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)
A strong offering here from RTP – that’s Rax Timyr Productions – underscoring a lovely, lilting duet between Amin and Menon. The male lead (Amin) actually has a unique timbre to his voice, and in the future, this should be brought out (not subdued, as occasionally it is here). There’s nothing wrong with being unconventional, as Priti Menon has proved so admirably over the last couple of years, and the joining together of these two artists makes perfect sense. The song itself is, as one would expect, a solid modern Hindi love song – nothing spectacular, but enjoyable nonetheless. In fact, the only aspect we’re slightly disappointed by is the somewhat lacklustre drumkit – it’s missing that touch of crispness. It’s truly a minor complaint, and “Tujhe Maan Loon” will certainly please the intended market, all the while aiding the ascension of the two singers themselves. (Reviewed by Sohail)
Enough with the “Satisfya rhymes with Amplifier rhymes with Tumble Dryer!!!!!!” jokes. Enough. Imran Khan is back, and – unfortunately – it’s hard to disagree with him when he states that not enough artists have stepped up in his absence. Yet, his new track hardly aims for lofty heights – it’s acceptable to simply settle for mindlessly entertaining blockbuster single, but we’re not sure even does that particularly well. It’s definitely a cool song to drive to, but the melodies aren’t super catchy. The chorus is ok but again, a notch below what we’re used to. The lyrics? Pretty terrible, actually – at various points, Khan doesn’t even bother to make them rhyme. So what saves the day? The production by Eren E – the undoubted star of the show. “Satisfya” is perfectly alright, but we’re not sure it will age particularly well. (Reviewed by Rahul)
Imagine a big budget version of Jaya’s hilariously insane visuals for “Outta Control” and you could well end up with “You And I” – one of the worst videos in recent memory. From the otherwise talented Anjulie, it’s an absolute disaster, complete with slobbering PDA’s, random acts of villainy, off-kilter dancing, an acoustic guitar being played in places where there is literally no acoustic guitar being played, a half-done hair dye, and an ass-grabbing callous disrespect for road safety… Honest to God, by the end you’re rooting for the police to just shoot (or at least taser) Anjulie and her hired in model. As for the song, the poor production only serves highlight the poorly written verses and poor chorus. Anjulie is usually far better than this (“Brand New Bitch” was solid enough). But then, at 3m45s, the video stops (thank fuck) and cuts to the singer, with her guitar, beautifully singing a stripped down version of “You And I” – and suddenly it all just works. This would surely have done much better way to go (imagine a Track & Field/Nelly Furtado ’00 vibe). It just goes to prove: you can have a record deal, tracks with Nicki Minaj and Cassie, a VEVO account… But one can never legislate for the poor decision-making, and we suspect Anjulie was probably told what to do here. (Reviewed by Raman)
There is a bizarre and undeniably goofy charm to watching any genre in its infancy. Hip hop, whilst reaching a state of maturity in many markets, is most certainly nascent within the “desi” landscape. A good example of this is So So Desi Entertainment’s batshit crazy song and video for “What Do YOU Stand For” – complete with a catchy as hell chorus, somewhat basic lyrics and indelible production. Cap it all off with one of the most insane low budget videos we’ve ever seen, and you’d be forgiven for writing them off. However, their hearts are so clearly in the right place, and couple that with melodies, and you may as well give them a chance. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? (Reviewed by Raman)
Forgive us for pointing this out, but we’re pretty sure that J.Hind – “Born and raised to Indian immigrant parents” nonetheless – actually says: “Niggaz change for the limelight, I said it before.” Now, one must ask what gives him the right to say “niggaz” on record? Assuming that is what he actually says, it’s the ultimate faux pas in hip hop. If it is indeed the case, it’s a shame as it casts a shadow over what is a promising performance on a decent enough song.
TaZzZ pulls a slightly sneaky one here, although it is well within his rights to do so – naturally, he provides the beat, but on his opening verse, he also steals the show with the most energetic and translatable verse on display. The beat itself is solid as opposed to spectacular, but it has an undeniable brute charm. The guest MC’s are variable: Words Ali is a good lyricist, but doesn’t seem vocally suited to this particular instrumental (at the very least, the sample could have been lowered in volume to accommodate his voice); anchorman Immi actually comes across best in some ways, his commanding demeanour grabbing the track by the scruff of the neck. All in all, it’s pretty good, but perhaps just misses that lasting appeal. (Reviewed by Rahul)