Article Hindi

Gully Boy song 'Doori': A searing rap about the class divide in Ranveer Singh's Mumbai

Read in: Marathi

Sung by Singh, and written by Divine and Javed Akhtar, the rap is composed by Rishi Rich.

Shriram Iyengar

Every once in a while Hindi cinema produces a music album that hits you with a knockout punch. Zoya Akhtar's Gully Boy seems to be filled with such compositions.

Directed by Zoya, the film contains an eclectic combination of raps, freeverse and poems that emerge from the true rapping styles of rappers Divine and Naezy, among others. The latest song, 'Doori', captures the viewpoint of these rappers from the street and the invisible divide that runs through the city of Mumbai. 

Loosely based on the stories of the street rappers of Mumbai, with Ranveer Singh playing the protagonist, the film captures the true capitalist divide that runs through the city in this poem. From the hungry, tired faces of workers and street kids fighting for their lives every day to the images of under-construction buildings and dug up streets from where Singh raps, the visuals evoke the simmering anger within these souls. 

The lyrics by Javed Akhtar and Divine, an unlikely combination of poets if any, captures this very sentiment. The free verse poem speeds through themes like loneliness, greed, ambition, the apathy of the rich and corruption with simulated ease. With its rhythmic meter, the rap also hits the theme's nail on the head with the line 

Ek duniya me do duniya 

Ujala ek andhera

Ek sethji aur ek chela 

This is the anger of the underdog, left simmering through the years, erupting through his poetry. Following through from 'Apna Time Aayega' and 'Mere Gully Mein', the song ups the ante against the establishment with its fiery lyrics. 

Singh controls and channels his usually exuberant energy for this rap. The actor's flow and control of the verses are admirable, but it is his emphasis on the right points that make the impact. With Divine providing the backing vocals, the combination is hypnotic. 

Rishi Rich's music stays below the radar, offering the foundation for the free verse to build upon. The beats are timed to perfection, and the immersive camera work throughout adds to the emphasis of their meaning. 

Gully Boy will be released on 14 February. 

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