Raxstar – “Ego”

Burban, Hindi, Hip Hop, Panjabi, Rap, UK, UK Asian

Score: 7.6

We’re a bit depressed here at SuperCritic. You see, we were waiting until today to post this – which is Raxstar’s birthday – and expected to see a slew of “Ego” reviews around the rest of the internet. Much to our consternation, this was absolutely not the case and, yes, we had a bit of a Twitter rant about it. Why are so few other music critics and writers actually posting reviews of music from the kind of artists we cover on this site? Really, you can count them on one hand (more on this another day). It turns out that the birthday boy’s latest number is certainly worth highlighting, and also writing about. It’s full of hip hop quotables laid over a menacing trap beat (courtesy of Sunit); the combination of the final verse with the accompanying visuals is something special to behold (ONE TAKE). It takes practically a minute for Rax to even get going (this may well be the opening salvo of his album) and there are plenty of excellent couplets on this ‘controlled aggression’ brag-fest. The only qualm we have is the occasional example of (minutely) off-beat delivery. It’s interesting, as Eminem was recently talking about how his first two major albums – “The Slim Shady LP” and “The Marshall Mathers LP” no less – still irk him to this day, simply because he now believes that his delivery wasn’t crisp enough: he was too frequently “playing catch up” to the beat. That’s always been a wild variable of Raxstar’s – it’s something that most fans probably wouldn’t even notice, but hip hop heads can identify immediately. Putting that aside, “Ego” is another solid statement of intent from the Luton MC. After all, a bit of ego never hurt anybody. (Reviewed by Jesal)

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Prem Singh – “Shaal Marke (Jump)”

Bhangra, Garage, Panjabi, UK, UK Asian

Score: 8.4

Whilst we include the straight bhangra video for “Shaal Marke” by Prem Singh, it is simply for the sake of it. The other video is audio-only of a lovely garage remix by Artful, and that will be the focus. The chopped up vocal sampling is expertly done, and that classic Artful sound helps to bring out the better aspects of the track (originally smothered in pretty typical bhangra-esque fashion) as it swiftly turns into an infinitely repeatable track to vibe to. This is definitely worth your time, and as Nihal says at the end of this radio rip, it could well be a subtle contender for one of the best tracks this year. Great stuff. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Shaal Marke (Jump) [feat. Artful] - Single - Prem Singh

TaZzZ – “I Am” (Featuring Humble the Poet & Raxstar)

Burban, Hip Hop, Panjabi, Rap, UK Asian, USA

Score: 7.2

Solid conscious rap curated by TaZzZ, this timing flying in Humble the Poet to collaborate with Raxstar. Regarding the Luton MC, well – you’d probably know pretty much all you need to by now. He’s on pretty good form here, going over the moody and atmospheric beat by TaZzZ with a degree of fervour that suggests this is his more favoured branch of hip hop. The star of the show, however, is undoubtedly Humble the Poet: at times reminiscent of Big Pun’s tongue-twisting polysyllabic rhyme schemes, at others beaten but defiant warrior, he’s a revelation. Good stuff. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Panjabi Hit Squad – “Dil Mera” (Featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan)

Bashment, Burban, DJ, Panjabi, R&B, UK Asian

SCORE: 6.4

It’s truly heartening to see that, after all these years, Panjabi Hit Squad can still take a perfectly good song and rip it off. In this case, it’s “Mamacita” but it could just as easily have been “Turn Me On” or “Tempted To Touch” (you get the idea). Despite the chronic lack of originality, “Dil Mera” is still a very catchy song, with excellent vocals from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Is it original? No. Will it sound good in clubs and make you want to dance? Yes. Pretty much that simple, really. (Reviewed by Sohail)

Dil Mera (feat. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) - Single - Panjabi Hit Squad