Adil Omar: Paki Rambo, uncut

Published: October 3, 2011
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Adil Omar’s new music video “Paki Rambo” is an edgy ‘street single’ which will be featured in Pakistani film, Gol Chakkar. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY

Adil Omar’s new music video “Paki Rambo” is an edgy ‘street single’ which will be featured in Pakistani film, Gol Chakkar. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY

Adil Omar’s new music video “Paki Rambo” is an edgy ‘street single’ which will be featured in Pakistani film, Gol Chakkar. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY Adil Omar’s new music video “Paki Rambo” is an edgy ‘street single’ which will be featured in Pakistani film, Gol Chakkar. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY Adil Omar’s new music video “Paki Rambo” is an edgy ‘street single’ which will be featured in Pakistani film, Gol Chakkar. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY
ISLAMABAD: 

“I’m way beyond your government or parents’ approval.” The lyric from Adil Omar’s recently released “Paki Rambo” music video holds true; ‘approval’ isn’t exactly what the local rap sensation is after. The Express Tribune met with Omar at his loft, mere hours before he uploaded his new, gritty song, directed by Shahbaz Shigri and Aisha Linnea Akhtar and produced by DJ Solo of Soul Assassins.

The conversation steers towards depictions of violence. Omar considers his latest composition an edgy ‘street single’ — something for his fans — as opposed to his previous Los Angeles release [“Off the Handle” featuring American rapper Xzibit], “which was more commercial,” he adds. In fact, this is the first single Omar isn’t cleaning up or censoring for radio or television.

Uninterested in meaningful political or social commentary, Omar wants to emphasise the “comic nature” of the video’s unjustified violence and aggression — it’s all in good fun. The video revolves around the misadventures of Omar and his crew (including cameos from the cast of soon-to-be-released Gol Chakkar, a comedy sequel to Sole Search).

What did you have in mind for the video?

This is DJ Solo and my tribute to the Cypress Hill and House of Pain era of hip-hop which we grew up on. I wanted to depict hooliganism and people enjoying themselves. Its mindless fun — a lot of Jinnah Super and Pindi culture. I’m interested in appropriating that part of our culture. I wanted to write a tough character for “Paki Rambo”, which is inspired from a line in Four Lions. Personally, I don’t want to clean it up. Although I can understand how the ‘street-fighting’ or other elements we worked with come across as controversial. A lot of people are saying it’s violent because of suggestive content and blood. Others are saying it’s ‘cheap’ but what people don’t get is that’s exactly what we’re working with here, ‘Jinnah Super Cheap’. It’s supposed to be a funny video.

How was your experience working with Shahbaz and Aisha?

They offered me a role in Gol Chakkar but I couldn’t do it as I had to travel. I was really impressed by the film’s trailer. I initially gave them the “Paki Rambo” song for the film’s soundtrack but they wanted to do a video, which also allowed them to use elements and characters from the movie. We’ve been shooting since August at friends’ houses and outdoor locations like Banigala in  Islamabad. Our expenses stayed amazingly low and I’m extremely happy with Aisha and Shahbaz’s direction. I expected it to be good, just not this good. I’ve always walked away from videos I’ve done with a critical eye, but I think this is perfect.

What about the editing of the video?

There are a few things we cut out unfortunately. Maybe it’s for the best. One scene in particular had me dressed up as Charlie Sheen snorting Tulsi (a betelnut mouth freshner). We also cut Hasan Bruun Akhtar (also in Gol Chakkar) doing shots of Pakola with Tariq Amin.

Are you worried about people reacting adversely to the content?

Well, with a title like “Paki Rambo” people will think you’re going political but I’m not into that. I don’t want to do gimmickry. We provide entertainment — “Paki Rambo” is a different perspective. I’m not too worried; the feedback I’ve been getting is 98 per cent positive with a few complaints about objectionable content. I think people here take stuff too seriously. Then again, B-Real of Cypress Hill, Grammy winner Everlast, and Bakhtawar Bhutto have already shared the video, so I think I’m off to a good start.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Eeman
    Oct 3, 2011 - 11:22PM

    It’s awesome!!!

    Recommend

  • Sarah
    Oct 4, 2011 - 2:23AM

    LOVE! No way is this too violent. Agreed, people take stuff way to seriously here.Recommend

  • FrenchMan
    Oct 4, 2011 - 2:36AM

    Adil Omar is incredibly talented !
    His songs means a lot and I can see the best side of Pakistan in his videos !
    We don’t care about what government think, that’s just music from the real place… The streets…

    Recommend

  • alizeh haider
    Oct 4, 2011 - 9:57AM

    Well done Adil! you’re headed in the right direction! Best of luck!

    Recommend

  • zeeshan
    Oct 8, 2011 - 7:03PM

    Simple easy and every guY Love this Song …..Recommend

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