BBC Asian Network recently compiled a list of 50 Bhangra Anthems of all time, and we were surprised that our perennial favourite, “Mundian To Bach Ke,” only reached #2, because whenever that opening Knight Rider sample comes on, we’re the first on the dance floor!
Most of the songs we’ve featured for #TBT have been crossover successes that wear their Indian-English hybridity on their sleeves. But “Mundian To Bach Ke” was a game changer with its Punjabi verses and addictive beats that anyone could rock out to.
Producer Panjabi MC originally released the track in 1998, but due to the burgeoning online download industry, he re-released the track in 2003. Singer Labh Janjua sang the anthem, which reached the UK Singles Chart at #5, and #1 in Italy and Belgium. The song received wider exposure stateside when Jay-Z remixed the track, and shot to #15 on the Billboard charts.
Watch Panjabi MC’s “Mundian To Bach Ke”
The video is even more entertaining with its dynamic cinematography and hilarious storyline. It features characters called Blonde Travolta, Preetee Kaur, and even Angry Sikh, who are all on the streets of Kuala Lumpur evading police and each other while break dancers and crowds jam to the song. Some of the video is shot on the fly, which accounts for the random people with hooks in their backs and religious sadhus wandering around. It’s just a classic that doesn’t get old.