Do you dig Vedic Hindu chants, and cool techno beats? Then it’s time to check out MC Yogi, who has masterfully combined the two elements of traditional Hindu chants and stories and hip hop.
Mc Yogi, the stage name of Nicholas Giacomini was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and began rapping at 13, and by age 17 was practicing yoga and living in a home for at-risk youth. Currently, he is teaching at his yoga studio, “Point Reyes Yoga Studio” and “Yoga Toes” while also working on his music. To be technical about his work he mainly promotes Hindu philosophy and his songs are what are referred to as “bhajans”. Now, that may sound intimidating, but all it means is that it is a devotional song with no form. MC Yogi produced his first album in 2008, entitled Elephant Power, and after that MC Yogi produced an instrumental album, and followed up with two more albums. His latest album Only Love is Real was dropped in January of this year, and follows the same make up as the previous releases. The track “Clear the Path” is motivating with a hip-hop/reggae sound and MC Yogi shows off his rap skills on this track. “We Will Shine” (featuring Dominic Balli) is a pop song and definitely deserves radio play due to its catchy sound and employment of different genres. This track is a little different, because it has a slight dubstep groove, but thankfully the track doesn’t overdo it and turn into club track. Another track, “Heaven Is Here” featuring Matisyahu, is a slower semi-acoustic devotional about eliminating fear and clearing the mind.
The best thing about MC Yogi, is that you do not have to be Hindu, or familiar with Hinduism in any way. MC Yogi raps the philosophy and stories to the listener, making it easy to understand and also accessible. No matter what your religious disposition is, you can enjoy the music and learn something as well. (Konstantina Buhalis)
Favorite Tracks: We Will Shine ft. Domini Balli, Heaven Is Here ft. Matisyahu, Namaste ft.Rohan Kymal
For Fans Of: Bob Marley, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, De La Soul, Digable Planets