The popular rap artist Snoop Dogg – his real name is Calvin Broadus – has stirred the cultural pot in India by partnering with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar in the video Singh Is Kinng as part of a soon to be released film under the same name.
According to Studio 18, owned and distributed by Viacom, the soundtrack of the film has sold over 5 million copies. Singh is Kinng can be heard throughout India on many radio stations.
Seen as a cultural cross-pollination of Bollywood and rap, music and film industry movers and shakers are taking notice of the shift to lure the American-Asian and British-Asian youth markets.
Sporting traditional Sikh apparel, including a turban, on the video, Snoop Dogg is being seen by some as culturally insensitive. Further stoking the fires are Snoop Dogg’s provocative "Represent that Punjabi" vocals on the track and his shout out, "What up to all my ladies hangin’ out in Mumbai."
While it isn’t the first collaboration of its kind, it is a first for an American artist to appear on a Bollywood soundtrack. Despite the grumblings, most seem delighted with the rap star’s performance, including Vipul A. Shah, the film’s producer, who was pleased by the chemistry between Snoop Dogg and Akshay Kumar.
Greeted by enthusiastic fans in India and exhilarated by the experience, Snoop Dogg is rumored to be planning a tour of the country.
The film Singh is Kinng is set for release on Friday, August 8.
Movie website: www.singhiskinng.com