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Sri Lankan hip hop

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Sri Lankan Hip Hop[1] is a part of the Asian hip hop culture. This multilingual genre features Sinhala, Tamil and English.


Hip hop in Sri Lanka traces its origins to Brown Boogie Nation's “Lions And Tigers”, which is regarded as the first local rap song.[2] The first Tamil rap by Krishan Maheson was 2004's “J Town Story”,[3][4] while the country's first Sinhala rap track was released in 2005 in the form of Iraj's eponymous album.[citation needed] Krishan Maheson's Asian Avenue was the first Sri Lankan album to be released by Universal Music India in 2006.[5] Sri Lankan-American DeLon's single “Nasty Girl” debuted at number 36 on the Billboard Charts.[citation needed] Ranidu Lankage's first single with Ashanthi, “Oba Magemai”, led to the duo becoming the youngest Sri Lankan artists to be signed by an international record label, Sony Music India.[6] Lankage's “Kelle” featured on the BBC Asian Chart, and received worldwide airplay.[7]

Bathiya and Santhush and Randhir collaborated on the first hip hop remix song "Siri Sangabodhi".[citation needed] The DeLon remix of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" was another notable milestone.[8][9] The selfie rap[clarification needed] phenomenon of 2015 is thought to have helped promote and popularise hip hop among a wider audience, after a lull spanning several years in the lead-up.[10]

Sri Lankan hip hop has grown from a niche status to a mainstay in the local music industry in less than two decades, with a few of them even going international.[11][12]


  1. "Roar Media". roar.media. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  2. Ltd., Information Laboratories (Pvt.). "The Sunday Times Mirror Magazine". www.sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  3. "Asia Voice Independent Music Award Winner - Krishan teams up with HNB Assurance". www.sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  4. "No boundaries". www.sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  5. "Sri Lanka News | Sundayobserver.lk". archives.sundayobserver.lk. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  6. "News". www.nation.lk. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  7. "Dance to the music of Ranidu". www.sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  8. Hutson, Darralynn (2015-07-28). "Rapper/Producer DeLon Is Proud to Rep His Sri Lankan Heritage". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  9. "Sri Lankan rapper DeLon still suffering consequences of speaking out against M.I.A. & the Tamil Tigers". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 2018-06-11.
  10. "Iraj Speaks Out On Selfie Rap & The Drama Revolving | Decibel". Decibel. 2015-04-07. Retrieved 2018-06-12.
  11. "Yashan over the top". www.sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 2018-06-10.
  12. "Infinite Success". www.sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 2018-06-10.

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