It would be uncommon to compare our desi Hip Hop sensation who took India by a storm making us groove to his every beat and an international pop sensation who took the world by a storm when his YouTube covers came out. Yes, I’m talking about Yo Yo Honey Singh and Justin Bieber. Both are extremely popular, and both are top players of their genre – probably even the best of the lot that’s around today.
If you’re an Indian, you should remember when bashing “Honey Singh” and “Justin Bieber” was a thing and would probably define how cool you were. If you’d walk up to someone and tell them you were a belieber they would probably not want to talk to you ever again. It was like a forest fire when everyone decides to hate on a person not really asking why. But if you examine closely, some of their best works have gone hugely unnoticed. Take JB’s Journals for example. He released the album back in 2015 with little to no promotion. His songs were uploaded on his YouTube channel every week and nobody knew if they were a promotional stunt, or an actual album’s collection. Turns out, it was the latter. Bad Day, HeartBreaker, Roller Coaster, Recovery, Hold On Tight, All That Matters, were some of the highlights of Justin’s true talent.
Have a go at Brown Rang, Blue Eyes, Ankhon Ankhon, I’m your DJ Tonight, Love Dose, Party with The Bhootnath, Desi Kalakar and you’ll find yourself tapping your feet to his tune whether you like it or not. He has a unique tune for every song that makes each song different and equally likeable. While most of his views come from haters, it’s probably only helped him get to where he is right now. When you think about it, haters play a huge role in one’s life. Exactly same happened with JB’s hit single Baby, and all his other songs – half of them were popular only because people wanted to see how badly he’s sung them. Everyone knew he was a talented kid, yet nobody gave him his due credit.
Some of their songs are not well known, and they were hugely covered by the humongous success of their other commercial hits like Yo Yo’s Bollywood mainstream party numbers and JB’s mainstream young-love pop songs. And it was probably when Yo Yo entered Bollywood when we truly realised how he had catchy tunes right on his fingertips. Every month a new song meant something had to repeat itself – but Yo Yo managed to keep the crowd on its toes. Similarly for JB, with his ever growing popularity and fan base, he had to be on the top of his game if he wanted to carry his fans to his adulthood.
Call it coincidence, or a matter of true fate – both Justin and Yo Yo lost their way right at their peak. JB had blown the world by a storm with his Believe album and Yo Yo was on the charts again with his Desi Kalakar songs. JB had a fallout in his personal life, most of his trust broken, feelings played with, and the world turning against him is when he decided to play ignorant and get his hands into drag racing, drugs, and stupidity. On the other hand, Yo Yo quietly disappeared from the limelight.
JB was all over the news for reasons he might never want to be there for, and his every move was proving against him. He had stopped making music and top artists and everyone else around him hated him for one reason or another. So much hatred bought his short burst career to danger. One year passed, soon two, and then three. No sign of a JB album, people were speculating he was thinking of quitting music. Somewhere everyone assumed that Justin was that kid who couldn’t handle the stardom too soon.
And then come 2016, and Justin Bieber made his first TV appearance on The Ellen Show, and shortly released a short video explaining why he was uncomfortable. The show was followed by his roast – which mind you, had managed to create enough buzz, because, well, everyone wanted that kid to get roasted. The Comedy Central Roast went exactly how everyone anticipated, and Justin was portrayed as a sporty kid who knows what he’s doing. There were a few nasty things said, but hey, that’s why it’s a roast and not a family show. This marked a turn around for JB as he was gaining the headlines again – people confused whether there was a new album coming anytime soon – or was it just him trying to recover his image. Soon, the truth was revealed and out came What Do You Mean – the song which Justin Bieber released after 3 years of a gap in music – and the same song which broke YouTube for a day, and along with it every single record in town.
People loved the catchy House Music, and all the handwork paid off as now everyone seemed to suddenly like him. “I hate his music but this song is so dope” were regular comments. Was this a change in his fortunes? It sure was. He went on to giving three huge hits in the form of Sorry, Love Yourself, and Where Are U Now that people still listen to till date! It was remarkable, and probably astonishing as no artist, however big or small, had ever managed to make a comeback as big as JB, and that too with a gap of THREE YEARS! I mean, in this century, with so many amazing singers, it’s hard to remember guys from three years back. (Reminds me of Taio Cruiz, and Jay Sean)
Coming back to Yo Yo Honey Singh, his disappearance after his Desi Kalakar album was speculated to his fallout with Shah Rukh Khan on an International Tour, and his abuse to drugs. Was it true? Had stardom gotten into Honey Singh? Nobody knew. It was only after Dheere Dheere that his fans got an idea about him missing from the action. The song was released when he was still not anywhere to be seen. Yo Yo did come out this year and spoke to his fans through the press – telling us that he was suffering from Bipolar disorder – which made it hard for him to even face 4 people, let alone keeping a crowd of 20,000 entertained. His comeback was supposed to be with either Raees, or Sultan – both of which have now been released, and there is still no sign of Yo Yo Honey Singh. He has been performing live shows, though, and he’s working on some project which aims at bringing contemporary music back to Bollywood.
The mark of Purpose led to Justin Bieber’s entry into EDM-Pop music, which helped him expand his fan base to more than just crazy teenage girls mad behind his looks. He was now a top player, amongst Skrillex, DJ Snake, DJ Khaled, Daddy Yankee, Major Lazer, and Diplo, to name a few. His collaborations have only gotten better, and it’s amazing to see how he turned things around for his good, and gave the world hits after hits – something which he was initially popular for.
The question remains. Will Yo Yo Honey Singh ever manage to give a comeback as strong as Justin Bieber while other rappers like Badshah and Raftaar fill his absence? It’s interesting to note how some of the new players have repeated their tunes and mantras over and over again – unlike Yo Yo, a true genius in his craft. Well, to be honest, he should stick to producing music because he’s the best at it. Maybe rap a few lines here and there, but that’s it. He’s gonna conquer the world again, it’s just a matter of time when.
What do you think? Will Honey Singh ever pull off a JB?