Universal Music Partners With Nas’ Mass Appeal to Spread Indian Hip Hop to the World

Hip hop music has been a cultural phenomenon across the globe for several decades now. From its humble beginnings in the Bronx, New York in the late 70s and early 80s, it has grown into a worldwide sensation, with artists from every corner of the world contributing to its ever-expanding reach. However, Indian hip hop has been one of the latest entrants to the genre, but it’s rapidly gaining traction and recognition. With that, there’s an effort to bring India’s burgeoning hip hop scene to broader global audiences.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has partnered with Mass Appeal, a Nas-backed media and record company, to uncover, develop, and promote Indian hip hop artists, with an emphasis on achieving both domestic and international success. Mass Appeal India will look to build a stellar portfolio of Indian rappers. The division will operate out of Universal Music Group India’s Mumbai headquarters. Additionally, the UMG-Mass Appeal partnership announcement was accompanied by an initial signing: Divine, a highly popular Indian rapper, will release his future albums through UMG India and Mass Appeal India.

Divine, whose real name is Vivian Fernandes, is recognized as a pioneer of the Mumbai rap scene. In 2011, he began slowly building a fanbase, and his tracks went on to make him one of the most-streamed rappers in all of India. Today, Indian rappers and fans view Mumbai as something of a proving ground for up-and-coming hip hop artists.

Nas co-founded Mass Appeal Records in 2014, and since then, he’s signed a formidable stable of American artists while also nabbing deals with popular international stars. Hip hop legend Nas was instrumental in completing the agreement, and also, in signing Divine. Prior to branching out into music, Mass Appeal was a media company that published an urban-focused magazine. The company has since turned to other professionals — and other forms of media — in search of success, and the pivot seems to be working. In 2018, Mass Appeal Records released Nas’s 11th studio album, Nasir.

With a total population of nearly 1.4 billion, India is a bastion of entertainment talent. More and more of these professionals are being discovered with each passing day, and it seems highly probable that India’s music, film, and television markets will grow exponentially in the coming years. As such, partnerships like this one, between Nas, UMG, and Mass Appeal, could prove even more valuable than expected.

Indian hip hop is a genre that’s still in its early stages, but it’s growing rapidly, with many talented artists making their mark. With the backing of UMG and Mass Appeal, the genre could gain even more traction, both domestically and internationally, and more artists could receive the recognition they deserve. The partnership could help bridge the gap between the Indian hip hop scene and the rest of the world, allowing more people to discover and appreciate the unique and vibrant sounds of the Indian rap scene.

In conclusion, India’s hip hop scene is still in its infancy, but it’s growing at an impressive rate. With Universal Music Group and Mass Appeal backing Indian hip hop artists, the genre is poised to gain even more popularity, both within India and across the world. This partnership could help create a new wave of Indian hip hop artists that could take the world by storm, and it’s exciting to see what the future holds for this vibrant and exciting genre.