Ghani Gautama
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Ghani Gautama

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States | INDIE

Charlotte, North Carolina, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Alternative


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"Ghani Gautama – Strong Medicine"

Let me introduce you to some underground hip-hop talent from Charlotte, NC. His name is Ghani Gautama. I actually met him randomly on Reverbnation about a year and a half ago. He moved to Charlotte around the time I left the city. Recently, I reconnected with him thanks to the Facebook news feed and a girl I went to high school with “liked” his page. Turns out they are cousins! How random was that? Anyways, here is a breakdown of Ghani’s latest EP called Strong Medicine.

I spoke with Ghani Monday night and he opened up about his inspiration for Strong Medicine..

He was watching a TBS documentary on Hulu about an American experience, something a little off the beaten path for a hip-hop album. These were stories about historical documents. A documentary about Tecumseh, a Native American who aided the British.

The documetary explained how someone had “Strong Medicine”, which was an Algonquin term for charisma. Ghani wrote down the term “strong medicine”. It remained stuck in his head. Known for album titles with multiple meanings, Ghani applied it to hip-hop, as it is a genre of charisma. He also thought about medicine balls, exercise, and getting a taste of your own medicine. He said every song on the EP has a dose of “strong medicine”. He also related “strong medicine” to a love for whiskey and applied the term to the current health care debate in the United States as well.

Ghani said this album was a lot of fun to record. His last couple albums had a very serious tone to them. While Strong Medicine. still has serious and introspective themes to it, he almost makes a dance track with the song “Dance Cowboy”. The song “Stonehenge” has a dirty south beat to it, derived from his 10 years of living in Atlanta.

Then, we talked about the state of hip-hop, good and bad for awhile, Myspace memories, Steeler football, and more importantly how the Charlotte, NC scene is coming alive. It’s a small, tight-knit hip-hop scene growing its own identity, helping each other out rather than be every man for himself like it is in Atlanta. Ghani also mentioned he enjoys success in Charlestown, WV, where fans are grateful for live music since most big acts bypass the city.

Want to hear more Ghani Gautama? Then, connect with him on Facebook:

Visit his official website: - Matt Bible

"Ghani Gautama – “Soap Box”"

Ghani Gautama’s new single “Soap Box” is nothing to hit the next button to. In his first collaboration with Atlanta based DJ/Producer HaspPrecise, aka DJ LockOne Ghani Gautama kills it!

“Soap Box” was supposed to be part of a mixtape including other rappers affiliated with HaspPrecise, but ended up being released as a single. (I hope it holds you over until his next album The Earth Shall Weep is released.)

The song which resembles the sound, flow, and beats of an Eminem track is a statement on the divisive nature of the current US politics, and an “indictment of partisan news outlets delivered with equal parts bitting wit and righteous indignation.” says Ghani.

Ghani Gautama hits it out of the park with “Soap Box”. Give it a listen and see for yourself! If you want more you can find our exclusive interview with him here. If you like it enough to download it for free or want to help support this very talented artist please click here, or the donate button on the top of your browser. Thanks, and enjoy! - HumanFankind

"Have You Heard Of Ghani Gautama? (exclusive interview included)"

A short bio:

Ghani Gautama got his start in music as the front man for Pure Irate Souls, a rap/rock outfit active in Myrtle Beach SC in the early 90's. He relocated to Atlanta, GA in 2000 and shortly emerged on the cities blossoming independent hip hop scene as a founding member of Street Temple Emcees After a brief hiatus from music, Ghani Gautama reunited with former Street Temple Emcees DJ and producer, Metrognome and resurfaced as a solo act. The creative team of Gautama and Metrognome released two albums, “Give ‘Em Enough Hope” in 2008 and “Few Against Many” in 2010. During that time he also linked up with fellow Atlanta indie veterans, Quanstar and Evaready R.A.W. and with Metrognome on DJ duties, began playing nationally under the banner of United Underworld.

Ghani just released his latest album “Strong Medicine” in November titled “Strong Medicine” which is receiving positive feedback.

After listening to the music on his Facebook page ( I quickly fell in love with his sound. “What am I waiting for” is extremely catchy (listen below), so make sure that you have time on your hands and room on your ipod before you listen to it once. The rest of the songs continue his catchy rhythm and toe tapping beats. Give it a listen, you wont regret it!

A brief interview with Ghani:

What inspires you to wake up and record?

“It’s more like what doesn’t inspire me. I try to let the world be my muse and find inspiration everywhere but at those moments when I really start to doubt the merits of this path I always think about the people who have supported me for all these years. Folks who watched me awkwardly attempt to perform 15 years ago who still root for me today, I feel a sense of personal responsibility to them to keep making music and hopefully get better at it.”

What do you consider success?

“Not riding the bus to a day job that I hate. I strive for the day when I record when inspiration strikes, I tour when I feel like traveling and I subsist off of more than Ramen noodles and peanut butter sandwiches all off of the merits of my music.”

What are your thoughts on HumanFankind and fans giving back for piracy / funding artists dreams?

“I don’t necessarily believe that fans are obligated to “give back for piracy.” Sure I’d love to get paid for every time someone acquires my music but I feel like when you’re doing it the right way it doesn’t matter how people get a hold of your recordings. If you are making music that’s worthwhile the people who enjoy it will compensate you in some way at some point. I do, however, believe that it’s important to develop systems other than retail sales and tour proceeds to compensate artists. I don’t hold it against someone for not being able to pay 5 or 10 dollars for an album, but if they’ve got a dollar to spare I think it’s imperative for there to be a mechanism in place for that person to deliver that dollar to the artist. So I think HumanFankind is doing important work towards shifting the paradigm and empowering fans and artists to work together to ensure that the music can go on as long as both parties see fit to have it do so.”

You can also find Ghani at . He allows you to download some of his music for free, so if you do enjoy it, please give some back through HumanFankind. - HumanFankind

"Home Bru … Ghani Gautama"

1.How long have you been;

Answer All That Applies To You





I’ve been perfoming for almost as long as I can remember. My family is Catholic on both sides so on holidays there was always a vast array of siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and other such extended family members on hand to be a de facto audience. I started writing my own material and performing in the more formal sense in 1997 when I joined a band in high school. We were called Pure Irate Souls and we had a Rage Against The Machine meets The Roots thing going on. That was in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina so the opportunities were limited but we made the most of of it and I caught the bug. I haven’t looked back since. Pure Irate Souls did some primitive recording but my first experience really recording came shortly after I moved to Atlanta in 2000 and started my hiphop group, Street Temple Emcees.

2.What/Who/Where influenced you to take music as serious as you do and do you see it as a profession?

I definitely view music as a profession. The money isn’t always there but the professional approach to it remains steadfast. My dad put me on to Bob Dylan as a kid and I’d say that planted the seed. I mean it’s commonly acknowledged that Dylan couldn’t sing a lick and was a marginally talented guitar player yet is considered one of the most important artists of his time. That notion of message over medium carried with me until I got to Atlanta. Once I was there and got to experience what it was like to have a vibrant music scene at my finger tips I knew that music had chosen me.

3.Describe your style of music

Hiphop with a heart of gold… rap for rockers… Fugazi with a sneaker habit… Honestly, I’ve always just considered myself a rapper, more accurately a songwriter that chose rap music as a platform. I also place more value in the overall statement of the music than anything else. I wouldn’t call my music political but I would say that the existence of my music is a political statement. I take a great deal of pride knowing that I’ve given away more in this music thing than I’ve ever sold and I think that translates into the songs I make.
4.Where are you originally from, and where do you live now?

I was born in a little town called Grantsville in West Virginia, I’ve lived in Charleston WV, Myrtle Beach SC, Atlanta GA, and currently reside in Charlotte NC

5.Give us a little background on your musical accomplishments and pinpoint the most rewarding of those.

Artisticly, my last album “Few Against Many” is my crowning achievement. I’ll probably say that about my next album too. In fact when I stop saying that about my most recent project is when it’s time to stop and switch to country– then I can REALLY get paid. My fondest music related memory is a show I did in 2009 in Burlington Vermont. I was on tour with Akil The MC of Jurassic 5, compliments of my homie Quanstar, and that night we were opening for Immortal Technique. I was the very first act to go on and the place (Higher Ground Ballroom) was packed. There were a bunch of artists on the bill so I played a short set but as soon as I got off people started approaching me and telling me how much they liked my set. I left a bunch of CDs at the merch table and was carrying a bunch on me. It took a solid 30 minutes to make the 200 yard trip to the merch table and by the time I got there I had sold all the CDs I was carrying and the merch table was sold out. That night erased any doubt I may have had about my destiny in this music thing.

6.What is the meaning behind your stage name?

Stoner talk. When I came up with it me and the crew had been smoking a lot of Afghani. One day I was scribbling in a notebook and dropped the “Af.” I liked the way the letters looked so I adopted it as my grafitti name. Later on I added the “Gautama” because that is the surname of the historical Buddah. The name ended up sticking, I always thought rapper stage names were kind of rediculous so I figured “Ghani Gautama” couldn’t be any worse. As I matured the name adopted a more substantial meaning. The figure of Buddah is monumentally influential. Some scholars believe that Buddist monks traveled as far west as Ireland where they became the Druids. Ghani is also a West African surname and in the dark ages Ireland was the only country North of Spain to have constant contact with West Africa so Ghani Gautama is a not so obvious nod to my Irish roots. Plus Ian James Currie (my gov’t name) just doesn’t sound like a rapper.
7.Who do you work with and who do you look forward to working with in the future?

I’m in a group now called United Underworld which includes Quanstar, Evaready RAW, Metrognome and myself. All three of those guys played important roles in my career. I’ve played a bunch of shows with a dude named Tommy Lee Soul out of Atlanta. Rounding out the list would be DLabrie out of Oakland and Akil The MC who I’d love to get on a track in the near future.

8.In your opinion, talk a little bit about the current state of the North Carolina Independent music scene.

I’m still new to the area so I am by no means an expert but I will say that I’m impressed by what I’ve seen so far. Coming from a city like Atlanta it’s easy to get jaded about independent music. I mean I remember doing shows there where I was begging the venue for months to get a weekend show. Finally they give it to me and there are four other local hiphop shows and two national hiphop shows happening on the same night. That has advantages but it can also causes artists to become either cynical or lazy. Cynical because they feel like no matter what there’s always going to be too much competition so they feel like they will never get the props they deserve or lazy because there is always something going on so there is no reason to expand their horizons and really try to make an impact. Here in North Carolina artists have to fight a lot harder to make a dent and because of that artists are more willing to help one another. This is by no means a slight on Atlanta, I love Atlanta, there are so many talented artists there. The difference is that in Atlanta the primary challenges facing an independent artist are more financial and political where in North Carolina the primary challenges are making good music and drumming up support. North Carolina also has a lot of home grown talent so there is an unique flavor to it that I’ve not seen anywhere else.

9.What are your upcoming projects/shows and is there anyone you would like to shout out?

I’m currently working on three EPs that I’m dropping digitaly and as phone apps this year the first one’s coming in May called “Strong Medicine” after that it’s “Wounded Knee” then “The Earth Shall Weep” as far as shows I’m playing at The Money in Rock Hill SC on March 9th, East Side Lounge in Atlanta on March 15 and they just keep coming after that. Shout to my United Underworld crew: Quanstar, Evaready RAW, and Metrognome… also iLL Tactics and Ignite & Imagery from Raleigh and my fellow Crown Towners N.O.R.T.H. Coalition… google all those artists to get the full picture.
10.Who are your top five emcees, dead or alive, independent or in the industry?

I’ve been waiting for this question… here goes, no particular order:

GZA- All I can say is listen to “Liquid Swords”

Tupac- I used to say he was overrated but the level of emotion and conviction in his material turned out to be timeless, plus one can’t over look his impact on the community, there are youth centers with fulltime staff all paid for by donations to his foundation- THAT’S gangsta

Del The Funkee Homosapien- Under the radar game changer, all the weirdo, off kilter, “Nerd” rap of the 2000's wouldn’t exisit without him plus he made all that shit look cool… really who’s going to front on Ice Cube’s cousin

Black Thought- the games most underrated, beyond being a rapper, he is the front man of a rockin band, plus The Roots have like 10 albums, 5 times more that most rappers… to really know Thought’s skill go on youtube and look up “DJ Krush Black Thought” and then go to college

Andre 3000/Bun B- had to throw these two in together for the simple fact that the entire “dirty south” flow came directly from these two. They both have extensive catalogs but to really see them shine check Andre’s verse on “Walk It Out” or Bun B’s on “Choose Your Side” by La Coka Nostra - HypeNC

"Louis Logic & Thought Criminals @ The Milestone: A Room Full Of Friends"

Shows with a small crowd usually go one of two ways. They can either be horribly awkward, with disgruntled artists trudging through their songs, offering the bare minimum of effort required to get paid at the end of the night, or they can be like an intimate gathering of friends where the artists open up to the audience and have a back-and-forth of sorts. The Louis Logic/Thought Criminals show at the Milestone fell pleasantly on the side of the latter.

Queen City emcee, Ghani Gatauma, one half of the Salty Dogs Pirate Rap Crew, kicked off the night debuting a short set from his excellent new album, Strong Medicine. There were some technical difficulties with his backing tracks and he seemed to run out of breath in a few places, no doubt the result of not having his Salty Dogs counterpart onstage to back him up. However, content is key and he has it in spades. The audience of about 10 people shouted and cheered for him to keep doing his thing, offering the support and enthusiasm you’d expect from a small crowd of friends. It proved to be just what he needed, as he finished on a very strong note with a duet featuring MC Stealth aka Blak Angel.

After Blak Angel stepped offstage with Ghani, a murmur of disappointment echoed through the audience because everyone wanted to hear more of her. To our collective delight, she reappeared for a solo set that was stirring. I hate the word “femcee,” but in Stealth’s case it completely fits. She is on one hand the personification of feminine: a sultry, curvy siren singing with a beautifully soulful voice. Then, in the next breath, she slays the microphone in classic emcee style with aggressive lyrics that would make your mother blush. Between songs she seemed a bit nervous as she joked and flirted with audience members, adding to the friendly, small-party type vibe. One fan loudly and hilariously accosted everyone for not putting their hands in the air for her, so for the duration of her time on stage we all followed his lead.

Arms remained raised as Atlanta’s Tribe One followed with his up-tempo brand of nerd-core. He had one of the standout tracks of the night for me, a track that made me realize for the first time that I have grief from the death of Steve Irwin and I haven’t even begun to deal with it. Seriously! I almost teared up as he shouted “Every generation needs a Steve Irwin to teach them believing in dreams can ease burdens and show us we’re never too old to keep learn’n. I can’t believe he isn’t retun’n.” That song was brilliant. It’s on Tribe One’s Bandcamp page. Google that.

Home field headliners, The Thought Criminals took the stage next. Despite the fact they were playing to a smaller crowd than they’re used to (about 25-30 people at this point) MC Sulfur seemed to totally explode during their set. Even during more melancholy songs like “Whirling Dervish,” about a father’s addiction, Sulfur was on fire with energy. Though Mikal Khill was not outclassed by his partner-in-rhyme. Together, with their band, and beats containing nostalgic Super Mario samples, they fully lived up to all their recent hype.And then we experienced Louis Logic. He is an intriguing spectacle to watch. The Brooklyn-based rapper/singer/ pianist defies all stereotypes. In tight-fitting jeans, he goes full interpretive dancer across the entire stage. He sings in a high-pitched nasal falsetto. Yet he grabs the mic and absolutely wrecks it with a grimy NY-style rhyme pattern. He even dropped a nasty freestyle at the request of a fan and dared anyone to step up and battle, shortly after stating he didn’t want beef because his arms were small.

As he transitioned in and out of songs, he educated us on some important issues facing us today, including: old men displaying full frontal nudity at the YMCA, how to look at your best friend’s girl’s assets without being caught and the longstanding ‘War in Brooklyn’ between hipsters and thugs. It was almost like he gave us a stand-up comedy routine in addition to a hip hop show. The set was unorganized and it may have even been improvised from moment to moment but in this environment it was cool. It was honest. It was like he was just kickin it in a room full of friends. - Erin Tracy-Blackwood for Shutter 16

"The Boom Bap & Broke Tour"

Helmed by Charlotte emcee Ghani Gautama, this tri-state tour (in that it gathers emcees from the Carolinas and Georgia, and tours those states, too) champions smart, progressive underground hip-hop. Gautama’s own undie rap is particularly impressive; akin to the literate hip-hop of the multifaceted Minneapolis Doomtree crew, Gautama’s beats are mercurial and his verses parsed and packed with dense, abstract metaphors. His flow is sincere and intense, machete-sharp and primed with the power of punk (Hey, is that a Fugazi line in “What Am I Waiting For?” Hint: Yes.) With Crocker, Ratchet and LockOne,
Trublklef, Miles Franco. - Patrick Wall for Free Times (Columbia, SC)


2006- Asphalt Prophets (Street Temple Emcees)
2008- Give 'Em Enough Hope
2010- Few Against Many
2011- Strong Medicine

Radio/Streaming Play:

The albums "Give 'Em Enough Hope" and "Few Against Many" are on Last.FM

"Maybe," "The Many," and "Another Day At The Office" from the album "Few Against Many" and "Strong Medicine," "Dance Cowboy" and "What Am I Waiting For" are featured on



Born Ian James Currie (July 2nd, 1982) in Grantsville, West Virginia, Ghani Gautama began his music career in the late 90s as the front man for Pure Irate Souls in Myrtle Beach, SC. In 2000 he moved to Atlanta, GA and by early 2002 had founded Street Temple Emcees. Faced with a highly competitive market and internal strife Street Temple Emcees folded in 2006 shortly after the release of their sole official release "Asphalt Prophets." An extended hiatus was to follow until late 2007 when Ghani Gautama reunited with DJ/Producer and founding member of Street Temple Emcees, Metrognome. The duo released two albums 2008's "Give Em' Enough Hope" and 2010's "Few Against Many." In addition to recording they also began touring the U.S. with the help of Atlanta indie-rap veteran Quanstar. In late 2010 he relocated to Charlotte, NC where his track record allowed him to dive head-first into the city's vibrant hip-hop scene. In late 2011 he released his most critically successful album "Strong Medicine" and has continued to rise int he ranks of independent hip hop talent in the Southeast.