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Late Punjabi rapper Sidhu Moose Wala debuts at No. 9 on Billboard Canadian chart



David Friend, The Canadian Press

Published Wednesday, February 14, 2024 4:42PM EST

Last Updated Wednesday, February 14, 2024 9:14PM EST

TORONTO – Nearly two years after his shooting death, a new single by Punjabi rapper Sidhu Moose Wala has debuted at No. 9 on the latest Billboard Canada Hot 100 chart.

“Drippy” is the first track by the late performer to reach such heights on the Canadian music chart, which monitors streaming activity and digital sales across the country.

The song features Moose Wala performing in Punjabi while Toronto rapper AR Paisley contributes a verse in English.

Moose Wala, who was born Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, was killed two years ago while driving his car in northern India’s Punjab state, with police saying an initial investigation revealed an inter-gang rivalry.

Before his death, the rapper had spent years in Brampton, Ont., as an international student while recording music and building his name in the United Kingdom and Canada.

His 2018 debut album made it to the Billboard Canadian Albums chart, while Billboard reports the musician had charted 13 songs on the Canadian Hot 100, some of them after his death.

Punjabi music has seen a recent surge in popularity across Canada with prominent placement on key playlists from streaming services. Last year, Warner Music Canada struck an agreement with Warner’s India operations to form 91 North Records, a joint venture to promote South Asian musicians.

Moose Wala was a controversial figure, in part due to his song lyrics. In 2020, police charged him under India’s Arms Act for allegedly promoting gun culture in one of his songs.

The rapper joined India’s Congress Party in 2021 and unsuccessfully ran in the state’s assembly elections.

– with files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2024.

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