Indian Hip-Hop’s pioneer and arguably the founder of modern Indian rap Yo Yo Honey Singh has turned 40.
The legendary emcee, record producer and songwriter was born on 15th March 1983 in Karampura, New Delhi. Yo Yo Honey Singh – real name Hirdesh Singh – is one of the earliest Hip-Hop emcees in India who rose to global stardom for his affecting rap music.
“Yo Yo” – as he is often referred to by his listeners – is recognised across the world for his far-reaching music and unprecedented career longevity.
The rapper debuted with the “The Crown” LP with influential Punjabi singer Raja Bath and hasn’t stopped ever since. Honey Singh is considered the progenitor of South Asian gangsta rap who redefined Indian rap music with his lyrical prowess, uncompromising bars and unruly attitude.
However, after the group was dismantled following a controversial rift, Honey Singh went on to embark on a top-tier solo rap career. To India’s youth, Singh was a cult for the first two decades of the 21st century who paved the way for young rappers from Punjab.
After dropping provocative guest verses on early Punjabi LPs including Bai Amarujit’s “Hardwork”, Gippy Grewal’s “Mirza”, Varindar Brar’s “Born This Way” and more, Honey Singh made a riveting debut with “International Villager”.
Released on November 11th, 2011, the LP went on to become one of the most influential Indian rap records of all time.
Further, the 14-track album established Singh’s stature in the nascent Indian rap scene as the greatest to ever do it. The LP included some of his biggest hits including “Brown Rang”, “Dope Shope” and “Angreji Beat” alongside Gippy Grewal.
“International Villager” was followed by an even bigger studio album. Yo Yo released his sophomore body of work “Desi Kalakaar” on September 16th 2014.
With head-turning Hip-Hop bangers including the eponymous “Desi Kalakaar”, “Love Dose” and “One Thousand Miles”, Honey Singh left little room for doubting his impact on Indian Hip-Hop and left an unforgettable legacy.
The record laid the foundation for Honey Singh’s ever-expanding influence on Bollywood – Indian cinema’s powerhouse based in Mumbai. While the emcee took a hiatus from Hip-Hop after years of top-selling music, he is slated to return with a full-length studio album this year.
Listen to the Hip-Hop pioneer Yo Yo Honey Singh’s biggest records here on his 40th birthday.