Throwback Thursday: Panjabi MC

I like my hip-hop blended with a splash of Indian music.  Well, bangra music to be exact.  Yeah, that’s how I roll.  In order to get a good feel for what I am talking about, we will need to drop on back to 2003, and take a listen to Panjabi MC’s Beware.  If you claim that you have been exposed to Indian culture because you watched Slumdog Millionaire, well, you need to get out more.  Strap yourself in and let’s learn you something new.


Mr. Panjabi MC

Panjabi MC, aka Rajinder Singh Rai, had been crafting beats for a while when he finally got deserved attention in 2002-2003.  Are you wondering where his moniker came from?  Well, I am glad you asked.  His stage name “Panjabi” pays homage to his Punjabi culture.  “MC” pays homage to Master of Ceremonies.  With me so far?  Now that you understand his name, it is important to understand the music.  Panjabi MC has made it a goal to create a unique fusion of bhangra and hip-hop.  What we get is a beat driven style that never quits.  Do you need to understand all of the lyrics to enjoy the music?  Not at all.  I mean, do you honestly understand the lyrics of most of the current hip-hop coming out of the states?  My point exactly.

Beware really gained steam in 2003, because of its phenomenal head-bobbing title track.  It also didn’t hurt that Jay-Z tossed his talent into the mix.  Add it all up and you got yourself an international smash hit.  Since Beware, Panjabi MC has continued to put out new music and find ways to forge great partnerships with other artists.  Beware was a big deal for me because it marked a eye-opening moment in my musical appreciation.  Panjabi MC reminded me that there is a whole bunch of music floating around the globe that is just waiting to be shared with others.  Get your dancing shoes on and expand your horizons with Beware.

KC’s Personal Picks: “Beware”, “Jogi” and “Jatt Ho Giya Sharabee”

Scope out the Jay-Z remix of “Beware”

About the Author

Kevin has a long history of discovering the best music out there. He started off as an event coordinator for a ton of different types of shows and slowly started to grow his musical interests over time. Maybe some of those interests included the Baja Men, maybe they didn't.

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