“Mundian To Bach Ke,” The Bhangra Anthem That Lives On

The 2003 Panjabi MC and Jay-Z track became a global sensation. More than 20 years later, we’ve yet to experience anything like it. Why?

IMG 20230810 0006 copy panjabi mc
Panjabi MC in India (Courtesy of Panjabi MC)

Ayesha Le Breton


February 12, 2024


13 min

Let’s run it back to 2003. British Indian producer Panjabi MC kicked off the year with his song “Mundian To Bach Ke” as the first Bhangra track to reach the U.K. top 10. A month later, he received a call from New York City rap legend Jay-Z. Well, not exactly. Panjabi MC admits that he didn’t pick up, and got a voice message instead. “He gave me the verse on the answering machine,” Panjabi MC told The Juggernaut. Jay-Z, Billboard’s greatest rapper of all-time, would help catapult the song to global fame.

From bat and bar mitzvahs to sweet sixteens, from weddings to clubs, from Coachella to Paris Men’s Fashion Week, the song found fans in every corner of the world. Yet, long after 2003, “Mundian To Bach Ke” persists on our playlists and film soundtracks and trailers galore. What made the song so universally popular? That’s as much a mystery to the listener as it is to Panjabi MC himself, who told The Juggernaut, “I’d probably have made hundreds of songs like that” if he knew.

Join today to read the full story.


Already a subscriber? Log in