Posts

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.

,

HumbleHustle – Official Music Video

Reality is wrong… Dreams are for real.

Recently, I had a meeting with a record executive from one of the biggest record labels in the world, right here in LA. I was feeling a lot of things that morning… nervous, excited, anxious, thrilled, ecstatic… but most of all reflective. After all, musicians dream of this moment their entire lives. I thought about everything that had led me up to this point… going against the grain, all the hard work, all the bold decisions… The sleepless nights, the hours of writing and recording, the brutal and tedious hours of mixing records to get them to sound just right. I felt that it had all accumulated to this one beautiful moment.

The meeting begins. We start talking… “The music’s good. But you’re Indian. You can’t blow up in America. Go back to India…”

And just like that… with four sentences my story almost ended.

Until I realized, that this man might represent a billion dollar company… He might be in charge of signing new talent for them. But his opinion doesn’t define who I am. And it never will. So without saying much… I kept pushing onwards.

Since then, my new singles have gone into rotation on MTV & VH1 and even more recently… I was nominated for my very first VH1 Award (for “Best Hip-Hop Act“) at the VH1 SoundNation Awards.

No record label.
No publicist.
Just me… writing, recording, self releasing music.

That meeting inspired me to create the HumbleHustle project. A project for artists to come together and create music for the love of creating music. Everybody who worked on this project from the artists, to the engineers, to the cameramen all worked on this for free because they believe in the music. I want to clarify though, this wasn’t a low budget video… It’s a no budget video. We had people volunteer and bring over a hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment including multiple Red Epic cameras. The Red Epic is a top of the line camera used for major motion pictures in Hollywood.

These are professionals from the film, television, and music industry, who took time out of their schedule… Because they dig the music. The video was directed & edited by Carlos Haynes (from VICE media), along with motion graphics and titles by Michael Colby (Mikey Cheeze). Michael was an amazing talent! He did visual effects for campaigns on HBO promoting: Avatar, True Blood, The Dark Knight, The Simpsons Movie, amongst others. Unfortunately, Michael and his girlfriend, passed away the morning after he finished working on the Humble Hustle music video. This project is the last thing he worked on.

A few days following Michael’s departure… A good friend of mine, and also a vital member of the HumbleHustle family, welcomed his first born son into this world. The last one year has been quite a journey. A journey that’s redefined the meaning of humble hustle in my life. I feel privileged and lucky to have been able to work on such a beautiful project with such amazing people. Carlos, Hitt, Chris, Rob, Tero… We did it fellas!

Humble Hustle - VH1 Final
DOWNLOAD
The Asoka – HumbleHustle – Featuring Hittman & Chris Lightfoot

So enjoy HumbleHustle. Share it with all of your friends. And know that there’s plenty more coming from this man. I didn’t come this far to just walk away.
The Asoka

Please visit the Michael Colby Art Scholarship today.

,

BTS: The Humble Hustle pt. 1

The-Asoka-Humble-Hustle

Last week I embarked on a journey with a few of my comrades. We set out to the middle of the desert and what followed was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I grew up wanting to rap. I grew up listening to legends… Not realizing that one day I’d be working with them or calling them friends.  We shot a music video last week for a song that I chose to call “The Humble Hustle.”

I wrote and recorded the song with Hittman…. You know, the Hittman who appeared on more than half of the songs on the Chronic 2001 album by Dr. Dre. The same Hittman, who wrote one of the most iconic hip-hop records of all time… The Next Episode.

Humble-Hustle-The-Asoka-Hittman-Chris

I’ve been working with Hitt over the last year and it’s been a journey on it’s own… Talking to him about different writing techniques to hearing the behind the scene stories of the 2001 album and the Up In Smoke Tour. It’s kind of surreal. I feel like we captured a lot of that on this new record (The Humble Hustle). For the first time, Hitt publicly addresses his feelings towards his situation with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment from 98 till now.

Without a record label involved we also had full creative control on this project. And blessed with a great crew, we had the privilege to shoot this project with multiple RED EPIC cams. Carlos Haynes took the helm as he directed and brought precise greatness to each shot.

Working with Carlos was an absolute pleasure as well. He’s one of the nicest guys that I’ve met, immensely talented and about as humble as they come, no pun intended. You should check out his website CarlosHaynes.com and check out some of his work! You might even recognize some of his work from Big Boi‘s last album “Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors.”

The Humble Hustle music video will be out soon! Until then, I’m working on a few other projects… I’ll catch you on the flip side!

Asoker

 

 

, ,

Updates: Rap Battling with Dane Cook, Being on VH1, and New Music!

The Asoka and Dane Cook after rap battle on Jan 16th 2013
I know I don’t update as often as some people would like… but just know that if I’m away from the site it’s probably because I’m in the studio creating new music or figuring out new ways to get it out to everybody. That being said,  I have some great updates for you!

My new song Win This War (featuring Naia Kete) was placed in rotation on VH1 last month! I know a lot of you have already seen it! I appreciate all of the love and comments through your tweets and emails. Keep em coming!

I’ve also been hard at work on The Remix EP. I’ve been working with numerous producers to give it a unique vibe and I feel like we’re almost there. I’ve been writing and adding to the songs selected for the project. So even though some songs might be familiar… they’re going to be laced with new material.

And lastly, on January 16th 2013, I rap battled Dane Cook on stage at The Hollywood Improv. This was one of the coolest moments in life for me. This guy’s comedy has helped me through some of the darkest periods in my life (including my mother’s illness). And to share a moment on stage with him, was something that I never could have even dreamed possible. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.

Music changed my life mannnnnnn…

Win This War – Official Music Video!

“Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” – Rumi 

The quote above speaks volumes to me. I think every artist can relate to the fact that, we have to do, what we do… It’s not really an option. The art runs through our veins. Welcome to the War of Art! A war that I plan on winning…

Be a part of my battalion. Enjoy the video. Send it in to your favorite blogs, post it on your favorite websites or message boards! Share it on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr! Email it to a friend! Whatever you’d like! Let’s just knock this one out the park!

Much love and special thanks to: Naia Kete, RawKey, PappaArtwork, and Tec!