Indian-American rapper Raja Kumari releases new music video 'Karma'

Grammy-nominated songwriter and rapper Raja Kumari has released the official music video for her track “Karma,” from her most-recent EP, “Bloodline.”

The video, which was released on Oct. 8, Dussehra, is made of an all- female team in collaboration with Kumari and Sam Madhu.

Kumari told media outlets in India and the U.S. that the track “is a reminder that beautiful things come to life when strong women put their skills together” She said the video “explores transitions from art to reality and remixes cultural elements from the past and the future,” and is “inspired by traditional Indian aesthetics and futuristic cyberpunk worlds.”

It was Madhu who developed the idea of a neon universe, Kumari said, where she is the central character.

“Traditional Indian elements like Rakshasa masks goddesses and tigers are reborn with contemporary, neon aesthetics to create a universe where I appear as an array of compelling, powerful female characters,” she said. “So you’ll see a latex matrix-inspired Rakshasi, a neon devi with her shocking pink tiger, a futuristic laser goddess."

In an earlier interview, Kumari, in a statement said that the collection of songs in “Bloodline” was inspired by her time in India. "I found strength in the motherland, and these battle anthems are my story, my bloodline,” she said.

Currently, Kumari is a judge on “MTV Hustle,” the first reality-style Rap competition show.

Born Svetha Rao, the Claremont, California-based songwriter, rapper and recording artist has penned hits for such international artists as Iggy Azalea, Gwen Stefani and Fifth Harmony.

Before she released her debut EP “The Come Up” last year, she was a songwriter working with Pulse Recordings. Kumari, who holds a bachelor’s degree in religious studies with an emphasis on South Asian religions, has also been an Indian classical dancer since age 7.

She also contributes to several philanthropic activities through her performances and has helped in the creation of a hospital in Bengaluru and a meditation hall in South India for the Vegesna Foundation, a school for physically disabled children.

Last year, Kumari faced backlash for her single “Roots,” for emphasizing Brahmin superiority and promoting casteism. A collaboration with Mumbai rapper Divine — aka Vivian Fernandes — did not sit well with listeners, several of whom protested online. The line they objected to: “Untouchable with the Brahmin flow.”

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