With a beat that makes you screw your face up in the most cliched way, even prompting an “Ooooooohweeeeeee!” or two, “Favourite Song” is a musical treat. RKZ is still in a highly experimental phase in his arc, both drawing heavily from the Soulquarians movement and combining it with his own burgeoning confidence. Dope. Ass. Shit. (Reviewed by Rahul)
It’s refreshing to be able to type the title of the review and not have to stick a “Featuring” into it. This is just RKZ on his own, with a track from his forthcoming mixtape “Science X Soul”. You can perhaps start to sense the general musical theme he’ll be deploying – a juxtaposing of Soul-ful vocals, perhaps some live instrumentation but an underlying theme of Science (be that electronica or the hip hop variant). “Still Oceans” is a lush summer track with a barely-there chorus, an addictive guitar strum and RKZ’s relaxed rhymes. It’s pretty damn cool. (Reviewed by Jesal)
“Got Me Singing” desperately sounds like the Raxstar of old – his lyrics and flow sound like the 2010 version, not the far more distinguished one we’ve come to know and love. The track is a smorgasbord of ideas, with some parts working well and others sounding shoe-horned in: Mumzy’s simple chorus is deceptively catchy but not one to necessarily connect to; the instrumental is decent but fussy; and (regrettably) the Luton MC is abysmal, phoning in every verse. It’s telling that his long-awaited album still hasn’t been released or even mentioned for a couple of years now. He’s getting YouTube views, making money, growing in popularity and doing well within the parameters of “Asian MC/Mela” standards. But Raxstar was the great hope: we were sold a different dream and his increasingly scatter gun approach hints at utility over artistic integrity. We hope we’re wrong about that, and pray that stuff like this doesn’t make the cut. (Reviewed by Raman)
A powerful and effective new track from TaZzZ takes a while to grow from Jaaneman 2.0 into Teardrops 1.0. The piano, use of a female Indian vocalist, Raxstar and the subject matter… They all play on those obvious themes, and fortunately most of it works well. Rax drops a stellar verse, Rita Morar is incredible (although it would have been nice to hear more of her, variety-wise) and the star himself is solid enough. TaZzZ’s delivery is, perhaps, a touch too angry for the overall tone of “Teardrops” and I’d argue that the drums slightly overwhelm the orchestration, but that’s admittedly nit-picking. This will find an audience. (Reviewed by Jesal)
And as an added bonus, here is the Unplugged version which, for our money, works better in almost every way (even the video, perhaps). The aforementioned orchestration is suddenly brought to life with only the occasional timpani for company. Excellent stuff. Rita Morar has incredible eyebrow control, FYI.
Being the kind of wanky review site we are, it’s sometimes easy to forget that some of the artists we cover are: a) Sinfully young; and b) Human after all. Eyec released “Happy Midnight” a good while ago now, and at an extremely tender age. To fans and DJ’s, it’s tempting to look at rappers in binary code alone. And so, it’s great when a song comes along to jolt you out of that slump. While the nature of “So Dark” leaves us a bit reticent to issue any kind of criticism its way (hence no score), the song is more about showing your scars and attempting to basically just find the fucking lightswitch in pitch black darkness. Having gone through really bad periods ourselves, it’s important to recognise that – cliche or not – there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. (Reviewed by Rahul)
Having downloaded and listened to the new mixtape from that little TaZzZMania-n Devil himself, you should probably check it out for free at this link. The first half is more compelling for you rap fans, while the second half basically gets pretty Bollywood. Go listen. (Posted by Jesal)
We’re not entirely sure about this joint from Zaheer and RKZ. It’s not without merit, with Zaheer contributing a professional (if ultimately uninspired) instrumental. RKZ delivers a deceptively catchy chorus, but his singing just seems a bit subdued. Then, he starts rapping and “Crazy” instantly gets significantly better. It just feels better suited to the beat, more grounded and connected. Simply put, this should have been a more conventional hip hop track with the same chorus. (Reviewed by Rahul)