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#TEAMASOKA

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Grew up watching wrestling – idolizing the giants on the screen. As a teenager, I would tell myself that I’d do a wrestling-themed music video one day. Surprisingly it ended up happening organically. I was nominated for best hip-hop act by VH1 overseas and around that time Sonjay Dutt, the current X-Division champion from Impact Wrestling, had invited me to create a new entrance theme for him. He introduced me to a few of the guys when they were doing motion capturing work for one of the WWE 2K video games.

I was new in LA at the time and had never been to Roscoes. So later in the week, we ended up going there and it was then that I found out how much some of these guys loved hip-hop.

Over the next few weeks we started playing around with a beat, a couple of the guys threw some verses down and told me about other wrestlers who would love to be on this record too. And the next thing you know – I had a record with 7 wrestlers on it. Kind of a surreal moment, given that during the process, I had become friends with many of the same people I had seen on TV for years.

It’s been one of the coolest experiences of my life. I released the video a couple days ago and Sports Illustrated featured it on their website.

Scheduling was tough so not everyone could make it in the video. MVP, Sonjay Dutt, and “Disco Dave” (a former WWE & TNA Champion who wishes to remain anonymous on the song) are on the album version of the track. Which is available world-wide on iTunes right now.

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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.

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It’s Almost Time…

Humble Hustle 1 - ReliveHipHopCom

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“Best Hip Hop Artist’ VH1 Nomination!

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yo,

If you want something bad enough you have to believe in it. Just as a wall is made out of individual bricks, realistically all dreams are made out of individual efforts. At times it can seem like a daunting task… but you just have to focus on placing one brick down at a time.

Today I’m ecstatic to announce that I’ve officially been nominated by VH1, for the “Best Hip-Hop Artist” category, at the VH1 Sound Nation Awards later this month.

It’s so crazy to reminisce on how everything’s turned out. I started rapping in Detroit on a three-dollar microphone, got placed on 2Pac album, which led to the feature in Rolling Stone magazine, which in turn enabled me to collaborate with Eminem & Dr. Dre’s artists, to eventually self releasing music videos that would get picked up by MTV & VH1.

Which brings me to today… Believe in yourself even when no one else does. Hard work does pay and good things do come. Win, lose, or draw… It’s been one hell of a ride.

Hit me up on twitter @TheAsoka or Instagram @TheAsoka and let’s chop it up. Let me know which songs you like the most and what videos you think should come next.

Hope you’re enjoying the music as much as I am!

Get Heart Of A Lion on iTunes
Get The Man Of Steel EP on ReliveHipHop.com

Talk soon,

Asoker

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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.

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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