Ranveer Singh has been riding high on the success of his previous film Simmba and is now ruling the music charts with his rapping talent. Gully Boy, starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, is the story of a rapper from the streets of Mumbai who dreams of making it big. It takes inspiration from the story of Mumbai based rappers Divine and Naezy, the two men who've done most of the music of the Zoya Akhtar's film. The Gully Boy team launched the music album of the film at a high-octane event in Mumbai last month and it's been on the loop since then. Gully Boy Teaser: Ranveer Singh Will Rap His Way Into Your Heart Straight from the Streets of Mumbai - Watch Video.
With the first three songs, Asli Hip Hop, Apna Time Aayega and Mere Gully Mein becoming instant hits, fans were eagerly waiting to listen to the rest of the album, which consists of 18 tracks in total. The music is finally out and it is definitely something worth the wait. With no mainstream music composers or singers, the music of Gully Boy feels fresh, upbeat, soulful and rocking - all at the same time. While rap and hip hop dominate the list, there is also soft poetry and a soulful track sung by Jasleen Royal.
But that's not all, a couple of Gully Boy tracks - Azadi and Jingostan - have a political punch to them. Here's a review of the complete Gully Boy album!
Asli Hip Hop
The first track of Gully Boy is a rap sung by Ranveer Singh and composed and written by Spitfire. The song begins with beat-boxing and then begins a strongly-written rap. It's like Gully Boy narrating his story and introducing himself. The beat has its bass right and Ranveer does a fabulous job rapping the entire stretch that takes no music breaks. But this track is just the beginning, literally, for what's in store with the rest of the album.
Apna Time Aayega
This track became an anthem as soon as it was released online. There are T-shirts, hashtags, caps all over with the caption Apna Time Aayega. Yet again rapped amazingly by Ranveer Singh, the song has been composed by Dub Sharma and Divine and written by Divine and Ankur Tewari. From the lyrics to the beats, the song takes you on an instant high. To be honest, the first time I listened to the song, I kept it on loop for an entire day.
Mere Gully Mein
Mere Gully Mein is the song that brought Divine and Naezy into the limelight. The movie version of it doesn't really have changes, just that this one has been sung by Ranveer Singh, again. It's as good as the original one was. In fact, the video of the track in the movie is also similar to Divine and Naezy's video of the original song. Gully Boy Song Mere Gully Mein: Ranveer Singh and Rapper Naezy's Recreation of the EPIC Rap Number Is As Good As The Original One - Watch Video.
Doori (2 versions)
The first version of the song Doori is a 1:05-minute track with poetry narrated by Ranveer and music by Rishi Rich, the 'Naal Nachna' fame. The poetry has been written by Javed Akhtar. The second version, which we liked more, is a rap with music by Rishi Rich and some strong lyrics by Javed Akhtar and Divine. It's a soft rap on the social imbalance in the Indian society and you'll like it if you like raps with a message.
This is one of my favourites from the album. It's originally a 2013 song by Raghu Dixit and Midival Punditz and performed by Karsh Kale. If you've not heard the song before, you're going to love the Hindi version of it in the film if you are a Coke Studio or Unplugged fan. This version in the film has additional lyrics by Javed Akhtar and it's as good and beautiful as the original song. Gully Boy Audio Jukebox: Twitterati Goes Gaga Over the Album of Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt Starrer.
Jingostan (2 versions)
Jingostan, sung, composed and written by Dub Sharma, is a brave rap that takes a dig at the politics of India. With lyrics like '2018 hai, desh ko khatra hai', the song is a strong take on the politics of hate. This one, in fact, has the potential of becoming a popular protest anthem. While one version is with full-on music, the other one is a beatbox song and we honestly like this one more.
Sher Aaya Sher
Written and sung by Divine and composed by Major C, Sher Aaya Sher is again a rap. This one is about one roaring his arrival like the lion in the jungle, asking the others to bow down or run away.
Jahaan Tu Chala
This one is a beautiful, breezy break in the middle of the all the raps in the movie. The voice of Jasleen Royal makes it even softer, soulful and melodious.
Now, this is where some politics come into play. Dub Sharma composed Azadi in 2016 when former JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar raised Azadi slogans. While the original track by Dub Sharma begins with Kanhaiya Kumar's slogans, the one in the film begins with a slightly tweaked version of those slogans. Azadi has been composed written and sung by Dub Sharma with vocals also by Divine. This one has a rap in addition to the Azadi slogan and Punjabi song bit. The music is trippy and gets you hooked, especially the 'Ud Jaana' bit.
Kab Se Kab Tak
Another rap sung by Ranveer Singh and additional vocals by Vibha Saraf, this is one of the mellowed down raps in the film. With brilliance in so many tracks in the film, this may not be on the top of your playlist.
This one is a rap by Kaam Bhaari and you'll like it if you are a fan of speed rap. It's one of those Bindaas raps.
Ek Hee Rasta
Ek Hee Rasta somehow reminds you of Farhan Akhtar's 'Zinda Ho Tum' poetry from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. It's more like a poetry and not really a song.
Jeene Mein Aye Maza
Sung, composed and written by Ankur Tewari, this is again one of our favourites from the album. The song instantly reminds you of the classic Jeena Yahaan Marna Yahaan. It's old school, not mainstream, yet catchy.
Har Gham Mein Khushi Hai
This one's again a rap sung by Ace and Ishq Bector and composed and written by Ace. It's in tune with the other raps of the film.
All the Punjabis in the house, put your hands up! No movie really is complete without a Punjabi dance number and Gully Boy picks up this one originally named 'Ni Ek Tere Nain Goriye' sung by Kaka Bhaniawala, Arjun, Blitz & Desi Ma.
And to complete the album, here's India 91 - a Hindi-Marathi-Punjabi rap. With tabla as one of the percussions, the song is catchy. You'd want to listen to this more often.
The Gully Boy Jukebox
Apna Time Aayega, Mere Gully Mein, Train Song, Azadi, Jingostan, Ek Hee Rasta and Goriye.
After a very long time, there has been one Bollywood album that is not mainstream and thankfully so. It has all the elements of becoming a hit music album, especially with the youth. While rap dominates the music of Gully Boy, the other songs are as good. You'll want to sing along many of the tracks. We are giving the album 4 stars out of 5. It's an amalgamation of some great talent and deserves to be heard.