On June 2, Delhi-based MC Kode aka Aditya Tiwari, a popular name in the capital’s underground hip-hop circuit and one of the founders of Spit Dope Inc – a collective that organises rap battles – allegedly went missing after posting an ambiguous Instagram story.
Tiwari (22) wrote on Instagram: “The constant suffering and trials and tribulations of life have made me weak. Currently standing at an isolated bridge overlooking the Yamuna… I do not blame anyone for anything but myself. A relief from my own existence is gonna serve as a punishment that the entire country wanted.” His friends began to look for him around the location, but Aditya is yet to be found.
Minutes before the post, Tiwari texted a Mumbai-based rapper: “I am leaving this body. You guys continue the legacy.”
Last week, a video of an old ‘rap battle’ resurfaced, which purportedly showed Tiwari, who was 17 at the time, reciting lyrics disrespectful towards Hindu scriptures. This was met with backlash and death threats on social media, which continued despite an apology from the rapper. Soon, nine brands stripped him of their endorsements. One person announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for anyone who would slap him 20 times and record it.
Tiwari took down all of his music and rap battles from the internet.
“Twitter did not stop with its bullying even though he truly regretted it. What was really scary was that someone leaked his mother’s address and phone number,” said filmmaker and rapper Siddhant Shah, 25.
“People got after his life and even reached our house,” said Deepa Tiwari, his mother. “My last conversation with him was on May 30 and he was really upset about the trolling. Police need to look along the Yamuna.” She lodged an official complaint on June 4 at Mehrauli police station.
DCP (South district) Atul Kumar Thakur said, “She said that her son allegedly posted a suicide noted on Instagram on June 2. A missing report was lodged and efforts have been made to trace the boy, but he has not been found so far. Further investigations are on.”
Tiwari’s friend and stand-up comedian Subin Jacob was with him on May 24 when the controversy had just erupted “He refused to meet the next day. The threats continued,” said Jacob, who decided to visit Tiwari’s home on Wednesday because his phone was off. But the door was locked. “The guard said that he left at night,” said Jacob.
Big names in the rap world such as Raftaar and DIVINE are among those who have put up posts about finding Tiwari.
Tiwari grew up in Delhi and, according to his friends, lost his father to suicide at a young age. He found his calling in hip hop and began to participate in rap battles when he was in Class 9, inspired by rapper Eminem’s film debut, 8 Mile. The moniker Kode came from two places – his love for coding and his own moral radar.