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Emiway Bantai was born on 13 November 1995 (age 23 years; as in 2018) in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. He was born as Bilal Shaikh in a middle-class orthodox Muslim Family. His family has its roots in Karnataka. Later, he adopted the stage name “Emiway,” which is a combination of the names of Eminem and Lil Wayne, i.e., Emi from Eminem and Way from Wayne. He did his schooling from LHS, Mumbai. Emiway was good at his studies till the 10th standard but shifted his focus towards rap when he reached his 11th class. He failed in the 12th standard and went through depression. It took a lot of effort for him to learn hip-hop music. Bantai initially started making rap videos for fun, but after receiving an overwhelming response, he started taking rap seriously. In his initial days as a rapper, he struggled hard and worked as a helper at the ‘Hard Rock Cafe’ to earn money. He did not take any monetary support from his family for making rap music. Initially, Bantai rapped in English only, but his father advised him to rap in Hindi so that it could be easily understood by the Indians. In 2014, Emiway did his first Hindi rap “Aur Bantai.” The rap was an instant hit.
Before becoming a household name, Bantai had also auditioned at the popular Indian reality show- India’s Got Talent.
In 2016, he received the Radio City Freedom Award in ‘Hard Rock Cafe.’ Coincidentally, it was the same cafe where he had earlier worked as a helper.
In 2017, Emiway received his breakthrough with the song “#Sadak,” which was in collaboration with the rapper Raftaar. In 2018, he entered into a diss war with Raftaar. It all started when Raftar while taking a dig at Emiway said that rappers like him cannot earn money, after which Emiway released his diss track titled “Samajh Mein Aaya Kya,” to which Raftaar responded with “Sheikh Chilli.” It did not end there as Emiway again released a song titled “Giraftaar,” to his response.
In 2019, Bantai stepped into Bollywood with “Asli Hip-Hop” from Zoya Akhtar’s film “Gully Boy.” He did not just rap in the song but also got featured in the song’s video.