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MASHABLE: Internet Comment Theater!

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This was a fun day. Check me out in an episode of Mashable‘s Internet Comment Theater![/fusion_text][/one_full]

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/

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The Asoka Hustle on VICELAND!

ViCELAND ASOKA 2

My music is featured on tonight’s episode of Huang’s World on VICELAND. Watch as Eddy Huang explores Burgundy, France and drinks his way through the finest wines in all the world. Shoutout to VICELAND, the entire team of Huang’s World, and especially Carlos Haynes!

Excited. Grateful. Happy… These are the words that come to mind at this moment.

10 PM. VICELAND. Tune in.

 

ViCELAND ASOKA

 

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Remembering Fatal…

 

“As some of you know 2Pac‘s music has had a huge influence on me. It was his music that initially turned me onto Hip Hop music. The same can be said for his group of brothers, “The Outlawz.”

Fatal and Noble, from The Outlawz, were the first artists to take the time to talk with me, give me guidance and collaborate with me. I always look at my records with them as milestone moments in not only my career, but also my life. I remember doing those records and pinching myself to see if this was in fact reality…. And indeed it was!

The songs we created together are amongst some of my fondest memories. They are proof that dreams do come true. That if you work hard and are nice to people… Good things can and still do happen.

It deeply saddened my heart to learn that Fatal tragically passed away last week. Life is so fragile and we should never take it for granted. I’m still in shock… I don’t think it’s fully resonated with me yet. I was talking to my good friend Tero, who handled most of the artwork for Fatal’s albums, and he was saying, “I can’t believe I won’t be hearing from him again. We just spoke last week about a new project.”

With a heavy heart, I want to share two songs that I recorded with Fatal. Two of my fondest memories in music… “Heroes Always Die and “Remember.”