• Artist: MOKSH
  • Genre: Hip Hop/Independent
  • Language: Hindi
  • Best Track: “Bharat”
  • Weakest Track: none
  • Duration: 11 min 20 sec
  • Release Date: August 13, 2021

Shillong-born rapper MOKSH has released his new 4-track EP under the music collective MOX (MOX stands for “Movement of Expression”). MOKSH came up with the concept for ‘At Your Service’ when he tested positive for COVID 19 in May this year. “While recovering, he was overwhelmed with the support he received from genuine and kind strangers and acquaintances alike”, says the official statement. So let’s dive in…

“Rose” is the opening track. The beat creates intrigue even though it sounds like your usual gansta style hip-hop. Some might even liken it to the UK drill scene. In fact, it sounds like the beat in Daily Duppy Freestyles for the GRM Daily channel. But MOKSH’s confident Hindi rap delivery elevates this track to something of substance and sincerity. In a way, “Rose” creates the blueprint for what we will be hearing in this extended play as it sets down the lyrical themes: unity, chaos, diversity, patriotism, national identity and corruption.

Next we have “Gadbad Hai”. It is lyrically the boldest song on the record. MOKSH doesn’t pull any punches when calling out “bhakts”, corruption in the government and inefficient officers. There is also a hint of atheism, or lack of theism, when the rapper declares that in the end, there is no god that will make things better for us. The change has to begin with us.

The strongest, and catchiest, track would have to be “Bharat”. Featuring Guwahati-based producer Basshole, it’s a patriotic song that calls for unity and acceptance, while avoiding being blindly jingoistic. When the hard-hitting chorus is delivered, few will be able to resist moving to the music. MOKSH goes: “Hum hain Bharat aur Bharat hai hum.”… “Haan, hum hi se toh Bharat ban ta. Haan, hum hi se toh Bharat ban ta.” It has a sense of duty without coming off as prim, thanks to the swagger of the beat and rapper.

The EP finally concludes with “Rehne De”. It features Kabir Jamatia and takes quite a different approach, lyrically. While the preceding tracks were intense, empowered and a call to take action, “Rehne De” is a call to step back and take a breath. MOKSH raps of turning away from the problems in society for a while and to look within. Constant activism can lead to burn-outs, cynicism and jadedness. So it is essential to take a break sometimes. The emcee raps of self emancipation, self reflection, self-judgement, of letting go, and to take the burdens of the world off of one’s shoulders. He is right, for how can an Indian make a change in this country, if they don’t make peace with themselves first. ‘At Your Service’ is worth the listen and will make you bop your head while you work out or do your chores, for it has a solid message as well as catchy tunes. It is the latest gem in Indian conscientious rap, and has a great backstory to it regarding those sadly affected by the Covid virus. One can purchase MOKSH’s new EP on Skillbox.

All proceeds will go into providing ration and essential goods like sanitary pads to 500 households in each state of Northeast India via Impulse NGO Network.‘At Your Service’ is now streaming on Spotify.

Listen to it on YouTube:

Also read: New Songs Saturday: A look at this week’s track releases

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