1. Cloud 9 (featuring Matewar & Kumari), “Kan Kar Gal Sun”
Cloud 9’s debut single is a cover of Punjabi singer Amar Singh Chamkila’s “Kan Kar Gal Sun.” Chamkila, who died at 27, is generally acknowledged as an all-time great with impossible-to-replicate charisma. This lukewarm remake of his classic pales somewhat in comparison to the original.
Best YouTube Comment: “yooo dat yard iz sickkkkkkkkkkkk were iz dat” —babeepakr4lyf
2. Panjabi Hit Squad (featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan), “Dil Mera”
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is the nephew of legendary Pakistani musician Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who brought the Sufi devotional music known as qawwali into the mainstream with his six-octave range. Rahat works as a Bollywood playback singer, sang on the soundtrack of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, and judged a TV talent competition reality show called Chhote Ustaad — Do Deshon Ki Ek Awaaz. Panjabi Hit Squad are two Brits on UK Def Jam.
Best YouTube Comment: “rahat u rocking” —rashidalibutt2050
3. Mika Singh (featuring Amitabh Bhattacharya, Nakash, & Pritam), “Pungi”
Ridiculously dashing actor Saif Ali Khan goofs off in a hotel in the video for this song from the spy thriller Agent Vinod. The tune was written by Pritam Chakraborty, who interpolated Boney M. for another song from the soundtrack, and has been accused of ripping off Iranian group Barobax’s “Soosan Khanoom” for “Pungi.” Pritam has faced charges of plagiarism several times, and writes it off as being “inspired” by other artists, which is also known as the Diplo defense.
Best YouTube Comment: “IM ABOUT TO FLUNK FOR MY BOARDS. THIS SONG MADE ME BACK TO NORMAL. HEARTFUL THANKS TO SAIF” —sebootyak47
4. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (featuring Dr. Zeus), “Wich Pardesan”
This is Birmingham-based bhangra producer Dr. Zeus’s attempt to remix Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan into something kind of hip-hoppy. The version without the lame guest verse from Shortie is significantly better. Dr. Zeus is not to be confused with Zeus, a rapper from Botswana, or with Dr. Zaius, the Ape Minister of Science and Chief Defender of the Faith.
Best YouTube Comment: “love love love love love love love love love love love love love love love” —tresbellax
5. Akon (featuring Hamsika Iyer), “Chammack Challo”
Yes, that Akon. “Trying to find the words to describe this girl without being disrespectful” Akon. From now on the word “shawty” is interchangeable with “chammack challo.” Commenters seem split on whether this attempt at fusion worked out. Considering how it stuck in my head, I’d have to call it a success.
Best YouTube Comment: “this song gives me the creeps is pretty nice” —Alithedonn
6. Amrinder Gill (featuring Dr. Zeus & Shortie), “Yarrian”
Another Dr. Zeus joint featuring Shortie, this time for actor/singer Amrinder Gill. How would you describe Shortie’s mustache? To me it looks like the Motorola logo. If this just knocked heavier I would really love it. Although something about Amrinder Gill dancing around by himself in that pristine apartment set is very satisfying to watch.
Best YouTube Comment: “Song Is Awesome, I would Prefer If They Showed The Long Drive In this Video, I Mean The Guy is Driving in Some Expensive Car Ferrari or Something Else While He is Driving The Girl Is Sitting Beside Him, Showing that Her Mood Is Off and They Guy is Going to Drop her Off But After Long Last Drive Which Also Includes Beautiful Scenes and Pit Stop On The Way.” —Mirzajatt87
7. Gupsy Aujla (featuring Saini Surinder & Violinder), “Gabru Rangeeleh”
Bhangra jam with a music video taking place at a castle keep and a Sikh history lesson in a classroom courtesy of grade school teacher/singer Saini Surinder. DJ Stin plays the king, and Raginder “Violinder” Momi contributes strings and wails on a sarangi solo at the end. Epic!
Best YouTube Comment: “the loops with violin and punjabi beat are awesome” —amanhiamanhai
8. Roach Killa, “Oh Girl”
Roach Killa is a Canadian rapper of Pakistani background. I think his ball chain necklace is made of diamonds? Too much lazy Auto-Tune on this one, and a hyper-generic chorus. The most exciting part is when Garry Sandhu shows up. I think Roach Killa is a pretty hilarious name for a rapper though.
Best YouTube Comment: “beat alrite. otherwise garbage.” —chandigarhia
9. Mamta Sharma & Sukhwinder Singh, “Anarkali Disco Chali”
Mamta Sharma sings playback for this song from Housefull 2: The Dirty Dozen, a sequel to the huge 2010 hit Housefull. References are made in the lyrics to hip-hop, trance, and rocking the floor — all while so many awesome backup dancers in silver sequin vests and little red neckerchiefs do “Stayin’ Alive” moves to rickety synth grooves and horn bleeps that sound nothing like disco. An archetypal Bollywood item number.
Best YouTube Comment: “Mallika looks great in any item song. She’s an item rockstar :D” —siddharthmagazine
10. Shreya Ghoshal & Atif Aslam, “Piya O Re Piya”
Pakistani pop star Atif Aslam’s voice blends perfectly with Shreya Ghoshal’s in this soundtrack to Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, a Hindi rom-com starring real-life married couple Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia D’Souza. Listening to this makes me feel like a fucking bluebird.
Best YouTube Comment: “Cutiest couple <3" —musiclover10094