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Coach’s Wrestling Class – A Short Film

I grew up watching wrestling. The loud promos of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson were always echoing out of my living room. Three weeks into high school I was labeled “the wrestling kid.” Maybe it was because I talked about it all the time… Or maybe it was because I wore a different wrestling shirt to school everyday, consistently, for three weeks!? We may never know the answer.

If you’re reading this… You probably know how madly and deeply in love, I am with hip-hop. I started writing songs in high school. I would lay awake at night and think about how one day I’d be famous (hey, it can still happen… Right!?) and do a wrestling themed music video. I could see it in my head – I’d invite all my favorite wrestlers to be a part of it.

The universe can be really slick at times. Because a variation of that actually happened (though I’m still working on the famous part – It can still happen RIGHT?!?). And it all began with my dear friend Sonjay Dutt.

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Rolling Stone on The Asoka Hustle

 

When I started rapping in high school, I had no idea what the journey would have in store… Looking back, I couldn’t be happier. Thank you Rolling Stone magazine for showing me love and checking out what I’ve been cooking up. If you haven’t heard it yet – check out The Asoka Hustle on iTunes.

The World Champion!

 

Got world champions on my album. So yeah, this album’s about to kick some ass! #MyCoStarsAreBetterThanYours Photo by: Erika Lane Enggren

I’ve been sitting on this album for a moment. Going to release it when I’m ready; on my own terms. It’s my love letter to music. A piece of work that I’m comfortable being defined by. Collaborated with some amazing people on this. Humbled to create art with each and every one of you. The world is dark but creating this album brought me freedom and had me free from concern. Catch me soon… On your playlists and right here, at ReliveHipHop.com.

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The Rolling Stone Interview – The Asoka

Rolling-Stone-Quote-Asoka-July-2016

 

Mad love to Rolling Stone Magazine and especially their team in Mumbai, India! For four years, I’ve been quietly working on my sophomore album, The Asoka Hustle. The album wraps this week and the time for resurgence is this Fall. Thank you enormously to everyone who shared my vision and chose to be a part of my beautiful chaos. I love you all.

Article Courtesy of Rolling Stone Magazine…

When Indian-American hip-hop artist Karan Batta was younger, he used to stay up late at night thinking about the kind of rap music and wrestling-themed videos he wanted to make.  “I wanted to do a song with a bunch of wrestlers because I used to watch them on TV,” says the 27-year-old Los Angeles-based rapper, who also goes by his stage name The Asoka, over a phone interview.

Batta’s dream finally came true last year when he was called in to work on a theme song for Indian-American pro-wrestler Sonjay Dutt. “He invited me to hang out with a bunch of the wrestlers and I got to meet so many guys,” he recalls. One thing led to another: one of the wrestlers in the group showed Batta his own rapping skills, prompting the idea to invite more wrestlers to rap on a track together. “Team Asoka”— the tentative first single from Batta’s upcoming album The Asoka Hustle — now features bars from various wrestling champions including Dutt, Brian Kendrick, MVP, John Morrison, Rocky Romero, Katerina Waters and more. “A lot of [them] love hip-hop, so we ended up getting a whole roster on there,” explains Batta.

The Asoka Hustle, which releases in September, is Batta’s second record, and as he explains, his “most honest and open album to date.” The followup to his 2013 debut Heart of a Lion, the full-length release is “an intimate journey,” he says. “It’s like a time capsule of this period in my life which was about being young in Hollywood and meeting and working with my heroes.”

Honing his rap skills for the last 13 years, Batta briefly worked with producer and legend Dr. Dre [on the 2015 Dr. Dre album Compton and, as a screenwriter, on a commercial for him] recorded a track with American rapper Hittman and featured on an official mixtape released by Tupac Shakur’s estate in 2006. Also an actor [with two upcoming movies], Batta says that it’s tough to escape the clutches of stereotypes in most industries in America. He says, “When you go out to these auditions being Indian, they’ll give you a script and be like ‘Can you do it in an Indian accent?’ I mean… don’t put me in a box.”

It’s a similar situation in music, with many big record labels and audiences expecting a certain ‘Indian-ness’ from him. “It does get frustrating sometimes,” he says. “I’ve been in meetings with major music companies in the world and they’ve said, ‘Well you’re Indian, you have to rap in Hindi and be Bollywood, otherwise it won’t work.’ But Batta has decided to stick to his own brand of Tupac-influenced rap to break through the idea of what a rapper should or shouldn’t be. “I don’t look like a ‘typical rapper’ but I feel in a way that works in my advantage,” says Batta.

http://rollingstoneindia.com/the-asoka-dont-put-me-in-a-box/

We Shootin’

RED Dragon

Ah, made you look. You’re just a slave to a page in my rhyme book.

The Humble Hustle crew is back together… workin’ on #TheAsokaHustle.