Raja Wilco’s lyrics are able to offer feelings at no cost. He encourages his listeners to love, criticize, ignore, and anticipate without any of the risks of which these feelings may engage us in. Further, an artist’s songs must also be comprised of ideas, which give significance to its listeners and the society to whom it is addressed to. If the ideas of a song are superficial or fallacious, the song will be equally superficial or fallacious. However, when listening to Raja Wilco’s songs, one comes to the understanding that they are anything but misleading. His songs are all based upon real-life situations, real-life people, circumstances, and feelings. A listener knows that his lyrics are anything but superficial because they can find one aspect of the song and be able to relate to it at a personal level.
If an artist is singing about a place, a progression, or a society, it matters that they get it right – and Raja Wilco does just that. Listeners who know a song’s subject matter would be diverted by incautious innovation. Even listeners who don’t know a song’s subject matter can tell if the artist has done the needed research; without it, the song would have a thin, implausible quality. When we’re depicting situations we’ve lived through, background can complete breaches in out reminiscence, broaden our perception, and make out lyrics affluent.
When we listen to music, we listen for ideas, which are brought forth to us – ideas that might be muffled or obscured for any other artist to write about. But for Raja Wilco, these ideas are close to his heart and hold a true meaning. One track of Raja Wilco’s, which stands out from the rest, is titled “Stand Up,” and it is about the tsunami and lost souls. But the most profound of all his songs would be “The General,” produced by ILL-S & Sureet. In “The General” that Raja Wilco discusses history, politics, deepness of music and fighting for what you believe in. The only way to truly understand the meaning behind his lyrics is to physically read them. The main chorus of “The General” is as follows: "…What you fight for…love, respect, hate. What you fight for…pride, honor, fate. What you fight for…family, friends, belief. What you fight for…justice, humanity, peace. What you fight for…mind, heart, soul. Whatever I fight for never lose sight of my goal, 'Cause I'm a general, I'm a renegade…Never put the pen away, till I see a better day…"
The challenge of lyrical narrative is to desire details that grant insight into the framework of a song, without exaggerating it, so that every single point in a song becomes symbolic. Using a wide array of sensory details would help the song in establishing simultaneous feelings of profusion and restlessness. In today’s era of hip-hop, where lyrics have been watered down and lyrical focuses are monotonous, Raja Wilco is an artist who combines superlative lyricism and metaphorical wit, with diverse flows; he is an artist who will bridge underground hip-hop with mainstream rap all with a splash of masala sprinkled over it. This “splash of masala” is evident when you listen to Wilco’s other chartbuster, “Tonight.” Wilco's implausible and fantastic free-style type flow cause this song to be a killer on its own. Just read on and you’lsee why. “KABOOM! Look who stepped in the room, eyes half closed from the purple fumes...Hold up, Wilco know what the purple do, let me get you a glass, let me flirt with you. And I love what you’re wearing, halter-top, jeans and I can’t stop staring. Girl I wanna see you drop it like it’s hot, yeah, plus, me feeling’ your earrings be. Of course Johnny, splash of pani, ice dasani, mami behind me’s a hottie, half Pakistani, half Hindustani, I picture hun (yup) in a sexy sari…”
Wilco’s wit is also evident in the track which he performed, titled, “Come With Me,” where he tells the female, “I love what you’re wearin’, you’re a fan of fashion, but Dolce, Gabbana, Prada, nada…my suggestion is Wilco, strictly Raja…” He is charismatically able to put his lyrical wittiness and intelligence into play, as he easily rhymes to the music.
The key to picking any kind of subject matter is to follow our own passions and the tingling of the subconscious, rather than an idea about what another listener might find motivating, adequate, or scandalous. Effortlessly, Raja Wilco is able to put his thoughts into rhythms that flow passionately. His fervent and fiery lyrics, which can be heard on his version of the hit song, “Kaho Naa Kaho,” truly render to the listener how it feels to have been in love and then lose it. “Deep emotions, deep like oceans, we must’ve devoured a secret potion of love, dripping’ like leaking lotion, if you divide me, you must be the quotion…every breath we take it’s meant to be fate…I would sacrifice life to spend a fraction of time in your presence…”
Raja Wilco is the type of artist who will present hip-hop to those who haven’t recognized it before and bring South Asian culture out to the forefront of the mainstream musical culture. Raja Wilco grew up with a hard influence of Hip-hop, Reggae, and R&B, along with the family exhibiting Hindi music. Growing up in a tremendously multi-cultural society with an infinite diversity in languages, religions and race he has appreciated and respected all types of music. Quickly, Wilco’s concentration ignited into hip-hop and its culture.
With all this said, keep in mind that a singer’s material evolves over time. This means the ideas, places, relationships, which occurred in their life, in different forms, over the course of their creativity. With this said, I can easily assert that no other artist, who I’ve come across, has been so proficient at portraying the vagaries of unrequited love with such humble and unremitting clarity, as Raja Wilco.
Generally, there is no change for a listener if the song is about a random night or pointless attraction. Nonetheless, after listening to Wilco’s lyrics, and even reading them, one feels a sudden urge inside themselves to take action. Simply put, Wilco engages the listeners’ minds, as well as their sensations and emotions. He brilliantly does this by finding an edge of humor or monitoring lyrical actions and thoughts so precisely that the emphasis is on the listeners’ comprehension and appreciation.
In today’s generation of South Asian performers, there have been many names which have had their time in the limelight, Jay Sean, Bombay Rockers, Juggy D, Raghav, to name a few, and based on gathered standpoints, they all seem to be singing about the same thing, gradually losing appeal. Raja Wilco might not have the fan base and popularity as of yet; nonetheless, he is a rising star, and people across the nation, as well as in the UK, are quickly learning that this name is here to stay. Raja Wilco breaks away from the norms of a typical performer in the sense that he just doesn’t sing about a girl and how much he’s attracted to her. He finds a deeper meaning within that desirability and temptation, and pulls his listeners closer to him, so that they feel the same tempestuous and enthusiasm as he does.
In the end, I simply state, that an artist, such as Wilco, should be able to use dramatic subjects to provoke a change, whether it is large or small, in the community he has been produced from. Dramatic subjects include infirmity, demise, warfare, rebellions, or unfaithfulness. If a song’s intention is to provoke either tears or happy sighs from the listener, then it jeopardizes itself from developing into something sentimental or maudlin. In opposition, what works best for Wilco is that he has the ability to obscure the subject, and he does not look for the anticipated or distinctive emotion or psychological response. Instead, Wilco looks for something more intricate and individual.
By pushing our limits, we endeavor to expose our full potential and Raja Wilco is an artist who has pushed passed his limits. He keeps intensifying his forte, rather than making illogical alterations, and brings our senses back to the soul of the song. Raja Wilco is a name to never be forgotten, and always remembered. After looking at Raja Wilco, I can only conclude that discovering a new, compelling, and non-traditional artist seems to be the magic of my work. Get ready for the ride of lifetimes, as the Indian pioneer in hip-hop takes us all on a voyage through time and space & brings us back to the future…Raja That!
Words by Tirusha.