In Conversation with Noxious D.

Achint Marwah who goes by the name of MC Noxious D. happens to be a Mumbai-based socio-political rapper who, apart from rapping, also meddles with the hip-hop genre and takes up singing as an additional interest. He endeavoured to do this when he was only 17 years old, and now at 21 years of age, he happens to be a renowned rapper in the hip-hop underground world.

What made you go by the name of ‘Noxious D.’?
Basically the term MC was coined for rappers who are not just rappers. People who can actually entertain the crowd. If you set me free on stage, you can clearly see the fire that builds in the audience as well so I guess that’s what an ‘MC’ is. Whereas in ‘Noxious D,’ ’D.‘ stands for the word Diachronic, which happens to be one of my political rap crews apart from Elsewhere. 'Diachronic’ means someone who is well aware of the entire situation going on around him. ‘Noxious D.’ is like an unpleasant truth that people choose to ignore.

If you had to describe what you do to a person you’ve just met, what would you say?
I would say that I am a poet.

Initially, what got you into music? Where did it all begin?
I had this conversation with my mother a couple of months ago. We were discussing the entire thing and I was asking how, all of a sudden, I built interest in music. She told me how when I was a couple of months old, she had to go to the bank and she couldn’t take me along so she’d told my nana to take care of me. My nana said, “Nahin, mai iska dhyan nahi rakh sakta, kood jata hai kahi bhi,” (no, I can’t take care of him, he jumps anywhere.) So, my mother sat me on a chair and switched on the television. Tuned to MTV, that (1994) was the golden era of music. There was brilliant music on TV, she left me there on the seat and returned home from the bank after around four hours. Once she was back, she saw me sitting on the chair and just jamming to the music while my nana was sitting there, just looking at me. My mom asked him, “Yeh hila yaha se? Isne tang kiye ke nahi?” (Did he move from here? Did he trouble you or not?) My nana replied in the negative. So, I’d say it’s been in my blood.

Describe a day in your ‘rapper’ life.
Rapper life? It’s not money, it’s not drugs. Rapper life is basically this: you go to college, you come back, you listen to your parents, say that this is not the life you want to live, go to your room, produce a beat, rap a verse, write it, and make a living out of it.

How did you reach the platform you’re at right now?
It’s been a good number of years. I was introduced to rap when I was in the third grade. One of my really good friends did this verse of ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem in the classroom and that was the moment I realised, no I didn’t realise that I wanted to be a rapper, but that I was a fan of that guy’s music. I went home and she told me the name, I heard the song and then I heard more songs by him, so initially, I was introduced to Eminem. I am the cliched Indian kid who gets introduced to Eminem first and all the rest later on but whatever. As I grew older, I realised that everything I’ve been through, everything I have seen, I’ve wanted to vent it out because I had anger issues and I still have anger issues. I needed to flush that out somewhere so I figured that poetry is the best way. Gradually, I grew interested in the entire genre, I started writing. I kept writing. My sister was there to review my stuff. She’s a brilliant poet. She’d say, “Wow, that sounded shitty as hell, you’re not supposed to rhyme like that. Are you trying to write a nursery rhyme?” (Laughs) That was the biggest challenge I had, to please my sister. Once I was writing this song called “Higher Pt. II” and she told me I was better now, better than my previous nursery rhymes. She was basically the motivation for me and I’d thank her for that.

What would the last line of your autobiography be?
(Long pause) “Thank you.” (Giggles and adds) No, it’s going to be, “You’re welcome.”

Which one of your own works has influenced you the most?
I did this song called ‘Relentless’ with one of my crew mates called Kav-E. This story is really funny. I mean, I was in first year BMM and there was this lecture on mass communication going on and the teacher was done with her subject. There were still 15 minutes left, so she told us we could do whatever we wanted in the classroom. I took out my writing pad, I had the recording of the same song that day, and I started writing. My co-ordinator peeps into my notebook and she’s like, “What are you writing?” I told her that it was a song that I was working on. She read what was written and asked me why I was abusing the teacher. I may have used words like bitch and all. I told her that I was a socio-political rapper and I was talking about politics. She told me to read it out in front of the entire class. I went over there, I rapped the entire verse and the class was applauding so ma'am let me go. She confiscated my notebook though.

Which one of someone else’s work has influenced you and how?
My journey, as you know, began with Eminem but as I grew as an artiste, artistes like Immortal Technique, Eyedea, Brother Ali, and various others inspired me.

What are you working on as of now, or what are you releasing next?
I have this song called ‘De facto’ that’s going to come out really soon. By the beginning of next year, I might release a mixtape.

What according to you, is more important, the idea or its execution?
According to me, the gap between it, when you are working towards executing it, that’s what’s important. Because if you have an idea but you don’t work on it, it’s of no use.

What does it take as a person to do this and what are the circumstances involved?
You’re supposed to be willing to take a risk of living without shelter for the rest of your life but if you love it, go for it.

Had you not chosen to pursue this, what would you be doing?
I would be playing National Level basketball by now. When I was in junior college, I played State Level. I guess I would be National Level by now, representing Bombay.

If you were a pizza delivery guy, how would you benefit from scissors?
(Long pause) Is that supposed to be funny?

How do you balance your professional life with your personal life?
On a weighing scale. (laughs)

If you were a box of cereal, what would you be and why?
(I’d say Chocos because you’re black.)
(Laughs) Just because I rap, I’m black? That’s some bad stereotyping. If I was a box of cereal, I would be… ‘Chocos Moons and Stars’ because my mom said, ‘Mai unka chanda hoon’ (I’m her moon) and well, because I’m a star.

What would your top three sentences in a game of ‘two truths and a lie’ be?
i. Girls love me.
ii. I have a girlfriend.
iii. I have a boyfriend.

What’s your least favourite thing about yourself?
Self-criticism. Most of the time I hate myself, but I guess that’s how most poets are.

Are you involved in something other than music?
Professionally, not yet.

With regard to what you’re pursuing, do you have a story for your grandchildren?
I have a brilliant story for my grandchildren. It’s going to be around four hours long. It’s about my entire journey.

What has been your most amusing fan experience?
There are too many flattering moments. I performed in Lokmanya Tilak College near Thane somewhere and there were these two girls who were continuously singing along to ‘Kyoon Maine’ and since I was talking to the audience, they suddenly screamed, ‘I love you.’ Although I was talking about something, I shut up, I looked at them, I point at them and I say, ‘I love you.’ And oh, the reaction they had! Later that day, they followed me on Instagram. I followed them back and they took a screenshot of that, they shared it. Almost like a celebrity had followed them back.

Do you think you’re making a difference to the world?
If my voice is being heard, yes.

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