India’s first rap reality show, MTV Hustle, a one-of-a-kind platform that revolutionized the rap culture in the country, found its first winner in Deepak Singh aka M Zee Bella from Ludhiana. The epic trio of judges, Raftaar, Nucleya and Raja Kumari announced M-Zee Bella and Kolkata-based Santhanam Srinivasan aka EPR as the winner and the first runner-up, respectively. Defeating other finalists, Amritsar boy RCR, Delhi-based King, and Bihari babu Shloka, and the first Runner-up EPR, M-Zee Bella took the trophy home in the grand finale on Saturday and Sunday, 12th and 13th October.
Witnessing an eventful journey on the show, M-Zee Bella impressed the judges and the audience alike with his poetic touch, emotional connotations and powerful writing. His consistency and a strong control on phonetics earned him brownie points, week-on-week. MTV Hustle started its journey with top 15 rappers from every nook and corner of the country, who made their way to the top, amidst fierce competition, epic face-offs and tough supervision of the judges. During the course of the show, the contestants also brought to light some serious social issues and rendered strong storytelling on gender discrimination, women empowerment, honour killing and child abuse, through their rap that garnered praises from all across the country.
On winning the show M-Zee Bella said, “It was an incredible experience and I am very happy to win the title of MTV Hustle. I had few dreams that I wanted to conquer. I dedicate this win to my mother because she was a poet and never got the platform and I have always given a poetic feel to my rap. And now I just want to give a stage to my mom that she deserves, I hope I can do that.”
Commenting on M-Zee Bella’s win, rap king Raftaar said,” M-Zee Bella deserved to win. He did what he does best. His clarity in delivery and concise composition made him a clear winner. Though it really was a neck to neck competition between EPR and M Zee Bella. They were equally fighting on the same grounds with different concepts in their rap. We had a tough time deciding the winner, but M-Zee Bella’s hard work and consistent performances made him take the trophy home.”
The queen of rap, Rajakumari said, “I think MTV Hustle was about lot of things, it was about India accepting hip hop as an art form and listening to the voice of the youth. The decision of choosing between EPR and M-Zee Bella was very difficult. M-Zee Bella has been a flawless performer and every time he moved me. EPR too is an incredible artist. I am happy to see M Zee Bella hold the trophy.”
EDM star and Music Producer Nucleya exclaimed, “M-Zee Bella was one of the most deserving candidates on the show. It really was a tough call for Raftaar, Raja Kumari and me to choose between EPR and M-Zee Bella, there were just minor plus and minuses between them. But M-Zee Bella’s consistency, powerful deliveries, clarity in pronunciations, week on week, left us in awe of him. His journey has been commendable on MTV Hustle and all my good wishes to him for his future ventures. I’m sure he will shine bright and make all of us proud.”
The grand finale also saw some breathtaking performances by the very handsome Shekhar Ravjiani, who performed on his brand-new track, along with Raja Kumari’s upbeat rap rendition and Nucleya, who gave a refreshing and a peppy beat to the track. The original Gully boy Naezy the Baa performed on his famous rap – Fhatke, in addition to other renowned artists like Brodha V, Australian hip-hop artist L-Fresh The Lion, Raftaar’s Kalamkaar Parivaar and regional rappers from different parts of the country, who graced the grand finale of MTV Hustle with their peppy performances.
MTV Hustle received all the love and support from every nook and corner of the country and took rap to a mainstream platform.