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Hiphop Tamizha

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Hiphop Tamizha
Jeeva R (L) and Adhithya Venkatapathy (R) during Aambala's audio launch
Background information
BornAdhi: (1990-02-20) 20 February 1990 (age 34)
Jeeva: (1991-06-29) 29 June 1991 (age 32)
GenresHip hop
InstrumentsPiano, DAW and Keyboard
Years active2005–present
LabelsThink Music India, Sony Music, Saregama

Hiphop Tamizha (Tamil pronunciation: [hiphaːp t̪amiɻaː]) is an Indian musical duo based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The duo consists of Adhithya "Adhi" Venkatapathy and R. Jeeva.[lower-alpha 1] Hiphop Tamizha are credited with being the pioneers of Tamil hip hop in India.[2]

Their commercial break-through came with the song "Club le Mabbu le" in 2011. In 2012, Hiphop Tamizha released their debut album Hip Hop Tamizhan, which is India's first Tamil hip hop album. It was a major success with both the general public and critics. While the duo were originally independent musicians, since 2013 they have contributed primarily to composing for films.


The official logo of Hiphop Tamizha is a graffiti of Subramania Bharati.

Personal lives[edit]

Adhithya "Adhi" Ramachandran Venkatapathy was born on 20 February 1990,[2][6] and R. Jeeva was born 29 June 1991.[7] Adhi's family is from Sathyamangalam in the Erode district.[8][9] He was born into a family with no knowledge of music or cinema. His father works at Bharathiar University while his mother comes from an agricultural background.[3] Adhi's first exposure to rap came when his neighbour showed him Michael Jackson's "Jam".[10] His interest in hip hop music started developing in the tenth grade. He uploaded rap songs to the internet and got positive responses from people expressing interest in his music, who also encouraged him to start rapping in Tamil.[11] His decision to rap in Tamil rather than English was made, in his words, to avoid looking like a "wannabe".[10] Adhi named his account on the video-sharing site YouTube "Hiphop Tamizha", with a profile picture of the Tamil poet Subramania Bharati, to avoid being caught by his parents.[12] Adhi's father had initially opposed his choice to pursue music professionally.[13] He wanted Adhi to pursue higher studies, but gave him a year to do what he wanted, with the only constraint being that Adhi should not expect any help from him. After realising that Adhi was "trying to do some good work", he encouraged his son's musical interests.[12] Adhi then moved to Chennai to "try [his] luck".[14]

Although Hiphop is a duo,[5][15] Jeeva has seldom made public appearances, thus associating the name Hiphop Tamizha with Adhi more often. Adhi told IndiaGlitz that this is due to his shyness, and compared his partner to the unseen lion in the emblem of India, which includes four lions, with only three visible.[16] Jeeva adopted the moniker Jeeva Beatz sometime after the two met in 2005.[1][12]

Adhi studied at Chavara Vidya Bhavan and Electrical Engineering at Bannari Amman Institute of Technology. He holds a state-level rank in Tamil Nadu Common Entrance Test and is a graduate in Master of Business Administration from the Department of Management Studies, University of Madras. As of October 2014, he was doing a PhD course at Bharathiar University,[12] which he completed in June 2015.[17] Jeeva is an alumnus of Loyola College, Chennai.[18]

On 30 November 2017, Adhi married Lakshiya Devareddy, whom he first met as a fan who won a competition and his signed poster in his studio in 2012, in a private ceremony at Tirupati.[19][20][21]


Origins and early work[edit]

Adhi and Jeeva met via Orkut in 2005. They were passionate about music and decided that they should create an independent music group in India, in Tamil.[12] According to The Hindu and Hiphop Tamizha's Facebook page, Adhi had not officially found Hiphop Tamizha until 15 February 2010.[1][7]

Around the mid 2000s, Adhi released Viswaroobam Arambam,[1] the first Tamil hip hop mixtape in India.[lower-alpha 2] It also played a major role in promoting hip hop as a part of the Tamil culture.[11] Adhi and Jeeva remained underground until they were asked by the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission to compose an election anthem.[9] Hiphop Tamizha's single Ezhuvoam Vaa was chosen as the official anthem for Tamil Nadu's 2011 state elections,[22] and Adhi performed it at Pachaiyappa's College when Anna Hazare came there.[9] Though the song was commercially unsuccessful,[23] Adhi and Jeeva considered it at one point their "best work so far".[24]

Commercial success[edit]

Adhi composed the song "Club le Mabbu le" in his first year of college.[9] When we asked how it developed, he recalled, "I grew up watching my mother and aunts just being traditional, and when I saw girls going to bars, I immediately wrote the lyrics of that track. And through my lyrics I am raising the debate over whether we are really changing as a society or are simply aping the West."[25] When Adhi was living in Chennai, he met Ma Ka Pa Anand, then an RJ at Radio Mirchi.[14] Anand allowed Adhi to perform Club le Mabbule on his radio show with beatboxer Bharadwaj Balaji (also known as Triple B).[12][26] The recording went viral, receiving over two million views within a week of its release on YouTube. Afterwards Rémy Martin, an international brand, was surprised by Adhi's determination and launched Hiphop Tamizha as an official brand.[12] "Club le Mabbule" later vaulted Hiphop Tamizha further into public view when it was criticized as portraying Tamil women in a negative light.[27]

Hiphop Tamizha's debut album Hip Hop Tamizhan was released on 17 August 2012 at Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai. Publicised as "India's first Tamil hip hop album", it was launched by Purple Note and produced by Remy Martin, in the latter's first association with an Indian album. The music was composed by Adhi and Jeeva, with lyrics by Adhi.[22] The album was lauded by critics. Naren Weiss, writing for Zomba, called it "nothing short of a masterpiece," while Venkatrangan R of Musicperk labelled it "A must listen. Not only for the music but for the messages hidden in it."[22][28] The album, which included Club le Mabbule, was also a commercial success, becoming the best-selling music album of 2012 on Flipkart.[29] However, Adhi lamented the fact that "Club le Mabbule" was accepted for airplay by radio channels only after its viral success, and that some of his other songs never got airplay even once.[30]

In November 2013, Adhi signed an international album with Remy Martin, titled International Tamizhan, slated to feature eight tracks, including two songs by American artists Sol and Emcee Call. The album was to be released in English, Hindi and Tamil. It was initially scheduled for release on 15 August 2014;[23][31][32] however, Hiphop Tamizha instead released the album's song "Vaadi Pulla Vaadi" as a single on the same date.[33][34] In October 2014, Adhi said the album was still "under progress",[12] but confirmed in 2018 that it was altogether dropped because "independent music doesn't make big money" in Chennai.[35]

Television and cinema[edit]

As musicians and composers[edit]

Though Adhi initially expressed no interest in singing or composing for films,[36] he and Jeeva have contributed to numerous cinematic works. Adhi sang his first film song,[36] titled "Thapellam Thappe Illai" (composed by Vijay Antony) for Naan in 2012.[37] He also sang the title track of Ethir Neechal (2013) (composed by Anirudh Ravichander) accompanied by Punjabi rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh.[38][39] Also in 2013, Adhi wrote "Sudden Delight", which was composed by Santhosh Narayanan and performed by Rob Mass for Soodhu Kavvum.[40][41] In May of that year, Adhi again collaborated with Anirudh to perform the song "Chennai City Gangsta" along with Hard Kaur for Vanakkam Chennai.[42][43]

In July 2013, Hiphop Tamizha composed "Na Na Na (Nice v/s Naughty)", a song used in the promotion of The Smurfs 2 in India. The song, which also features nine contestants from the singing reality show Indian Idol Junior,[44][45] was the first song Hiphop Tamizha composed specifically for a film.[46] It did not appear on the soundtrack album.[47] Adhi's third collaboration with Anirudh was for Kaththi (2014) where he performed the song "Pakkam Vanthu".[48] Hiphop Tamizha also composed and wrote "Poda" in 2014, a song celebrating the 10th anniversary of the television channel Sun Music.[49]

Hiphop Tamizha's first Tamil film as music composers was Aambala (2015),[46][50] where they wrote all six songs for and performed three: Pazhagikalaam, Aye Aye Aye and a remix of Inbam Pongum Vennila,[51][52] from Veerapandiya Kattabomman (1959).[53] They also composed for Indru Netru Naalai,[54][55] writing two songs and performing one: "iPhone 6 Nee Yendral".[56] Hiphop Tamizha also composed for Thani Oruvan, where they performed two songs: Theemai Dhaan Vellum and the title track.[57][58] Thani Oruvan topped Apple Music's Best of 2015 list in the category "Best Tamil Album of the year".[59]

Adhi wrote and co-performed Naam Vaazhndhidum, composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, for Vai Raja Vai (2015).[60][61] Hiphop Tamizha later composed for Aranmanai 2,[14][62] Kathakali,[63][64] Dhruva (the Telugu remake of Thani Oruvan), which marked their debut in Telugu cinema;[65][66] Kaththi Sandai;[67] Kavan,[68] and Imaikkaa Nodigal.[69]

In other roles[edit]

In October 2014, Adhi stated that, despite many offers, he had no interest in acting.[70] In 2016, however, he announced that he would be making his cinematic acting debut in Meesaya Murukku, for which he would also be director and musical composer.[71] The film, released in 2017, was partly biographical of his life.[72] Adhi has also made appearances in the Zee Tamizh talk show Simply Kushboo,[73] and the Sun TV reality show Sun Singer.[74] Hiphop Tamizha later composed the title music for the TV series Nandini.[75] Hiphop Tamizha also made his second movie as a lead character in Natpe Thunai and his third film Naan Sirithaal, was released on FEB 14 2020


Independent artists who have collaborated with Hiphop Tamizha include Bharadwaj Balaji and B-boy Bravo.[1][76][77] The official logo of Hiphop Tamizha is a graffiti of Bharati.[11] They have also performed with American rapper Emcee Call on All I Wanna Say, an album that features several samples of Michael Jackson's songs.[24]

Beginning in February 2015, Adhi and Jeeva were collaborating with independent Tamil singer Kaushik Krish on his forthcoming single,[78] but the singer's debut song eventually became "Kannala Kannala", composed by Hiphop Tamizha for Thani Oruvan (2015).[79] Recently he have collaborated with Sangan (Sollisai Selvandhar) in a new single named as "Weightu". Hiphoptamizha has started a new initiative called "The UnderGround Tribe" to collaborate with new independent artists.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named fusion
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