Mukti is a 1977 Hindi-language Indian feature film directed by Raj Tilak. Though the film itself isn’t known globally, one of the tracks from its soundtrack “Dance Music”, composed by the legendary R. D. Burman, became one many hip-hop fans recognise. I initially heard it on the Kanye West-produced Nas track “Bonjour” off his 11th studio album Nasir. I did really like the track and the angelic tone brought by the colourful and soulful keys throughout.
Rahul Dev Burman was one of the most influential Indian film producers and composers, having worked on 331 films throughout his life, a pretty phenomenal achievement. He was born to a Bollywood composer/singer Sachin Dev Burman and his lyricist wife Meera Dev Burman. Growing up in such a musical family, he was drawn to make music at a young age. At just nine years old, R. D. Burman composed his first song “Aye meri topi palat ke aa”, which his father used in the film Funtoosh (1956). That was the start of his brilliant career in music until his unfortunate early passing in 1994, aged 54.
Madlib used R. D. Burman’s “Dance Music” and sampled it brilliantly on track 14 of his incredible collaborative album with Freddie Gibbs, Bandana. The grittiness of “Education” throughout is pretty fantastic, as the lo-fi tone of the track juxtaposes the beauty of the original, which is rich in strings, angelic keys and vocals that are poignant and soulful. The track features Yasiin Bey and Black Thought, as they exchange intricate and clever verses, with incredible wordplay and vivid imagery. Black Thought’s verse especially is exceptional, though the way that Yasiin and Freddie flow on that track is incredible as well. It’s the way the sample is used though, that’s truly fantastic.
Listen to R.D. Burman’s excellent 1976 “Dance Music” below and find purchase information for the record here. Released on the Soundtrack to Mukti, released via The Gramophone Company of India Ltd.
Listen to Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s amazing “Education,” off their excellent collaborative album Bandana. The track features Yasiin Bey and Black Thought below. Find purchase information on the album here.