Bhangra Rap 2
|Zeerak Ahmed||Aug 19|
Friend of the show, 90s and Nusrat expert, Shahir Ahmed wrote back:
This was a classic, and it also came out around when we were getting exposed to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air on NTM. As for lyrics, this may or may not be from the album booklet, I can't remember if they had the lyrics in there, but it's how I've sung it.
Based on Shahir’s suggestions I’ve updated the lyrics in the original post. We still have heard a few things differently, and will need Fakhr-e-Alam himself to help us get to the bottom of this. Among the things I had heard incorrectly, was the term rock ‘n’ roll. In fact, the song referred to raag ‘n’ roll. Shahir writes:
Raag ‘n’ roll is what they were calling their overall genre, there’s that alaap at the start, there was also a track called Raag ‘n’ Roll on the album. Also by the time this video came out, Yatagaan had already split Atif/Jal style, which is why you don't see Hammad anywhere in the video. He's on the album cover though, and sings quite a bit on other songs. He's the one that does the alaap and chorus on this song, as well as the classical-ish bits on Sona Chahta Hoon by Najam Sheraz.
Fakhr first came on the scene with the video for Gori Zara Hans Ke Dikhana on Music Channel Charts (MCC) on NTM. He had this video and also hosted MCC (whether he started hosting before/after this song came out I don't quite recall). Anyway this was meant to be just a teaser/introduction to Fakhr's music, Nadeem Jafri was already well known because of the success of Socho Kabhi. The idea was he wouldn't be a complete unknown when the video for Bhangra Rap came out, so that really was all this song was about. Behind the scenes however I guess the Yatagaan album had already been recorded and the split already happened.
Hasan Ansari wrote back and pointed me to his great project, a collaboration with Rafay Mahmood, and friend of the show Ali Raj, called Lost Tales. The website is a collection of stories (including audio) behind big 90s hits, including Bhangra Rap. An excerpt:
Having blown away those nibbling at their samosas in the college cafeteria during an impromptu Bhangra Rap performance, he was convinced by one of the music club members to have the song recorded at Folk Studio in Lahore.
The suggestion, however, came with a price tag. Alam needed Rs10,000 to record the song. Strapped for cash, he sold his prized stereo system to pay for studio shifts. Fortunately for him, an EMI Pakistan executive was present at the studio during one of his recording sessions. Impressed with the fresh sound of Alam’s song, he offered the struggling singer what he longed for – a contract to complete the album under the label’s ambit.
Attaching below the video for Bhangra Rap 2. I know very little about this song, other than the fact that it is titled Bhangra Rap 2 on YouTube. Fakhr-e-Alam plays what appears to be a criminal in the video. He starts by break-dancing with a gun next to someone tied to a chair with their mouth taped shut. What gets me the most is that on the taped mouth is a piece of card that says ‘Shut up’, but pointed outwards. Also, watching Fakhr-e-Alam break dance on stairs makes me nervous. Bill Clinton is name called in this video.