It reads almost like an academic paper on hybridity:
MTV World's premise for these new channels was commonsensical: that young bicultural Americans have tastes different from those of youths in their ethnic homelands and therefore need, as it were, a customized MTV.
In that premise lay a confluence of academic and commercial thinking. For at least a decade, academics have explored the idea that many immigrants possess "transnational" identities. That is, aided by jet travel, technology and global commerce, they - and their children - maintain vital, current links to homelands that are never really left behind. There has been a fervent debate in intellectual circles about the "cultural space" inhabited by the children of recent immigrants and to what extent its very "hybridity" makes it a place of its own.
The new "hybrid" channels can be read as part of a pattern that began with the great globalization of MTV more than a decade ago:
When MTV began to establish channels abroad in the late 1980's, critics viewed the expansion as quintessential cultural imperialism that would homogenize youth culture worldwide. Early on, though, MTV learned that it made better business sense to be "glocal" - their motto is "think global, act local" - than to impose a wholly American cultural product. Young people, wherever they were, would watch international acts for only so long before they wanted to see something of their own. So each of MTV's international channels developed local talent and its own personality: MTV Indonesia has a call to prayer, MTV Italy has cooking shows, MTV Brazil is, visually speaking, extremely colorful and, sartorially speaking, quite bare.
Later in the article, M.I.A. is mentioned, as is the Desi rap group Karmacy. Also Kabhi Kushi, Kabhi Gham.
A couple of quick thoughts:
1. Who will get MTV Desi? Will it be on markets outside of New York? Will we have to sign up for some special package deal with the cable company? (If so, fuhgeddaboutit)
2. This channel evidently has my number culturally (and even intellectually, judging by the quotes above). If there were a channel running M.I.A., Jazzy B (a Punjabi pop star), and "Just Chill" from Pyar Maine Kyun Kiya?, I would probably have it on in the background all day.
Well, for a week at least. Currently, if you know those three references, you have to work at it a little. New bollywood numbers have cachet for ABCDs partly because it's a bit subcultural -- off the mainstream media's radar. There's a danger that having easy access to all these different genres of "desi" music might make it seem a little drab. I found it hard enough to sit through Bunty Aur Babli's "Nach Baliye" in the movie theater (it's a passable dance song but it's filmed really badly). I'm not sure I need to see it again and again.