Raxstar – “Got Me Singing” Featuring Mumzy Stranger

Burban, R&B, Rap

Score: 5.8

“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)

Advertisements

Eyec JaĆ© – “So Dark” featuring Emmanuel

Burban, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, UK, UK Asian

Score: N/A

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)

Free Mixtape: TaZzZ – “TaZzZMania2”

Bhangra, Burban, Dubstep, Hindi, Hip Hop, Panjabi, Pop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian

Score: N/A

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)

Zaheer X RKZ – “Crazy”

Burban, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian

Score: 5.9

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)

Anita – “High Heels”

Pop, R&B, UK Asian

Score: 3.6

There’s a lot of play-acting in the Asian music industry. Most of it exists to try and Jedi Mind Trick you into thinking that the artist is already some kind of superstar – you just never realised. Obviously 98% of it is bullshit. As far as Serese are concerned, they are/were clearly a talented girl group who basically achieved very, very little – yet acted as though they were Destiny’s Child or TLC. Cold, hard facts. You may note the possible use of past tense there – have Serese split up? Because Anita has released “High Heels” – a solo single in clear need of dialysis. The production is extremely solid, the video’s clearly had a bit of money chucked at it and the singer herself can technically sing a bit. Yet, it is so poorly written, about 8 years too late, without any kind of point and destined to not actually connect with whoever it was aimed at. After a while, you start to wonder if this money would have been more wisely invested in the London property market. Anita’s reticent vocals and constantly switching wardrobe aren’t fooling anyone. Be honest, be real and be yourself. (Reviewed by Raman)

Arjun – “Take It Back”

R&B

Score: 7.8

Well, this is weird. Not the song. Not even the video. No… Someone has decided to spam Arjun’s new video (the Main one, not the previous – and rather excellent – Lyric Video) with massive numbers of ‘Dislikes’. It’s all rather unsettling, and we got the feeling that after this, the unusually quiet Arjun didn’t really feel like pushing his new vehicle as hard. He ended up admitting such via Twitter, a sincere shame – it’s a freak occurance, and the singer should take it as a bizarre compliment, if possible. When you’re a lone bird on a wire, it’s easier for camouflaged lowlifes to shoot from a distance. And make no mistake, it’s songs like “Take It Back” that have made Arjun stand apart from his peers. It’s an infuriatingly addictive song, one that will burrow its way into your brain until you’re no longer able to resist. The verses are a touch repetitive, but the bridge, chorus and – most importantly – concept are superb. It’s the kind of song that marks a genuine mission statement – Arjun is a fan of R&B, and he’s trying to bring it back. The tempo hovers around the 101bpm mark; the strings are vaguely reminiscent of “No More” by Ruff Endz – or at the very least, that era of production; the verses are kind of like Nelly Furtado’s “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)” in the way they quote/interpolate old school lyrics. Whilst “Take It Back” isn’t Arjun’s ‘A’ game in certain respects (the production isn’t as refined/subtle as that era of R&B, plus the video might not be as polished as “Vampire”), it’s a great start. Plus, you know, it’s just so damn catchy. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Beatboxer Ekko – “Never Be Enough” (Featuring Raxstar & Rita Morar)

Burban, Dubstep, Grime, Hip Hop, Pop, R&B, Rap, UK, UK Asian, Video

Score: 8.1

Produced by PKCthefirst, featuring subtly effective contributions from Beatboxer Ekko himself and Rita Morar, this is predominantly an opportunity to view the alternate side of Raxstar. Sometimes it is easy to forget – whether speaking as a fan or reviewer – that the Luton MC doesn’t just deliver tracks for the ladies. That may be because Raxstar’s currently in the midst of a genuinely productive era in his career – he is practically on the cusp of featuring in one brand new video every month, whether solo for dolo or as a guest. He’s firmly in the groove, and while the next step is releasing a genuinely solid album, his star is still rising. “Never Be Enough” is almost like that recent episode of “How I Met Your Mother” – the one called “The Over-Correction” where the characters go so hard the other way, it is both crazy and productive. Thus, we find our rapper almost snarling at the microphone throughout, and it most certainly works (the polar opposite of “Cold World”). Beatboxer Ekko has overseen a great record, here, and should really be putting it on iTunes – but it’s a free download. Generous chap. (Reviewed by Jesal)