Article Hindi

The irresistible, intoxicating tracks of Yo Yo Honey Singh – Birthday special

As the troubled hip-hop artiste turns 35 (he was born on 15 March 1983), we look back at some of his rollicking numbers.

Mayur Lookhar

Each era throws up its share of unconventional artistes who cause a disruption in the industry. How exactly does one describe Yo Yo Honey Singh as? A hip-hop singer fixated with women and alcohol? At least that is the impression his music gives you. But if you look beyond that fixation, you will notice that Honey Singh is a crafty artiste and composer who popularized rap music in Indian cinema and lights up your parties.

Born Hirdesh Singh, the artiste learned his craft at London’s Trinity School. He began his career with singles and then graduated to Punjabi films before finding his feet in Hindi cinema.

As the singer turns 35 today (he was born on 15 March 1983), we look at some of the irresistible, intoxicating tracks Yo Yo Honey Singh has created and sung over the years. Enjoy.

'Mein Sharabi' – Cocktail (2012) 

With a title like Cocktail, Yo Yo Honey Singh was given a licence to thrill. And he served a hot, intoxicating track like 'Main Sharabi' that took you on a musical high. Like good wine, it hits you slowly, taking over your senses, and then you lose yourself in the music. 'Main Sharabi' became a party anthem. The music was refreshing, rocking, but Honey Singh was equally impressive as singer and lyricist here.

'Angreji Weed' – Cocktail (2012)

If 'Main Sharabi' felt like good wine, the 'Angreji Weed' track — okay, officially 'Angreji Beat', maybe for our sanskari censors, but listen to the song and tell us where you hear the word 'beat' — felt like gulping down several cocktails. Chaos flows in the visuals as Deepika Padukone’s character wants to pee in the car! Honey Singh’s Hindi Punjabi lyrics, his riveting pop score, and his 'Angreji beats' were too hard to resist.

'Kiklikalerdi' – Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana (2012)

A relatively unheralded track by Honey Singh. That may be because Amit Trivedi was the music director here. Trivedi, Pinky Maidasani and Honey Singh each brought their own flavour to the song. Maidasani had a rustic swag to her voice, Trivedi gave the contemporary touch, while Singh did what he does best — hip-hop. Kiklikalerdi (Punbaji) is known in Maharashtra as fugadi, a folk form in which women sing and dance in pairs either in a circle or in rows. Much like the kiklikalerdi, the music ebbed and flowed. Here was a track that could make you just forget everything and dance with gay abandon.

Title track – Ethir Neechal (2013)

The Tamil audience will be the best judge of the lyrics here, but the title track of Ethir Neechal (2012) was a great North-South collaboration.  The music was composed by Anirudh Ravichander and Honey Singh did the rap portion. He spoke a few Tamil words, too. Honey Singh rocked Tamil Nadu, but the beats reverberated all the way back to Punjab. Music, after all, has no language and this is a classic example.

'Lungi Dance' – Chennai Express (2013)

Though far from perfect, this was Shah Rukh Khan and Honey Singh’s tribute to Southern superstar Rajinikanth. Penned, composed and crooned by Honey Singh himself, 'Lungi Dance' quickly became a popular track at parties and nightclubs. The lyrics are perhaps tardy, but Honey Singh could not be faulted for the singing or the peppy score. Speaking on a TV show later, he revealed that he had told Khan he would produce something "out of the box". Then he only spoke to the star once he was ready with the track, taking a couple of months to write the lyrics and compose the tune.

'Party All Night' – Boss (2013)

The party animal came to the fore again as Honey Singh cut loose with 'Party All Night' in the Akshay Kumar-starrer Boss. This was not an over-the-top composition but a rhythmic party number. The ‘aunty police bulalegi’ [aunty will call the cops] line became quite a rage. Overall, the song had a nice rhythm to it and Akshay Kumar submitted himself to the groovy music pulling out some crazy dance moves.

'Sunny Sunny' – Yaariyan (2014)

The lyrics were average, but Honey Singh produced a gripping score for this beach number. He was ably supported by Neha Kakkar, but it was really the peppy music that got you hooked to this number. Yaariyan did not have big stars in the cast and, come to think of it, not much by way of a story either, but Himanshu Kohli and Evelyn Sharma enjoyed a rare Honey Singh track to their name.

'Chaar Botal Vodka' – Ragini MMS 2 (2014)

Party all night, drink all night. Somehow these words don’t ring an alarm bell, but when a man croons ‘Chaar botal vodka kaam mera rozka', meaning 'I consume four bottles of vodka daily', it ought to jangle. If that isn't addiction, what is? But more than the liquor, one gets addicted here to the music, the lyrics, the intoxicating dance of Honey Singh, and to Sunny Leone’s sensual moves and expressions. You don’t need a drop of the stuff actually. The mesmerizing music and scintillating visuals are enough to give you a hangover. One that you would love to have every day.

'Alcoholic' – The Shaukeens (2014)

His fans loved him, but Honey Singh has had his critics, too. The sanskari (cultured) brigade felt he was a bad influence on the youth. 'Alcoholic' was a kind of admission and, perhaps, the musician was also telling his critics that he does not care. Remarkably, lip-synching and dancing to the track was the teetotaller Akshay Kumar. Honey Singh did full justice to Sahil Kaushik’s lyrics turning out a rollicking number.

'Manali Trance' – The Shaukeens (2014)

Although he did not sing this song or write the lyrics, 'Manali Trance' has to be one of Honey Singh's finest compositions. It certainly gets you in a state of trance. The intoxicating style of Honey Singh appears to have rubbed off on singer Neha Kakkar, who put in a marvellous performance. Add to it the smoking hot Lisa Haydon and 'Manali Trance' became just the mellifluous weed you needed.

'Chhote Chhote Peg' – Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety (2018)

From a man who once indulged in ‘Chaar Botal Vodka’ everyday, the rehabilitated Honey Singh is now down to sipping ‘Chhote Chhote Peg’. Honey Singh was out of action for a couple of years as he battled his alcohol addiction and a bipolar disorder. For this wacky comedy, Honey Singh rewrote Anand Raj Anand and Hans Raj Hans’s original song 'Tote Tote Ho Gaya' as 'Chhote Chhote Peg', creating catchy, quirky lines that flow with his groovy, vibrant music. He only retained the core tune from the 'Tote Tote Ho Gaya' track.