Martha Bayles: September 2008 Archives

Rapper Snoop Dogg is now an old dude to hip hop fans, having made his name more than a decade ago.  But the guy has staying power.  Last month he made a cameo appearance in a Bollywood movie called Singh is Kinng [sic], starring Akshay Kumar as (quoting the New York Times) "a Capraesque hero who spreads bedrock Indian values -- honor your mother, help the poor."

Naturally Singh is Kinng upholds these values; if it didn't, it wouldn't have gotten past the national censorship board in India, never mind the stricter ones in places like Malaysia, where an English-language online reviewer praised it in these terms: "Singh Is King revolves around a gang of dreaded criminals, who are transformed by a good man and his selfless love for a beautiful girl."

I know, Snoop has been on reality TV lately as a family man, raising his 3 kids while chillin' with his off-again on-again wife.  But still, it's a pretty big leap from Da Pound (booty, bling, dope, pimps 'n' ho's) to the old-fashioned moralism of Bollywood.

But this great leap for Snoop may be a first step for Karan Wadhera of Cashmere Asia, a new LA-Mumbai company seeking to hype hip hop to the subcontinent: "We're introducing Snoop to a very broad audience that has never heard of him before."

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out, because most of the huge global audience for Bollywood movies is still quite unaware of how saturated American culture is with Snoop-grade smut.  Indeed, most of the non-US reviews I've read don't even bother to mention his name.  Indeed, the one just quoted ends with this sentence: "Also, there is a surprise guest appearance by a very famous American rapper at the end of the movie for the remix title track."

Quite a contrast with the US reviewers, for whom the only noteworthy thing about the film is Snoop's cameo appearance, clad in a pseudo-Sikh turban and red cloak, performing these lyrics from the title song: "Watch me zoom by, make it boom by / Whaddup to all the ladies hanging out in Mumbai."

Wow, Snoop's lyrics don't come any cleaner than that.  It's impressive, what some people will do to win 3 billion new fans.
September 14, 2008 6:19 PM |


Me Elsewhere


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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Martha Bayles in September 2008.

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