Straight from the multi-cultural crucible of Toronto, Humble the Poet is the Sikh rapper with the mostest. The former schoolteacher’s unorthodox hip-hop swag includes a turban and voluminous beard, and he can rap circles around, well, just about anybody. But Humble’s unorthodoxy doesn’t stop there. His beat-maker and number one collaborator Sikh Knowledge is openly gay-and-proud, still taboo in both South Asian culture and the hyper-masculine world of hip-hop. Yet Humble the Poet, whose real name is Kanwer Singh, continues to get plenty of love in the rap community, and he’s aiming high: as he once said in an interview with MTV Iggy’s Siddhartha Mitter, “I hope one day Jaz-Z can be the Black Humble the Poet.”
At the rate he’s going, Humble just may get there. He’s put out the equivalent of five albums worth of material in just a few short years, and he’s making enough money playing shows and selling merchandise to quit his day job as a teacher. His lyrical topics of choice range from immigrant issues to Punjabi pride, the latter showcased in his number one track, “Baagi Music” (which translates as “Rebel Music” in Punjabi.) The track is a classic party-rap anthem in which Humble tells us “F**k Bollywood” and while extolling the many virtues of Punjabi girls. If you like that and want to hear more, no problem: he’s constantly giving away new tracks on his website.
Photo provided by Believe Me Music