|Labels||Sub Pop, Royal Mountain Records|
Cartel Madras is a Canadian hip hop duo from Calgary, Alberta, consisting of sisters Priya "Contra" Ramesh and Bhagya "Eboshi" Ramesh. The duo released their debut mixtape, Project Goonda Part 1: Trapistan, in 2018. In 2019, they signed to Sub Pop and Royal Mountain Records and their EP, Age of the Goonda, was released on November 1.
Both sisters emigrated from Chennai, India and identify as queer women of colour. The formation of Cartel Madras was inspired by a performance by Princess Nokia. They classify their music as "Goonda Rap”, a play on a term used in South Asian circles to describe a "thug". The duo cite M.I.A., Scarface, and Freddie Gibbs as influences.
Cartel Madras began by releasing songs on their Soundcloud. Their debut mixtape Project Goonda Part 1: Trapistan was released in 2018 and was self produced. The duo helped develop a collective known as THOTPOLICE which consists of close collaborators like Jae Sterling, yungkamaji, and Jide. The lead single for the mixtape was titled "Pork and Leek". Later that year, Cartel Madras played at Pop Montreal, opening for Cupcakke.
In 2019, Cartel Madras won $10,000 from the Telus Storyhive grant to film a music video for "Eric Andre (Slick Rick James)". The music video featured cameos from K.d. lang and Vivek Shraya and was released in May 2019. They also appeared on the Snotty Nose Rez Kids album TRAPLINE. In 2019, Sub Pop announced they had signed Cartel Madras and that new music was being worked on. The duo announced an EP, Age of the Goonda, to be released on November 1, 2019. Two singles were released in the lead up to the EP release, "Lil Pump Type Beat" and "Goonda Gold". After the EP release, the duo announced a series of Canadian tour dates, opening for Hollerado, Fetty Wap, and Clipping.
Project Goonda Part 1: Trapistan (2018)
Age of the Goonda (2019)
"Pork and Leek" (2018)
"Lil Pump Type Beat" (2019)
"Goonda Gold" (2019)
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