Renowned and often controversial Punjabi artist, Sidhu Moosewala will be releasing his highly anticipated album this month, called Moosetape.
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, better known by his alias Sidhu Moosewala, is originally from the village Moosa in Punjab’s Mansa district, but heavily operates in Canada due to his career.
Moosetape is Sidhu’s third studio album. He received a lot of positive feedback from his fans for his first album, PBX 1, which is still doing spectacular numbers on most streaming platforms.
Sidhu shared the album’s tracklist via Instagram on May 15, and received more than 730,000 likes and 41,000 comments since then. There has been a lot of speculation around this album and fans rejoiced at the impressive 32-song line up.
Sidhu is also being commended for his marketing and production value around Moosetape.
The album will have a segregated release, with a new song or video approximately every other day. Sidhu shared the dates of release for each song and video via his tracklist post on Instagram.
So far, four of the 32 songs have been officially released: “Bitch I’m Back”, “Burberry”, “Racks and Rounds”, and “US”; along with two videos for “Burberry” and “US”. Out of the 32 tracks, nine of them are labelled to be skits or intros.
The album starts off with the track listed as “Moosetape (Intro)” which is basically a disclaimer presented as a warning. The narrator in fact explicitly claims that “this is not a request or suggestion, but a straight up warning.” The sentiment behind the track is basically to be unapologetic regarding the album’s content.
Sidhu has come under fire in the past for promoting gun violence and gang life in his songs. This intro can be seen as a retort to that by explicitly stating that the content of this album isn't for everyone, and more specifically “this album is made by us, for those like us” and viewer (or listener) discretion is advised.
The narrator uses an analogy to express that those who consume content are responsible for what they may encounter.
The unapologetic and crude tone of the intro is followed by “Bitch I’m Back,” which further adds to this tone and narrative.
“Bitch I’m Back” is a bass heavy pump up song in which Sidhu is telling his fellow artists who “thought they could get big during my hiatus” to get ready to show their worth.
Fans have speculated that this song is particularly about Karan Aujla, another Punjabi singer who has ongoing beef with Sidhu Moosewala.
These claims are further supported by the fact that on May 16, the day after the release of Sidhu’s “Bitch I’m Back,” Aujla dropped a teaser for his upcoming album, “bacDAfuckUP” on Instagram.
Meme pages reshared this image, but then deleted it after Sidhu fans swarmed the comments with a particular lyric from “Bitch I’m Back.” The lyric states “they copy me, and create hype against me using the trends I start,” with this line considered to be a direct diss to Aujla.
“Burberry” and “Racks and Rounds” follow the same tone and sentiment as “Bitch I’m Back.”
All the songs start with an ad-lib that is either sampled from American hip hop culture or spoken word by Sidhu.
The music composition is versatile, anid The Kidd, who has produced most of this album, has so far received positive feedback from fans. Sikander Kahlon, an independent Punjabi rapper, is also featured on “Racks and Rounds,” which has garnered him a lot of exposure.
“US” is a romantic duet, which moves away from the trajectory of the other songs. It features vocals from Raja Kumari, who sings in English, which can be interpreted as Sidhu appealing to his fans who aren’t fluent Punjabi speakers.
This is in contrast to the rest of his songs are fast paced and require a decent Punjabi vocabulary in order to fully understand the meaning.
The tracklist is available for everyone to see, leading to a lot of anticipation for upcoming songs and features, such as “Brown Shortie” featuring Sonam Bajwa, and “These Days” featuring Bohemia.
The release strategy for this album has been commended by many for being the first of its kind in the Punjabi industry. A 32-song album is considered to be “too long,” by some, but a segregated release guarantees that every song will get its own time and hype, while simultaneously increasing streaming revenue and numbers for Sidhu.
The added music videos add a huge element to the production value of the album, and support to promote the songs further.
At the same time however, Sidhu has been continuously criticized for cultural appropriation of Black culture, and unfortunately, Moosetape is no exception. The videos show a lot of elements taken from Black hip-hop culture, without giving proper credit.
Sidhu, and other Punjabi artists have adopted Black culture and make money off of it, but at the same time, don’t do much to support it. This issue was heavily discussed when the Punajbi music industry was collectively silent throughout the Black Lives Matter movement.
There is a massive disconnect among the industry regarding such complex issues which needs to be examined.
As much as we may enjoy the music, it is important to criticize artists when they’re wrong, and hold them accountable. They have a huge social impact on communities, and it is their responsibility as culture representatives to be responsible in educating themselves regarding such issues.While we take the good with the bad, fans are eagerly waiting for their most anticipated songs to drop, as this appears to be just the beginning of #MoosetapeSeason.
Gurshabad’s educational background in Biology and Psychology is inspired by her lifelong pursuit to seek and decipher the human connection. She loves McDonald’s fries, long walks on the beach, and telling people how to correctly pronounce her name. She regularly forces her friends to sit in her car & record a podcast aptly named Sitting In The Car. You can find her but more importantly her dog, @gurshabadkang on all platforms.