• Tue, Dec 18, 2018
Features

Fake Adidas and Genuine Verses- FTS Elementries

features Dec 19, 12:43pm

FTS Elementries feel the biggest reason behind the birth of the collective revolves around the four musicians' mild dissociation with the 'hip-hop scene'. 
 Photo Courtesy: Suhas Thobbi, FTS Elementries

Beyond the 2017 narrative that hip-hop in India has witnessed "an immense rise this year" lies an extremely basic truth. The consistency of 'collectives' feeding the rather welcoming and wide fanbases across India provided a necessary boost to the narrative. Traditionally focusing on a particular genre and crowd, the venues and promoters were dragged out of their oblivion, thanks to the efforts from The Hip Hop Movement, the drive from desi hip-hop websites and collectives like FTS Elementries.

 

 

The FTS Elementries collective, boasting the average age of 20, performed at Rock Street Journal's recent outing in Bonobo, Bandra and opened for Delhi-based IJA (who executed their first ever Bonobo set too). The four-piece collective, featuring Rayson4 7 and Tienas (the duo calls themselves 'FTS' - not to be confused with FTS Elementries) and Prophets featuring Quest and Nuke, was formed exactly a year ago. Hence, the evident rawness in their approach coupled by the sheer urge to create something that the rappers around them have failed to, clearly found space in their Saturday night's performance. 

 

"I want to kill myself before every performance," confesses Tienas on pre-performance anxiety. But none of that nervousness travels with him on the stage. The rapper, barring the rare attempts to connect with the crowd, prefers to communicate largely with his collective in order to fight the anxiety. These communications often extend to on-stage banter and inside jokes, but the other rappers - especially Rayson4 7 - follow the opposite approach. Despite the differences in their presentation of the art that they find themselves profoundly obsessing about, FTS Elementries feel the biggest reason behind the birth of the collective revolves around the four musicians' mild dissociation with the 'hip-hop scene' (In fact, one of their songs strongly reflect the same mood). 

 

 

"I have nothing against other collectives. I just do not connect with this underground scene. I listen to the AR Rahmans and the Amit Trivedis and I believe they are terrific," replies the 23 year old upon asked if he worships any 'heroes' closer to home. That Tienas idolises Eminem should not come as a surprise to anyone who's heard him spit verses after verses with a genuine attempt to Slim Shady-fy his live performances. With compositions like 'Fake Adidas' and 'I Rap for Dead Rappers', the musician reflects the crowded thoughts and narrows it down to a few dozen words that complements the same. "Every time I create a song, I realise I am not satisfied with it." So, how does he cope up with this cycle? "I wander, and I create more songs." Pretty effective, argues the rapper.

 

Tienas emphasises, throughout the chat, that the songs do not speak more than what they stand for. However, the other half of the four piece collective 'Prophets' overpower other factors in the collective's year-long journey so far, as something Tienas and Rayson4 7 feel extremely proud about. In December 2016, Tienas and Rayson4 7 held an informal audition to find two other songwriters to begin a journey that later found identity under 'FTS Elementries'. The collective, towards the mid 2017, created a YouTube channel and began populating their latest project with individual originals and collective efforts. Tienas acknowledges he's in 'no wonderland', but that doesn't stop him from aspiring to be the greatest rapper in the world. 

 

 

Speaking about great rappers, the tempt soared high to not miss the opportunity to engage him with a question concerning Eminem's (his idol) latest album, which failed to create as much a buzz among music critics since its release. The rapper replies, "To each his own. I was flabbergasted and failed to find words to appreciate how tight the album sounded. Of course, there would be people who will celebrate Honey Singh's music, and people who will diss him. The problem is, no one gave a shit about Honey Singh when his lyrics comprised socio-political angles. However, when he moved to alcohol and ladies, the man topped rankings everywhere." Tienas extends his dissatisfaction involving the current trends to the usual suspects - the 'Badshahs' of Bollywood and the generation's hunger to adopt what's cooking in the West. 

 

“"When I am confident, I do not stutter at all. I do not stutter when I rap because I am a slave to the rhythm,"”
- Tienas

 

The rapper, who stutters when he's not singing, credits the absence of the complexity while singing to the anxiety that arrives with pressure. "When I am confident, I do not stutter at all. I do not stutter when I rap because I am a slave to the rhythm," adds Tienas. The rapper also credits the crowd's response (or the lack of it) as a driving factor to the rapper's growing confidence. "When the crowd supports you, you give your best. When the crowd doesn't, you give ten times more." 

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