By Dhruv Arora:
Amidst the plethora of fantastic musicians that have cropped up from the great nation of India in the past few decades, there is one particular artist who has made a name for himself as one of the finest, most polished musicians and lyricists this world has ever seen. This particular artist comes from a very modest background and yet, is the embodiment of the rags-to-riches success story that many admire. He gave music for one of the biggest Bollywood films of 2012, and then went on to become a truly household name. The person I am talking about is Piyush Mishra, and you should listen to his music if you haven’t. However, this story is about Yo Yo Honey Singh.
Yo Yo Honey Singh, too, has repeatedly attempted to dispense advice on many matters that concern the youth of India. His songs cover a diverse range of subjects and have been on the subjects of biology, sociology, anthropology, and sometimes even zoology. Through this post, I will try to explore a few lessons I have come dangerously close to learning from Honey Singh’s art form, loosely defined as music.
The importance of Current Affairs, Journalism and News Media: High Heels
“Tujh jaisi toh pat jati hai
Phir durghatna ghat jati hai
Main hoon shikari kudiye
Khali mera waar nee jaata
Mujhko na pehchane kyun
Tere ghar akhbar nee aata”
In his recent smash hit titled ‘High Heels’, Mr. Singh expresses a strong concern for the frivolity with which the Indian youth approach issues that should matter to them. With what can only be interpreted as a slightly threatening note, the artist here tries to express his concern for the various dangers that the young people put themselves in the way of, in their quest to find true love. Mr. Singh then goes on to commentate on the sad state of journalism in this country and stresses on the importance of keeping oneself updated with what is going on. Mr. Singh obviously feels strongly about the impact of pop culture on the youth of India and even expresses strong concern when one of his potential devotees fails to recognize him.
Alcoholism, and Taking Responsibility for One’s Actions: Chaar Botal Vodka, Main Sharabi
“Main rahoon saari raat in the bar
Daaru piyun lagaatar
Ek aadhi sab pee lete hain
Main to piyun botal chaar”
If these lines hit home with you, you should thank Honey Jee for opening your eyes to the perils of drinking and drawing a stark contrast between light alcohol consumption and chronic alcoholism. Many people, especially those belonging to Mr. Singh’s primary target audience comprising of the youth belonging to certain northern regions of India, are not explicitly aware of alcoholism and wouldn’t consider addiction even if it gave them a hangover, which is why Honey Jee’s mention of and concern about these problems become even more important.
“Main sharabi, main sharabi
Main sharabi, main sharabi
Main sharabi, main sharabi
Main sharabi, main sharabi”
Here, once again, Mr. Singh lays emphasis on the importance of the “The first step to solving a problem is identifying that you have a problem” method of approaching alcoholism. Here, he fervently admits to not just being an alcoholic, effectively paving way for many of his worshippers to follow the footsteps of their critically critiqued fallen idol. One can only hope that Mr. Singh’s poignant message is accepted by the masses in the spirit that he originally intended.
“Seena jalta hai, Peena padta hai
Dard ghat ta hai, Jaam chadhta hai
Meri aankhon me mehboob mera
Sharaab likhta hai, sharaab padhta hai”
While most people would take a step back after admitting to alcoholism, Honey Jee does not want you to stop there. Honey Jee had a dream, that one day the youth of this country will stand up and scream to the skies thatÂ “Yes, I am an alcoholic”! This dream, much to his jubilation, is not far from realisation. In this verse, The Honeyman takes another step to educate the youth about the problem by going into the depths of problem analysis by carefully examining the symptoms, as a means to ensure that there is enough awareness about the problem at hand.
“I wanna hangover tonight
I wanna hangover tonight
I wanna hangover tonight
I wanna hangover tonight”
While most of the mainstream media has been concentrating on selling records by misleading the young people of India about the joys of consuming alcohol and/or various psychedelic and recreational drugs, in this poetic masterpiece, Mr. Singh tries to bring the youth’s attention back to the things that matter: the consequences. By expressing his desire to readily accept the consequences of consuming alcoholic beverages that very night as opposed to the next morning, I can only assume that Mr Singh is looking to utilize the literary tools of sarcasm and irony in order to highlight what he certainly feels is the biggest problems that is gripping the nation today.
Lessons in Philosophy, Apostrophe, and other such catastrophes: Sunny Sunny
“Aaj blue hai paani
Paani pani paani paani paani
Aur din bhi sunny
Sunny sunny sunny sunny sunny”
Philosophy is Mr. Singh’s strong suit, something that is aptly demonstrated by his poetic turns of phrase. There are a few deeper questions in life that many have tried to answer and failed miserably, and Honey Jee’s answer is one that makes the most sense and no sense at all at the same time. It is possible that it completely defies the concept of sense, which is, I suppose, the point. Instead of questioning why things are the way they are and challenging the status quo, Mr. Singh takes an almost simplistic perspective towards nature where he likes to just observe things.
An aggressive approach towards political parties and the coming of the new-age revolution: Party All Night
“Sun lo saari duniya waalon
Jitna bhi tum zor laga lo
Karenge party saari raat
Gaan* mein dum hai toh band karwa lo”
This country has, in the recent past, seen a massive uproar in political participation, and Mr. Singh does not fail to realize this fact. The artist takes a strong and aggressive (and some might say unreasonably rude) stance towards the political parties and youth participation in how this country is run. Mr. Singh takes a non-Gandhian stance towards politics and calls for young people to be relentless in their approach towards the government.
Contribution to world-changing technologies: Blue Eyes
“Ghar pe chalna hai ya pehle jayegi club,
Nahi mera matlab, Ghar ke Club,
Tab Lunga left, nahi to right”
Move over Google maps, we have a new navigation tool! This tool attempts to simplify the navigation experience into a non-pretentious existential choice that the passenger might need to make by breaking it down into a simple directional analysis. This game changing idea is also much more functional for the Indian youth than all existing technologies, because it removes all other destination options in favour of the only two that Mr. Singh expects the young to care about. We haven’t seen such an innovation since Steve Jobs, and I am sceptical that we ever will. Evolution has its limits.
Final words, Conclusion
Through the course of this article, you may have got the feeling that I am against Mr. Honey Singh, even though the entire article is a broad interpretation of why people should pay more attention to him, and consequently, the world. In all honesty, I feel Mister Yo Yo is actually quite skilled at making people dance, and his music is definitely a breath of fresh air. My only beef lies with the actual lyrics, and till they are more, well, sensible, I shall continue my quest to extract whatever philosophical lessons from Mr. Singh as I can.
tl;dr: Good Music, Bad Lyrics, Unintentional Philosophical Genius.