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  • March 2, 2019
  • Episode 1
  •  2/12/19: DIVINE


DIVINE is an Indian rapper whose rough upbringing inspired a personal, street-centric style of hip-hop. The Oscar-nominated 2019 film Gully Boy is partially based on DIVINE’s journey to fame. • DIVINE grew up in Sahar within India’s second-largest city, Mumbai. He and his brother raised themselves in the gully—another word for ghetto. • After a friend made him a CD of American rap music, an adolescent DIVINE grew fascinated with the art form. He was influenced by 50 Cent, JAY-Z, Nas, and Big L. • After high school, DIVINE’s mother gave him a microphone, and he started recording on his computer. He began building his audience with 2013’s “Yeh Mera Bombay,” his first song rapped entirely in Hindi. • DIVINE’s music and videos achieved grassroots success. Sony Music picked up the Naezy-assisted “Mere Gully Mein” before signing DIVINE to an album deal in 2015. • While many successful Indian MCs had rapped in English and focused on material wealth, DIVINE found success rapping in Hindi and chronicling the struggles he and others witnessed. • DIVINE’s music appears on the soundtrack to the Oscar-nominated film Gully Boy. The movie’s protagonist, played by Ranveer Singh, is partially based on DIVINE. • In 2019, DIVINE partnered his Gully Boy label with Nas’ Mass Appeal and Universal. DIVINE and Naezy teamed up with Nas for the 2019 single “NY Se Mumbai.”

October 2, 1990

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