The LiFTED 50 Number 2: DIVINE
DIVINE keeps making all the right moves
The ascent of DIVINE has been nothing short of spectacular, ever since his single ‘Mere Gully Mein’ with Naezy took India by storm back in 2015. As a bilingual MC, he had tried his hand at rapping in English, and then by simply telling his story – in street Hindi – it all came together, and he single-handedly raised the Desi Rap game up to the point where it was competing with Bollywood for hearts and minds.
In fact, his story of coming from the gully [aka the hood] was so compelling that in 2019 a real Bollywood movie, GULLY BOY, was made about it featuring two of India’s biggest stars, Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt - and it was a box office smash, winning numerous Filmfare awards in 2020. After a successful stint at Sony Music, DIVINE formed his own company, Gully Gang, and took control of his music while also signing and promoting his own artists.
Enter US superstar Nas and his Mass Appeal label, who signed DIVINE and Gully Gang, anointing him the face of Indian Hip Hop for the newly formed Mass Appeal India. He’s been attached to everything from Puma to HP computers, with major fashion brands also in the mix. His albums Kohinoor and Punya Paap have both broken records for non-Bollywood albums, and he has a new album coming that will include music by NY super-producer Harry Fraud, with features from Nas and other Hip Hop luminaries from East and West.
DIVINE was the first Indian rapper to appear on a Times Square billboard in New York City, and he won MTV Europe’s Best Indian Act in 2021. He even rolled up at the Oscars in Hollywood this year and owned the red carpet. DIVINE just keeps making all the right moves, and his power and reach are growing across the region and internationally, making him a true force to be reckoned with.