He is popularly known as Menace on the internet is the man behind the beats for Desiigner‘s “Panda” that broke Billboard records and some chunk of this success is thanks to Adnan Khan aka Menace, a British-Pakistani producer’s beats for the hit. The song was such a hit that it was sampled on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo winning a nomination at the BET hip hop awards this year for the Best track in the process. While all of these things sounds like it makes the road to more success easier for Khan, there was one problem, the U.S. border control, who held Khan up because of his Muslim sounding name and Khan in return missed the BET awards.
Khan’s story is very interesting. He was 12 when he started making beats and the inspiration came from the records of Michael Jackson and Billy Ocean, his father owned. As a kid, Khan’s mp3 player was filled sounds by Scott Storch and Dr.Dre. So making beats was a natural progression, Khan sold his beats online to artists such as The Outlawz’s Young Noble.
Things took a turn when khan realised that his beats were a source of income for him. He was in school at the time with a part time job. He sold his beat “Maniac” to Desiigner at $200, it was a beat that took him only two hours to make. It had reached 10,000 views on his YouTube page while there were beats that he had made that had hit more than 200,000 views. He was also not aware that his beat was used until someone tweeted at him and he checked out the number of views go up to 100,000 in a day. Khan was waiting for something like this to happen, Desiigner had used his beat and made something great out of it.
Things just sky-rocketed when the track went on Kanye’s Pablo and Khan’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing. People wanted beats from him “just like Panda”. He bagged a publishing deal with Stellar Songs, putting him in the company of Fetty Wap, Charli XCX and Sam Smith.
In the midst of all this success, when his song got nominated for the BET awards, Khan was overjoyed and put in papers for a Visa but his religion became a source of threat for the immigration and his processing was stretched indefinitely, even though he had no criminal record.
It’s not something that Khan hasn’t thought about- being a trailblazer of sorts in the industry. There are Muslim artists like DJ Khaled and Zayn Malik who are open about their religious identities and also very influential. He also feels that he has opened a door for South Asians in general. His spirit may have been dampened a little because he missed the BET awards, but he stays hopeful and plans to make a bigger comeback when the Grammy’s are due in February.