriarchy it is only worse. I won’t sugarcoat, it definitely wasn’t a piece of cake to get to where I am today. When we started there was barely any industry for hip hop, so our focus was mainly self-improvement. Although the journey has had its ups and downs, I consider myself to be one of the most empowered females in this country. As I get to choose my own path and set an example that is truly inspiring. I’d like to add that although our society is quite orthodox, my personal experience has been that women do get encouraged by the male artists of the South Asian hip hop scene. So it’s always good to reach out to the people around you in order to keep improving.
Tell us about the challenges you have faced?
Dee MC: Like I said, the journey has its ups and downs and now at this point in my life the hardships look like a distant memory. The struggles today are on a different level and scale than what it was 2 or 3 years ago. If I had to put my finger on one thing, I would say that being a young teenage girl from a small town like Kalyan was my biggest challenge when I started out. A lot of energy went into acquiring permission from my family to travel for shows or cyphers. For a while I was living a dual life where my family had no idea what my Dee MC alter ego is up to. But these experiences shaped my state of mind – that I couldn’t rely on anyone else to fulfil my dreams. If I want to actively be a part of the music industry, I had to make it out of my hometown. That whole process of standing up on my own feet came with its own challenges, but it all came down to bringing forth more strength from within.