How Honey Singh Got His “YO YO”


It was a more than average day when I was chatting with DJ Karma from Delhi. Karma has been in the game for almost a decade and beyond. In our conversation, we spoke of how Honey Singh originated and how his rise to fame was fueled by plagiarism in its super latentĀ form. It’s quite interesting that we draw similarities between Honey Singh and a “Drake“, where both concentrate on the commercial portrait of Hip Hop. Both Drake and Honey are great producers, horrible lyricist (reliant on ghost writers) and great businessmen.

DJ Karma


Until 2011, most of Honey Singh’s songs only described him as Honey Singh without the YO YOs. The word “Yo” is a commonly used Hip Hop slang, easily recognisable by the mass and provides an identity (as a rapper) to the beholder. It’s pretty clear that “YO YO” was strategically added into Honey Singh’s name to fuel his “rapper” image.

Yo Yo Honey Singh


So here is how the story goes: Apparently, DJ Karma, along with Honey Singh were at a studio recording for some singles. In one instance, DJ Karma got into the booth and as the usual slang of things goes, said “Yo Yo.. Honey Singh” as an ad lib in the start of the song. The style of it being said is heard even today with no credits to DJ Karma. Hip Hop has always been a genre of the people. Although it may not be fair to call this plagiarism, the exuberance of Honey Singh’s creativity is definitely questionable. Even in the USA or any country where Hip Hop has thrived has always been about the culture (which involves others in the game) and less about the show offs. Which brings me to ask.

Issey Kehte Hain Hip Hop, Hip Hop?