Not surprisingly, "Beware" (the title is shortened on the album) sets the tone throughout: The instrumentation and Eastern harmonics of bhangra -- the traditional Indian music popular in the dance-music community of Coventry, England, from which Rai hails -- are combined with Western jeep beats and rhyming from a host of obscure MCs. Oddly enough for a person who calls himself an MC, Rai sings instead of rhymes on the record. He even includes more traditional Indian folk numbers like "Ghalla Gurian" to give the pop-hungry tourists a taste of his music's broader cultural context. Nevertheless, the album has a blatant commercial sheen, even with the dhols and the foreign-language libretto intact. But Rai himself is an impassioned singer, and makes himself immediately at home in these newfangled settings, making sure his appeal loses nothing in the translation. Of course, the U.S. streets will have the final say as to whether Panjabi MC is a one-hit wonder or India's first ambassador of hip hop.