Shauharty and ARSLAN's Hip-Hop Single Samples A 'Nukkad Natak' With A Poignant Message

NUKKADNATAK 1:1Shauharty and Arslan

NUKKADNATAK 1:1 by Shauharty and Arslan is a gritty and incisive introduction to their abstract hip hop album, MADHEERA. The track features unusual flows and scratchy, textured sounds that bolster it as a standout project in underground hip-hop. The use of sampling throughout the album is impeccably done, however, NUKKADNATAK 1:1 is one of the most innovative Indian samples because of the grounding force it provides for the rest of the album.

The most striking feature of this track is the use of a sample from a nukkad natak  on Youtube called "Hindi Bimar Hai," which translates to "Hindi is sick ''. Nukkad nataks are a form of street theatre that are performed in public spaces, often with political or social messages. Using the raw acoustics of a percussive instrument such as a dafli or a dholki, nukkad nataks are meant to be musical in nature, with a rawness that exudes a gravitational force. In this case, the sampled nukkad natak is about the dying use of Hindi in India, which is a topic of much debate and discussion in the country. The production on this track is especially raw, with shauharty and ARSLAN crafting a soundscape that perfectly complements the nukkad natak sample. 

If heard with attention, the entire project plays out like a play, a theatre experience, it’s cinematic and theatrical so it only made sense for us to establish our intentions about the ‘playing out’ of the project since the get-go hence the usage of the nukkadnatak. The project is very chaotic, from it’s mixing choices, to production sonics, to song structures, we were trying to achieve royalty in chaos, hence ‘Aao Aao Naatak Dekho’ as any drama depiction is chaotic, more often than not.

Artist shauharty on the thought process behind the intro to MADHEERA.

Innovative sampling is one of the hallmarks of hip hop, and Indian hip hop is just starting to scratch the surface of its potential. Artists like shauharty and ARSLAN are using their music to explore the diverse cultural heritage of India, and the use of nukkad natak samples is just one example of the creative ways in which they are doing so. As the genre continues to grow and evolve, we can expect to see more artists pushing the boundaries of sampling, and creating truly fresh sounds that weave the rich tapestry of India's cultural heritage.