If you’re a fan of India’s gully rap music, you will remember March 20, 2022, as a sad day for the music industry. Dharmesh Parmar, better known by his stage name MC Tod Fod, sadly and shockingly passed away due to a heart attack on that day. He was most recognized for his work with Swadesi, a hip-hop collective that was one of the country’s first socially conscious artists.
MC Tod Fod’s was known for realistic lyrical reflections of everyday life and its struggles. His final live performance was at Swadesi Mela on March 19, 2022, alongside his multi-lingual hip-hop group Swadesi.
Dharmesh began rapping at the age of 16 and wrote a number of songs, including ‘Plandemic‘, released in 2020 – speaking of the Global Pandemic and its adverse effect on the common people, and ‘The Warli Revolt’, speaking of the corrupt politicians taking advantage of the local Adivasi people. MC Tod Fod called his rapping style “conscious rap” and rapped in his native language of Gujrati. He was well-known for his environmental activism, opposition to injustice, and participation in numerous protests.
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Communicated earlier this month via Instagram, Swadesi announced a celebration of MC Tod Fod’s Life with a two-day music festival to be held in Mumbai, India. The event will take place on June 11 and 12 at Interim Space (Worli) and AntiSocial (Lower Parel).
This two-day celebration will be a fully crowdfunded event. As shared on the crowdfunding campaign platform, Fuel A Dream, the proceeds will be used to cover the costs of the event and the production of merchandise. Dharmesh’s family fund, a Tod Fod digital museum exhibiting his work, and an environmental conservation program will benefit from this crowdfunding campaign.
At the time of writing, the funds generated are INR 3,65,626 (USD 4698.41) with the target being INR 6,00,000 (USD 7715.40).
Some of MC Tod Fod’s favourite bands, groups, artists, and dance crews are scheduled to appear at this tribute event. On June 11, RAPHOPpER, Street Force Pune, Tappori’s Paradise, WildWildWomen – India’s first all-female hip-hop collective, hip-hop group Khabardar and Swadesi will perform at Interim Space, an artist-run studio and alternative art space.
On June 12th, the Boombay Djembe Folas – musicians who play Indian and traditional West African rhythms, DJ URI, Abhanga Repost, Ta Dhom Project – a multilingual rap project fused with sounds of the Mridangam and Konnakol, and the Many Roots Ensemble will take the stage at antiSocial.
Since this announcement, there has been a lot of buzz on artists’s social media accounts, informing their followers that they will be at the event and encouraging people to spread the word and support this campaign.
Swadesi recently performed one of their first shows since the death of MC Tod Fod in Mumbai and Pune, alongside WildWildWomen and Indian metal band Gutslit. The performance in Mumbai was sold out, with a capacity crowd witnessing a one-of-a-kind concert of hip-hop, metal, and gully rap, as well as stage diving and mosh pits.
Follow Swadeshi on Instagram HERE
For more information on the festival and crowdfunding campaign, click here