Thxa Soe’s music gives Burma’s youth a focus for dissatisfaction with the military junta despite strict censorship writes Jack Davies in The Guardian
They know every word. Boys, bare-chested and sweating in the April heat. Girls clutching digital cameras, their faces streaked with paste to protect them from the sun. They answer the call-and-response lines with increasing excitement. By the time Thxa Soe reaches the chorus, the crowd have taken over. With fists pumping the air, they roar his words back at him.
This is a summer music festival, soaked in alcohol and drenched in sweat, the same as anywhere. But this is Burma, and nothing is the same here. more
Born and raised in London, and of Indian/Punjabi heritage, Kamaljit Singh Jhooti, better known by his stage name Jay Sean, started rapping at 12. He is best known for his hits “Stolen”, “Eyes On You”, “Ride It” and “Tonight” in UK. He has released two albums, Me Against Myself (2004) and My Own Way (2008). Click here for MTV.
M.I.A’s music strikes dissonant undertones to some Sri Lankans, writes Thomas Fuller in the New York Times
To many Americans, Maya Arulpragasam, known as M.I.A., is the very pregnant rapper who gyrated across the stage at Sunday’s Grammy Awards.
Yet in Sri Lanka, where she spent her childhood years, M.I.A. remains virtually unknown. And some who do know her work say she is an apologist for the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels fighting in the country’s long-running civil war.
M.I.A. — who has been nominated for an Oscar for the song she co-wrote for the hit film “Slumdog Millionaire” — has branded herself through music videos and interviews as the voice of the country’s Tamil minority. In the video for her song “Bird Flu,” for instance, children dance in front of what looks like the rebels’ logo: a roaring tiger.
“Being the only Tamil in the Western media, I have a really great opportunity to sort of bring forward what’s going on in Sri Lanka,” she said in an interview on the PBS program “Tavis Smiley” last month. “There’s a genocide going on.”
And click here to watch a YouTube video of MIA’s Bird Flu.
Heather Timmons in New York Times asks whether Bollywood is ready for Snoop Dogg, just days before the release of Singh is Kinng where Dogg makes his Hindi film debut
Is Bollywood ready for Snoop Dogg?
The rapper once dubbed “America’s Most Loveable Pimp” by Rolling Stone makes his debut in India this summer, with a guest appearance on the title track of a highly anticipated Bollywood movie, “Singh Is Kinng.” The movie is set to open in August, but the title song is already in heavy rotation on some radio stations in India.
A fusion of hip-hop and bhangra with a simple chorus (“Singh is Kinng, Singh is Kinng, Singh is Kinng”), it features Snoop Dogg giving “what up to all the ladies hanging out in Mumbai” and rapping about “Ferraris, Bugattis and Maseratis.”
Snoop Dogg wears a Sikh turban and an ornate long coat called a sherwani in a video of the title song, which was shot this year in Chicago. Geffen Records owns the distribution rights to the song in the United States and Canada and may release it later this year as part of a compilation.