As the rap scene in Bhutan continually grows with more youths being involved in releasing their own songs, artists do not feel rap is a widely accepted genre among the whole of the Bhutanese population.
Popular rap artist and Flo studio owner and producer Drona said, “When it comes to Rap people are not usually willing to sponsor us.”
Similarly, Rapper Nala said, “Support need not necessarily be money it can be something simple as like, comment or share in social media.”
The lack of support for rap stems from the general misconception that the people have. “When people think of rap they think of violence, drugs and gangs.
However, it is not what people think, it is more of expressing yourself,” said rapper Drona.
This is echoed by Nala who also said that he wrote down what he felt and he could express his emotions that way.
Despite the difficulties in getting official and mainstream support, the two rappers remain very enthusiastic about rap.
While they may not be a part of the mainstream Bhutanese culture the rappers, like some of their colleagues, have a huge following with the youth on YouTube with their videos and songs hitting record views.
The dilemma faced by the two rappers in terms of making a living out of rap would be the same faced by these young and budding artists online. They cannot have huge album sales with a small market and making a living full-time out of rap shows is also not possible.
However, these young artists are making a huge impact on the Bhutanese youth beyond the well known films and serials.
Rap in Bhutan, like in the rest of the world is a mix between poetry, protest songs, an expression and a reflection of the realities of the street and in a way -life. It has its roots in the African-American culture in USA but has become a global cultural movement with each country and culture adapting it to its own format and use.
Drona is a student at RTC but still runs his studio, the Flo studio giving interested artists a recording platform. Nala, a trained chef, is involved in numerous other areas but his primary focus is on music. Both artists create their own music and own beats which they use for themselves or make for others.
The two artists encourage people to follow their passion and keep working hard regardless of obstacles that may slow them down.
However, there are many other Rappers in Bhutan and though Nala and Drona are among the better known names there are many out there making an impact.