Interview: Cryptographik Street Poets

Leading the new musical revolution. Here’s Chameleon Press selection of one of the best revolutionaries in this present generation, here in Shillong you need to check out! Cryptographik Street Poets.

 -When did you guys decide to head out with this project?

CSP:  We formed the “Cryptographik Street Poets” on August 2010 and started officially releasing demos as a group around September of that same year. Cryptographik Street Poets is an Underground HipHop Group and also the pioneers of “Underground HipHop” in Shillong.

-You guys started out as a duo right? Just POEM and GREY JAW RIPPER

CSP: Well, initially we started with three members, Prophet Of Esoterical Metaphors[P.O.E.M.] (Andrew Lyndem), Grey Jaw Ripper (Ratul Hajong) and one more member who left the group later that year. Even though there have been a lot of changes in the group’s line-up since the start, Cryptographik Street Poets now consist of Prophet Of Esoterical Metaphors & Grey Jaw Ripper.

(L-R) Mc Poem & Grey Jaw Ripper

-We are aware that you are also doing this label thing, here known as CSP records please elucidate on that.

CSP: Cryptographik Records is an independent label based in Shillong formed with the intention of taking the current independent music scene to a whole new level. We came with the idea of starting a record label mainly because we find that a lot of Independent and Underground music artists has got a lot of untapped potential here.

Though the label was formed quite recently and lacks a lot of proper infrastructure, we are constantly trying to find new ways and ideas to help artists fostered under our label get the proper promotion, marketing and support they deserved.

-Where do you draw the inspiration for your lyrics from?

 CSP: Our lyrics are inspired by what we experience in and around us. We draw inspiration from topics that most people would rather not associate with, you know. We rap about just anything right from the shackling chains of the many forms of social stigma, to the current state of politics, to the desecrated side of religion, to conspiracy theories, and even to the grimy dark areas of the human mind.

Subject matters like these are expressed in our music a lot through our thought-provoking, horror core, egoistic style of lyricism accompanied with complex wordplays, subliminal metaphors, grimy punch-lines, etc delivered with a unique symmetrical flow.

Cryptographik Street Poets (credit: W. Diengdoh)


-What is the toughest thing, about being a hip hop project here in Shillong?

CSP:  One of the toughest thing about being a HipHop Clik in Shillong is the stereotyping mentality of most people (not all) here. They are quick to assume and blindly believe that if one is a HipHop artist in Shillong, then he/she is nothing but a hoodlum or some fame-starved wannabe artist, without even considering the fact that they may be doing it for the love of the art and love for music too, no doubt.

-What do you like the most about what you do?

CSP:  One of the many things we like most about making music is the different types of reactions we get from our listeners when we released any new project that we’re working on, you know. Another thing we love about making music are those moments when we just finished a new project and we just sit back, relax and just let the music play on repeat for hours. (hahahaha)

-You guys have been working on lots of songs lately, any plans to release an album?

CSP: Prophet Of Esoterical Metaphors [P.O.E.M.] is actually working on a mixtape right now “Esoterical Warfare” which will feature a lot of underground artists from all over. The official release date for the mixtape is not decided yet but we are giving the final finishing touches to it so it’s almost at its completion.


-You guys have played gigs in and around Shillong several times, are there any plans of you guys touring to other parts of the country and represent the hip hop community here?

CSP: We are currently trying to get contacts with agents and promoters from all over regarding this, will definitely go for it if opportunities come up, without doubt.

-Lastly anything else you’d like to add for the fans?

CSP: Well, we would like to give a shout out to all the Cryptographik fans out there showing mad love and supporting our Hard, Grimy, Underground Revolutionary Music and best believe the Cryptographik Beasts will always keep making new shit for as long as they can, no doubt. Much love and respect to all yall!! Holla back.


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