NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian police are investigating the murder of a popular Punjabi rapper who mixed hip-hop, rap and folk a day after he was fatally shot, officials said on Monday.
Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, also known around the world by his stage name Sidhu Muz Wala, was killed Sunday evening while driving his car in Mansa, a district of northern India’s Punjab state. Mus Wala, 28, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A senior Punjab State Police official, V. K. Bhavra, stated that the initial investigation found that the killing was the result of a gang rivalry.
The day before the attack, the Punjab government disarmed more than 400 people, including Musa Wala, in an attempt to suppress VIP culture, according to local media reports.
Mus Wala started out as a songwriter before a 2017 hit kickstarted his singing career, making him well known among the Indian and Punjabi diaspora in countries like the UK and Canada.
Most of his singles have an English title, although the songs were mostly sung in Punjabi. His glossy music videos were best known for their rap lyrics and often focused on macho culture. His debut album in 2018 hit the Canadian Billboard Albums Chart.
Mus Wala was a controversial figure, in part due to his lyrical style. In 2020, he was accused by police under India’s Guns Act of allegedly promoting gun culture in one of his songs.
His latest track “The Last Ride” was released earlier this month.
Last year, the rapper joined the Indian Congress Party and ran unsuccessfully for state assembly elections.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said that “no one responsible will be spared” and that he was deeply shocked and saddened by the killing.
Rahul Gandhi, a senior Congress leader, tweeted his condolences over the assassination.
“Deeply shocked and saddened by the assassination of a promising Congressional leader and talented artist,” he said.
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