Friday, 4 September 2009

77: Panjabi MC - Mundian To Bach Ke

Subsequent to my producing this list of my 100 favourite songs of the Noughties, I've discovered that my #77 song was actually written, recorded and first released in the 90s. However, it wasn't until 2003, when it was re-released, that it became a worldwide smash hit, and it's importance in the story of Noughties pop music is such that I feel it should keep its place.

Panjabi MC's story is an interesting one. The Coventry-born rapper (real name: Rajinder Singh Rai) has released 10 albums, in a career spanning back to 1993. Prior to the success of 'Mundian To Bach Ke' ('Beware Of The Boys'), he had already worked with fellow Midlands rapper, Mark Morrison, as well as Snoop Dogg's cousin, Daz Dillinger. However, 'Mundian...' helped him achieve global fame, and subsequently, other music from his back catalogue has been used in TV show 'Heroes', the film 'Inside Man', and as ring entrance music for WWE wrestler, The Great Khali.

All that said, were it not for the clever usage of the bassline from the 'Knight Rider' TV theme to remix Labh Janjua's original vocal, Panjabi MC would probably still be in Coventry, releasing albums no-one had ever heard. Instead, 'Mundian...' became a worldwide sensation, selling 100,000 copies in Germany in just two days, topping the Italian charts, becoming the first bhangra song to reach the UK Top 10, and earning Panjabi MC an MTV Europe Music Award, and a MOBO for Best UK Act. Oh, and a lifetime's stream of royalties. Good work.

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