I can write about anything from a Lamborghini to a Luna: Roll Rida 

Rapper Roll Rida talks to CE about life post the release of Poonakaalu Loading, his latest hit single from Waltair Veerayya  
Roll Rida (L);  Poonakaalu Loading poster
Roll Rida (L); Poonakaalu Loading poster

One of the major reasons for the success of Chiranjeevi's latest Sankranthi release, Waltair Veerayya, is definitely Devi Sri Prasad’s energy-filled music. While every number made quite an impact, Poonakaalu Loading was all the more special because the massy number is the first time Chiranjeevi and Ravi Teja share screen space in the film, and also dance together. While jathara-themed songs are dime a dozen in Telugu cinema, the catchy rap portions by Hyderabad-based Indie rapper-songwriter Rahul Kumar Velpula, popularly known as Roll Rida, breathed fresh life into this tried-and-tested genre. 

Talking to CE about how the collaboration came into being, Roll Rida says, “DSP sir wanted lyrics that sounded colloquial and gibberish at the same time while emanating a playful, new-age vibe. Being a native of Telangana, I have always been particularly amused by the way people speak here. People don’t say "have you gone to school?”, they say, “Have you gone to school-iskool”. They like to pair up words that way, school-iskool, function-ginction, kaan-paan, and so on. That is where I drew inspiration from for the rhyme-heavy lyrics “Lyric gyric pakan pet beat geat lapet lapet”. I came to Chennai to meet DSP sir in his studio and wrote these lyrics in five minutes." 

Delving into his writing, and how his background contributes to the process, Roll Rida shares, “I studied in an ICSE school where speaking in the Queen’s English was the norm, but I also spent my childhood, roughing it in the gullies. This melange of both worlds helped me imbibe both bookish knowledge and street smarts, which provide depth and range to my words. From a Lamborghini to a Luna, I can write about anything.” 

Although Poonakaalu Loading has given Roll Rida quite a boost in the industry, this is not his first foray into films. The musician has earlier worked with composers like MM Keeravani, Thaman and Mickey J Meyer on a number of chartbusters. It is not often we see rappers in Telugu cinema, and Roll Rida too agrees that he has a rather anomalistic career. “My entry into movies was because my Indie career wasn't really lucrative. Working parallelly in cinema made me understand more about making music for the masses. I took these insights and the money that films offered me and funneled it into my Indie career”.

Having worked in a Mega Star film, the rapper-songwriter is clear about balancing success in films with making further inroads in his Indie career. “While this is undoubtedly a great opportunity, people have been urging me to get back to making my own music. So, I am planning to compose, produce and release eight original audio singles very soon,” signs off Roll Rida.

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