Women Are Not The Only Flag-Bearers Of Change: Rapper Dee MC
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – “Hip Hop as a genre is revolutionary art that arose from oppression. The storytelling aspect of it is what I fell in love with the most,” says Deepa Unnikrishnan aka Dee MC, a prominent figure in the Indian hip hop community. Her stage name is one she adopted, she says, at the very beginning of her rap journey. “MC stands for emceeing, which is one of the elements of hip hop, commonly known as rapping,” she explains.
Here in her own words, she reflects on unity, discrimination, and empowerment:
I am privileged enough to know what my rights are and women empowerment for me is extending the same privileges to those who believe they have no choice. Just by believing in myself, I have defied many norms of family and society alike who think women need to be safeguarded and stopped from daring to dream too big. I don’t feel the need to actively raise awareness about it at this point in my life. I believe I have done enough by setting an example for others to follow and moreover, I think it is high time we stop expecting women to be the only flag-bearers of change when it comes to female empowerment.
All my work has been inspired by my own life or the people surrounding me. Hip Hop as a genre has grown as revolutionary art out of oppression. I fell in love with the storytelling aspect of it the most. Hence choosing to speak about my own vulnerabilities through my music is something that comes naturally to me. Comparing it to what others are doing or aren’t doing hasn’t been my way of doing things. I believe you must be the change you want to see, and I see my art as a tool of communication to bring forth the kind of change I wish to see in this world. Which is a world that is kinder, open to vulnerability, and tolerant of each other’s
My art is a culmination of the people and places I am surrounded by. My family originally hails from Kerala but moved to Mumbai in the 80s for a better life. A lot of who I am and my liberal ways of life, especially as a female in India is owed to my city. For a long time, the hip-hop community was my only inspiration. The aspirations of thousands of artists writing and releasing songs at a time when we barely had any audience. It is inspiring to see the ‘never back down’ attitude artists here have despite the lack of infrastructure or resources. Our resilience to make something out of nothing continues to inspire me. The opportunities that led me out of India have also helped me grow as an artist and derive inspiration from my own environment.
Multitasking has been a big part of my life since the beginning as I liked to think of myself as an all-rounder. Even as an artist, I take pride in learning more than what pertains to just my work. I have recently started directing my own music videos. I’m an avid watcher of films and TV shows and the experiences I have garnered in my own journey of being in front of the camera have come in handy. I was also the editor-in-chief of India’s leading hip-hop news site named DesiHipHop.com where I have personally written over a hundred articles about the Indian Hip Hop scene.