Oh alright, so dappan koothu songs won, thanks to some very persistent restless clickers who raised the vote by a huge number – 48 – when I last checked. Was feeling quite thrilled that there were so many who actually voted when I was quietly told that it was rigged. *sigh. Even my small little voting machine was rigged. Nothing’s fair these days.
So while growing up in Madras, we’d always hear ey podu, mass songs. The rowdy ones. Full of beats and the words would hardly make any sense. Not the kind of music that good girls from good families ought be listening to. We did listen though. Not necessarily at home but all tea kadais, street corners, groups of young boys would hum them to the girls walking by, and the TV would play them all the time. It was the lure of the unbeatable ever full of vigor music with bodies every in motion. Loosely defined, it was a south Indian version of the Punjabi bhangra.
That was pretty much how a dappan koothu was viewed. A street dance, where jobless young men danced occasionally under the influence. Then the movies adopted them at a higher status level. The heroes started wearing lungis hitched up over their long shorts and gyrated with a curvy vivacious female singing and dancing to the beat. They always had an army of synchronized men and women behind them in the background, and sometimes they moved better than the main guys themselves. With whistles dotting the tunes, the hips jutted back and forth, the expressions were raw, the movements were explicit. It was the strong playful vibe with an underlying raunchy sexual tone. It made even the geriatric uncle at home tap his feet, despite the aunt giving him cold stares and visibly upset over the times.
I loved them all. The songs I mean. Some were of course over the top, but for the most part, they were all laughable, tappable, ones that would push you into a quick bunch o steps when no one was looking. It’s the songs that people play celebrating New year. Dance music to get you into the spirit of happiness so to speak.
Onto the songs that I can remember. There are just too many of them and am sure the comment space’s gonna get filled quickly with all the juicy ones. :)
PrabhuDeva’s Petarap was a groundbreaker. Though I wouldn’t really classify it as a dappan koothu, it came close for its rhythm and unique blend of rap music and classic south Indian street dance.
Saroja Saman Nikalo from Chennai 60028 has been a hot favorite at home since last year. Even munchkin sings the song. At our annual diwali bash that the kids perform and I choreograph a bunch of them, we had decided we’d do a complete mass numbers. So I blended a hindi, telugu and tamil parts of songs and well, it was entertaining to say the least.
Vijay and Trisha look amazing in this Gilli – Apadi Podu. The art of looking good while doing crazy monkey kind of gestures is grace. Both have tons of it, and that gives a wonderful base to the song and tempo.
and the telugu version, which keeps the tune but clearly Vijay is a class apart.
A few more that I’ve watched and found them appealing.
NakkaMukka Loved the song for the visual. The guy can move alright, and the zeal clinches the deal.
Thalapathi : Rakamma Isn’t really a true dappan koothu, but comes close. Lovely number and I like it for various reasons.
Tollywood not to be left behind have a large array of mass songs. I personally cannot classify them into dappan koothu, for the reason that dk is very tamil. For me. It’s mass songs, in any other language.
The latest in our zeala nd vigor is the unbeatable NTR Jr. The guy looks like he weighs a ton but can he move or can he move! The first time I watched him, I was blown away. To defy the usual laws of gravity and body composition and to bend and nudge into postures is clearly praise worthy.
Here’s a number from Simhadri.
I am forcing to stop myself or I’d never post this draft. It’s a blast listening and doing the ‘beat’. Something you’d always carry with you from Madras. (At least for me)
So I know each of you are dying to launch into your favorites, so go ahead tell me, what do you like? Can I trouble you to please post youtube links too please?