Panjabi MC has made my world come full circle. Not only is he the most popular bhangra crossover artist in history- the man has worked with Jay-Z, cialis sale click Beyonce, Beenie Man, Twista, and DJ Premier and the Pussycat Dolls as well as being sampled by Lady Gaga- Panjabi MC also has some serious ties to my hometown in the Midwest. This DJ and producer has been #1 on the BBC Radio 1 playlist, had multiple number one hits on the UK singles chart, won Best Dance Act at MTV Europe, won recording artist of the year at The World Music Awards, and is also a certifiable global phenomenon.
As every desi knows, and any non-desi who knows anything, “Mundian To Bach Ke” is Panjabi MC’s greatest success. Bhangra exploded across Western Europe with this track, the leading edge of the shock wave reaching Jay-Z. Jay-Z asked Panjabi MC to collaborate on “Beware of the Boys,” bringing the ends of my circle together. My brother and I religiously watched the TV show Knight Rider while growing up (my brother was into KITT, the talking car, and I was into David Hasselhoff). Jay-Z and Panjabi MC sampled the theme song from Knight Rider, the anthem of my childhood, in “Beware of the Boys.” Meanwhile Shawn Johnson, the Olympic gold medalist gymnast, performed a bhangra routine on Dancing With the Stars to “Beware of the Boys.” Shawn Johnson also happened to attend my high school in West Des Moines- we had the same French teacher, years apart.
I won’t comment on Shawn’s bhangra skills. Us Midwesterners are always polite, especially when a fellow Iowan is trying something entirely novel on national television. But the fact that Panjabi MC has this many connections to my sleepy suburban hometown in the Midwest? The man is undeniably global and undeniably huge. For the first time in 10 years he’s returning to San Francisco. Prepare yourself for a crazy, phenomenal night this Saturday with the one and only Panjabi MC.