Bomfunk MC’s breakbeat hit ‘Freestyler’ turns 21 years old
The Finnish music scene has a lot to celebrate this year. Darude’s song ‘Sandstorm‘ turned 21 years old and so did another 90’s global hit, ‘Freestyler‘ by hip-hop group Bomfunk MC’s. As one of the most recognizable breakbeats celebrating its 21st birthday, it is time to walk down on memory lane and take a look at the story behind it.
The breakbeat classic was released as the third single from their first studio album ‘In Stereo‘ in October 1999 and made its debut in the international music scene a year later. Prior to 2000, popular music in Finland was mainly produced for their national audience. However, with the release of ‘Sandstorm‘ and Bomfunk MC’s single, the tables have turned. It didn’t take too long for ‘Freestyler‘ to become Europe’s best selling single in year 2000: it topped the charts in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany, and was number 2 in the United Kingdom. The same year Bomfunk MC’s won the Best Nordic Act award at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Both 90’s anthems were produced by one of the most accomplished Finnish DJ/producer and founding member of the hip-hop group, Jaakko Salovaara also known as JS16.
Although the the band’s collaborators dedicated themselves to other musical projects after 2005, they made a comeback after a 14 year-long hiatus in 2019. They revealed two new tracks, “Can’t Runaway” and “Mic Drop“, and perfomed at several festivals. Most of us remember the iconic music video which was set underground a Helsinki metro station including 90’s essentials: bboys, dreads, The PlayStation controller, the MiniDisc and oversized pants. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Belgian telecom provider Telenet reshot the video clip with modern-day twists while honoring the original members of the group by having them in the video. The creative director explained the reason behind making a tribute:
” The song is a modern evergreen. It’s part of the soundtrack of an era. The end of the MTV generation, entering the new millennium… it takes us all back to many memories.“
Make sure you check out the new version and get nostalgic with the original version here.
Image Credit: Bomfunk MC’s via Youtube