BH CORRESPONDENT, Kolkata: Of course, Badshah’s latest song, Genda Phool, is a hit like most of his other numbers, but this time, the rapper also got embroiled into a controversy which he didn’t think would turn out so major.
Ever since Genda Phool, which also features Jacqueline Fernandes was out on March 26, Badshah caught himself in the plagiarism row. However, during the release he categorically mentioned it’s not a remake. Now, soon after the song was released the listeners couldn’t help but pointed out that the original song, Boro Loker Biti Lo, was written by Bengali folk artiste Ratan Kahar who resides in Birbhum district of West Bengal.
In fact, he faced a severe backlash from the netizens, especially the Bengali listeners, who even started an online petition too. And now, Badshah has released an official statement where he mentioned about Kahar and that the rapper would like to meet the Bengali folk artiste. However, the nationwide lockdown is barring him from doing so. He also said that he wants to help the musician on humanitarian grounds.
Kahar had first penned the song in 1971 and it was recreated by Swapna Chakraborty in 1976. However, the singer, too, did not give credit to the folk artiste. For years now, the song has been recreated, remixed and remade several times, but none have given him credit. Also, given Kahar lack of financial strength, he has never been able to fight back on legal terms.
But now when social media flooded him with posts and accused Bollywood’s top-rated rapper for not giving the Bengali folk artiste his due credit, Badshah has released an official statement.
The statement reads, “I would first like to thank each one of you that have loved and liked the song Genda Phool, especially the appreciation from the Bengali community worldwide, that has made it into the chart topper that it is currently trending worldwide. On the 26th March, I released a single called Genda Phool, which is a Hindi song with Bangla folk lyrics.
A couple of days after the song release, I started getting feedback on my social media that the Bengali lyrics are originally from a song “Boro Loker Beti Lo, that were penned by the veteran Artist Shri Ratan Kahar.
We had however done our due diligence before releasing the song, and nowhere on any copyright societies or on any of the previous reprises/version of the song was Mr. Ratan Kahar credited as lyricist. Information all across say that “boro loker beti lo’ is a traditional/folk song from the Bauls of Bangal. Just for general information, traditional songs are open for recreations/reprises/sampling globally.
I have always believed there is nothing more vibrant and beautiful than our Indian culture, music and languages. Which is why I have, in spite of being a commercial artist, always tried to include elements from my India roots in my music and present it to world with the opportunities that I have.
Genda Phool is my attempt at presenting the gorgeous melody of the Bengali Langauge and the forgotten instrument Dotara, packaged in a commercial song to make it consumable for people not just in India but across the world. Infact to retain authenticity, we have gotten the dotara played by one of the veteran instrumentalists of Bengal, Tapas Ray. The lyrics have also been sung by super talented vocal artist Payal Dev who is Bengali herself, to do justice to the linguistics.
After receiving so much information from the Bengali community, I have been constantly trying my best to reach out to him and connect with him and be able to do justice to the situation to all my might. However, the lockdown situation has not been helpful, it has been difficult to get through to the village that Shri Ratan Kahar is in and I am still trying. I urge and request any of the representatives who have been speaking on his behalf, to help me connect with him so I can do whatever possible on my part on humanitarian grounds to put this right.
I hope my fans and country audience will understand and support that this is a very honest attempt to put our traditional sounds on the world Map and make the world aware of our worth. I urge you all to hear this song as new way of introducing forgotten melodies to the new generation, as a celebration of folk music, People’s Music.”
Please read pic.twitter.com/zKE47cFUn6
— BADSHAH 2.0 (@Its_Badshah) March 31, 2020
Meanwhile, the DJ Wale Babu rapper has donated Rs 25 lakh to the PM-CARES Fund. He posted on Instagram, “”I pledge to donate 25 lakh rupees to the PM-CARES fund. A small contribution towards strengthening our country`s fight against the ongoing crisis. Together we will win. Jai hind!”