The rapper’s follow-up to the 2020 album ‘I’ delves on his childhood memories and how far he’s come
The heavy hitters of desi hip-hop join Ikka on his latest album Nishu, which released via Kalamkaar records. Everyone from Badshah to Raftaar to producer-rapper combo Bharg and Rawal, plus Seedhe Maut, Raga and Aghor are in the topline of the highly autobiographical 10-track album.
Ikka says about his album’s star lineup, “Every artist I have collaborated with are indeed the greats we have in the music industry. It was all about clicking and visualizing the right features on my tracks. All the tracks were very carefully conceptualized and shared with these greats before delivering it to my listeners.”
While songs like the opening title track and “Sab Jaanta Hai” live up to Ikka’s gritty style of unblemished storytelling, he also knows how to have fun while he’s at it. “Trap Munde” featuring Badshah is wrapped up in all kinds of global hip-hop flavors, while “Fly” (produced by New Delhi beatsmith Bharg) is a self-affirming, regretless banger. Elsewhere, the bass quakes on “Spooky Song” featuring Dutch duo Dope D.O.D. and an all-out rap party on “Top Off” featuring Raftaar and Kaater and the closing track “Sanki” bringing back to back heat from Ikka, Seedhe Maut, Raga and Aghor, over music produced by Sez on the Beat.
The idea behind the whole album, according to Ikka, was to familiarize his fans and listeners withhis childhood. “See, basically everyone knows Ikka the artist but the man behind Ikka is a common boy who worked hard and achieved his dreams. I want everyone to know who is Nishu and the ups and downs through which Nishu evolved as Ikka,” the rapper says.
The Badshah collab “Trap Munde” sees the old friends from hip-hop crew Mafia Mundeer at their most resolute. Ikka adds, “I always used to look up to Badshah bhai as a motivator. His vibe, his flow, his writing skills have always been top notch. We have been waiting for just the right moment and vibe to get together on a song. When I created ‘Trap Munde’ it was just the right vibe where I felt this is what is meant for Badshah bhai and his collab would be a bomb on this track.” The greenscreen-aided music video – directed by filmmaker Manish Shunty – is just as flashy, with go-karts, glitzy cars and fantastical urban landscapes.
With his second full-length album out now, Ikka says he’s currently vibing to drill and reggae and calypso RMX. Are we likely to hear Ikka take on any of those different styles? “Let’s keep it as a surprise what’s coming up next, but be sure the level would just keep on getting better,” he says.
Listen to ‘Nishu’ below. Stream on more platforms here.