The criticisms levelled at the recent output from Rishi Rich Productions seem to consist of: a lack of content (sign artist, wait at least 2 years before they release anything, if they even get to that stage – see Tasha Tah); and the importance of style over substance. RRP know how to taken a young talent, make them work hard, market them well, turn them into comfortable live performers… It’s a very old school methodology that has many obvious merits. However, they just don’t seem to care about creating truly great music anymore. Abbas Hasan is the perfect example of this. He’s multi-lingual (demographic markets aplenty, ker-ching!), he’s good-looking, he does weights… And that is pretty much all we learn. It’s impossible to tell whether he can actually sing or not, such are the levels of studio trickery applied to his vocals; as for originality, the track is called “Habibi” (enough said), so don’t expect anything revolutionary other than the language-switching. The beat is professional but without soul, nor is it particularly melodic… Eurgh. It’s such a depressing shame that with all their resources, the ambition of RRP and/or their artists is still so bewilderingly low – just look good, perform a decent live show, release an album with one or two solid tracks, make money. And that’s it. Judging from “Habibi” the story of Abbas Hasan doesn’t seem to be any different, though we truly hope to be wrong. But if they don’t care, why should we?