Here is a new podcast from the Transatlantic Rebels. They are kicking off a series of in-depth looks at the various albums released by M.I.A… First up, naturally, is “Arular” from 2005. They will cover every album in the lead up to “AIM” so you should really check it out here.
If you’re going to copy, make sure you do it well. In a flagrant (let’s be kind) homage to DJ Mustard, Mickey Singh returns with the strong “Body” – of course, not literally, as when you see him in a sleeveless top, he’s quite a few reps away from his target. It’s got a good groove, a decent melody, a repetitive chorus and well chosen guests. The video is a bit on-the-nose, but it’s quite fascinating to see the evolution of Singh into his current form. It should certainly work pretty well in the club, which is the intended target. (Reviewed by Raman)
Maya is back in full effect with this stunning (kinda) new video. Comprising of banging new song “Swords”, then morphing into a genial album track “Warriors” (taken from her 2013 album “Matangi”), it’s fascinating when melded with the visuals. She’s the embodiment of female empowerment, and the anticipation for her new album is building. Partnering with *Apple Music is an interesting strategy that seems to be reaping dividends for Drake, so let’s just hope that Maya’s “Matahdatah” comes soon. (Reviewed by Jesal)
*FYI this was originally released in July but was an Apple Music exclusive.
The first verse by Raxstar on “Queen” proves precisely why he’s the go-to guy for sensitive rap: it’s near perfect. It’s a strange song, and you’re never entirely sure who is meant to be the lead artist here; but to all intents and purposes Raxstar simply takes the song from Zack Knight. The beat is probably the only slight letdown, as those synths don’t work as well as they could have down; it’s also a bit fussy and over-produced, with too many vocal layers. But Knight does a solid job, and the Luton MC impresses. “Queen” will certainly find its intended audience. (Reviewed by Jesal)
Some days, I recall the original video that Jus Reign references and just start repeating to myself “BBCAsianNetworkBBCAsianNetworkinnit”. True story. That shit was the funniest takedown of UK bhangra I had ever seen. And yes, a lot of artists didn’t like it (probably because it struck a bit too close to home). Anyway, Jus is back and this time he’s made good on his promise: this is a fully-formed parody song/video and features cameos aplenty. Clearly he’s spent a bit of money here, but it does show how easy it is to deliver a formulaic bhangra track. Even if we did the “Available on iTunes” gag here first, you should still bow to the Canadian master. (Reviewed by Jesal)
An interesting new one from Raxstar. Detailing an argument with his missus, the Bearded One flows well over a DJ Harpz beat that has clearly been inspired by Diplo and Skrillex. The breakdown works particularly well, and although the instrumental could have been a touch more well-rounded, it’s certainly a bit different from the norm. “Poison” is definitely worth your time. (Reviewed by Rahul)
Arjun himself described the video to “Excuse Me Girl” as “semi-pornographic” (sarcastically, of course, as it’s really not) and he wrote the song on a flight between India and England (we’re guessing this popped up on his MP3 player about 4 minutes prior). He’s still focused on (eventually) cracking the R&B scene in the UK, but for now it’s all about consolidating his rapid expansion within India and the surrounding markets. It makes sense, because the R&B scene in Britain is a relatively limp thing right now, whereas he could be an absolute hero in India doing his Prius hybrid of clean, safe R&B mixed with that desi flavour. The numbers alone speak for themselves, and are truly mind-boggling (seriously, take a look at how many Facebook fans he now has). As for “Excuse Me Girl”, Rekha Sawhney’s “Ambarsariya” sample really helps make it, adhering to Arj’s thus far successful formula of “blending Eastern and Western values” (sorry, that’s totally Shaadi.com). It’s a densely packed few minutes, with relatively simplistic but infuriatingly catchy lyrics burying their way into your psyche. An extremely young sounding chap called Reality Raj (nope, us neither) pops up to rap about 8 arguably needless bars, but it doesn’t specifically detract from the track. EMG is a fresh enough, summery take on a well-trodden path. The ladies at the front (and at the back, too) will indeed love this. Full lyrics below, by the way. (Reviewed by Jesal)
(ARJUN)This is for the ladies at the front, at the back This is your song, where you at, where you at? This is for my fellas at the crib, at the club Cruising with your boys, yeah, turn it, turn it up
(REALITY RAJ)Why you playing silly games, acting like we cannot be together? I know I give you them butterflies when we see each other I’ll give you all of it if you just let be me your lover Miss One Of A Kind, what’s really been on your mind, wassup
(ARJUN)Excuse me, girl, what’s your story? I just wanna get to know you better I would do anything for you bae Everything about you is so fascinating Give me 10 minutes of your time, babe I know that you’re shy but I gotta see you smiling We could be like Romeo & Juliet Why you playing hard to get, girl? What you see is what you get With me… Just give me something I’m standing every day underneath your balcony I’m never giving up until I know your name Excuse me, girl, what’s your story? I just wanna get to know you This is for the ladies at the front, at the back This is your song, where you at, where you at? This is for my fellas at the crib, at the club Cruising with your boys, yeah, turn it, turn it up
(REALITY RAJ)Why you playing hard to get, acting like you gon’ find someone better? I made a promise I’mma shelter you from any weather I’ll give you 21 flowers to show you to show you I’m forever Grateful, cos I will be eternally faithful to you