Maya is back in full effect with this stunning (kinda) new video. Comprising of banging new song “Swords”, then morphing into a genial album track “Warriors” (taken from her 2013 album “Matangi”), it’s fascinating when melded with the visuals. She’s the embodiment of female empowerment, and the anticipation for her new album is building. Partnering with *Apple Music is an interesting strategy that seems to be reaping dividends for Drake, so let’s just hope that Maya’s “Matahdatah” comes soon. (Reviewed by Jesal)
*FYI this was originally released in July but was an Apple Music exclusive.
The first verse by Raxstar on “Queen” proves precisely why he’s the go-to guy for sensitive rap: it’s near perfect. It’s a strange song, and you’re never entirely sure who is meant to be the lead artist here; but to all intents and purposes Raxstar simply takes the song from Zack Knight. The beat is probably the only slight letdown, as those synths don’t work as well as they could have down; it’s also a bit fussy and over-produced, with too many vocal layers. But Knight does a solid job, and the Luton MC impresses. “Queen” will certainly find its intended audience. (Reviewed by Jesal)
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)
An interesting new one from Raxstar. Detailing an argument with his missus, the Bearded One flows well over a DJ Harpz beat that has clearly been inspired by Diplo and Skrillex. The breakdown works particularly well, and although the instrumental could have been a touch more well-rounded, it’s certainly a bit different from the norm. “Poison” is definitely worth your time. (Reviewed by Rahul)
It’s nigh on impossible to tell whether “Brand New Swag” is really good or really shit. The beat sounds awful and brilliant at the same time. The chorus is dumb as fuck but catchy as hell. The rapping is either overly simplistic or perfect for the instrumental. The choice is yours. Sometimes music can be pretty damn confusing… (Reviewed by Raman)
We’ve given Bikram healthy doses of shit over the years, but we always review every new song with a fresh pair of ears. And so it’s great to tell you, dear Reader, that alongside pals Gunjan and Tigerstyle, he’s delivered the charming “Kawan 2”. Gunjan’s gorgeous vocals are pure ear candy, and Tigerstyle’s relaxed production is definitely on point too. Mr Singh himself gives a passionate performance, and this is definitely one to just kick back and enjoy life to. (Reviewed by Raman)
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)