Jus Reign – “Kabootaran Di Shaan”

Bhangra, Canadian, Diss, Panjabi, Parody, Rap, UK, UK Asian, Video

Score: 7.0

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)


Jay Deala – “Vida Tropical”

Hip Hop, Parody, Rap, USA

Score: 2.4

Aside from the heresy of calling himself ‘Jay Deala’ (Mr Yancey must be rolling in his grave), expect “Vida Tropical” to be one of the worst offerings you’ll witness this year. Absolutely cliche-ridden at every turn, with corny rhymes, catchphrases and concepts, it’s a failure to update hip hop from 15 years ago. Not the good hip hop, you understand – the awful A&R driven bullshit that forced rappers into actors, prostituting all and sundry. You talkin’ 10’s – everywhere? Not here. A complete embarrassment that we could devote an entire site to. (Reviewed by Raman)

Das Racist – “Michael Jackson”

F***ing Unclassifiable!!, Hindi, Hip Hop, Parody, Rap, USA

Score: 8.7

We’ve hitherto ignored Das Racist, for the simple fact that we wanted to see if they were actually going to take the extended joke seriously, and release an album. Now that “Relax” has dropped – buoyed by the excellent lead single “Michael Jackson” – it’s clear that these American boys have a lot to give. The incredible beat draws in a million different influences (there might even be the PS3 start-up sound at one point), plus they get the Dip Set piss-take pretty much dead-on. It’s a subtly funny epic, that is genuinely repeatable – not to mention, shit bangs. Of course, the humor is likely to go over many a head, but we suggest you do all you can to get in on the joke and just enjoy it all before it gets stale.

Illmatik – “Tere Ishq”

Bhangra, Dance, F***ing Unclassifiable!!, Hip Hop, Parody, R&B, Rap, RIP, UK Asian

Score: 3.4

Aside from the unspeakable sin of being called “Illmatik” – sheer sacrilege, especially once you’ve heard him “rap” – this new effort “Tere Ishq” is an ill-informed assault on music as an ideal. Clearly, Illmatik deserves a bonus mark for showing up to the exam and writing his (ridiculous) name on the answer paper. But every other aspect is a complete fail. His lyrics/flow/voice are a waste of time and, truth be told, if you remove him from this song, the beat and the chorus would probably sound an awful lot better. It’s just a complete car-crash for virtually everybody involved, and how some people can convince others to get on board with their “project” is continually baffling. Someone needs to make Illmatik improve, or just make him stop. This is benefitting nobody. (FYI this review is rather more polite than the comments on his YouTube videos).

Caravan Crookz – “Bhangra Video”

Bhangra, Dance, Diss, Hip Hop, Parody, Rap, UK Asian, Video

Score: 4.8

“Those who lack imagination cannot imagine what is lacking.” This is true. However, we still can’t imagine where the fuck Caravan Crookz are heading with this, and what the point of it all is. Apart from the easiest of targets – c’mon, seriously, Bhangra videos?? – we find them preaching that “half of these waste-cats look stoned.” But really, it comes across as if they themselves are trying to make subversive stoner music. Or, even worse, this may well be their attempt to break into television (in the vein of “Trexx & Flipside”). Either way, it just feels like Swami Baracus would be better off trying to save this music for his own album, so either do it better or kill off this vanity project for a while. Parody works best when placing your comedic microscope over the hilarious minutae of life that everybody else has missed – this just sounds like a conversation over sheesha with Brit Asia on in the background.