Divine – “Jungle Mantra” (Feat. Pusha T & Vince Staples)
The Mumbai rapper Divine raps in Hindi, and he’s apparently a star in India. (He’s not the late drag legend who starred in all those John Waters movies. That’s a different Divine.) On his new song “Jungle Matra,” Divine has teamed up with two of America’s best rappers, Vince Staples and Pusha T. The song is part of the soundtrack of the forthcoming Netflix movie The White Tiger, and it finds all three rappers talking about hustling. (At least, I think Divine is talking about hustling. I don’t speak Hindi, but he’s got that talking-about-hustling tone in his voice.)
Staples and Pusha both sound like they’re paychecking on “Jungle Mantra,” but they’re professionals, and they make it work. Pusha gets in a few slick lines, too: “‘Sace robe, my penthouse at the Ritz/ Rush the paper, fourth and inches blitz.” And it’s cool to hear both of them on bhagra-style drum patterns. Divine’s hook is a real earworm, too.
Rappers have been using Bollywood samples for decades; that’s the hook behind CJ’s current hit “Whoopty.” But I haven’t heard a major American rapper team up with an Indian artist since Jay-Z and Panjabi MC made “Beware of the Boys (Mundian To Bach Ke)” in 2002. It’s a cool comination! I hope it happens more! Check out “Jungle Mantra” below.
The White Tiger will be on Netflix 1/22.