Zack Knight & Raxstar – “Queen”

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

Score: 6.9

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)

Arjun – “Excuse Me Girl (Ambarsariya)” featuring Rekha Sawhney & Reality Raj

Hindi, Pop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian

Score: 7.7

Arjun himself described the video to “Excuse Me Girl” as “semi-pornographic” (sarcastically, of course, as it’s really not) and he wrote the song on a flight between India and England (we’re guessing this popped up on his MP3 player about 4 minutes prior). He’s still focused on (eventually) cracking the R&B scene in the UK, but for now it’s all about consolidating his rapid expansion within India and the surrounding markets. It makes sense, because the R&B scene in Britain is a relatively limp thing right now, whereas he could be an absolute hero in India doing his Prius hybrid of clean, safe R&B mixed with that desi flavour. The numbers alone speak for themselves, and are truly mind-boggling (seriously, take a look at how many Facebook fans he now has). As for “Excuse Me Girl”, Rekha Sawhney’s “Ambarsariya” sample really helps make it, adhering to Arj’s thus far successful formula of “blending Eastern and Western values” (sorry, that’s totally Shaadi.com). It’s a densely packed few minutes, with relatively simplistic but infuriatingly catchy lyrics burying their way into your psyche. An extremely young sounding chap called Reality Raj (nope, us neither) pops up to rap about 8 arguably needless bars, but it doesn’t specifically detract from the track. EMG is a fresh enough, summery take on a well-trodden path. The ladies at the front (and at the back, too) will indeed love this. Full lyrics below, by the way. (Reviewed by Jesal)

LYRICS:

(ARJUN)

This is for the ladies at the front, at the back
This is your song, where you at, where you at?
This is for my fellas at the crib, at the club
Cruising with your boys, yeah, turn it, turn it up

(REALITY RAJ)

Why you playing silly games, acting like we cannot be together?
I know I give you them butterflies when we see each other
I’ll give you all of it if you just let be me your lover
Miss One Of A Kind, what’s really been on your mind, wassup

(ARJUN)

Excuse me, girl, what’s your story?
I just wanna get to know you better
I would do anything for you bae
Everything about you is so fascinating
Give me 10 minutes of your time, babe
I know that you’re shy but I gotta see you smiling
 
We could be like Romeo & Juliet
Why you playing hard to get, girl?
What you see is what you get
With me…
Just give me something
I’m standing every day underneath your balcony
I’m never giving up until I know your name
 
Excuse me, girl, what’s your story?
I just wanna get to know you
 
This is for the ladies at the front, at the back
This is your song, where you at, where you at?
This is for my fellas at the crib, at the club
Cruising with your boys, yeah, turn it, turn it up

(REALITY RAJ)

Why you playing hard to get, acting like you gon’ find someone better?
I made a promise I’mma shelter you from any weather
I’ll give you 21 flowers to show you to show you I’m forever
Grateful, cos I will be eternally faithful to you

 

Bohemia ft Raxstar & Haji Springer – “Brand New Swag” (Official Remix)

Hindi, Hip Hop, Panjabi, Rap, UK, UK Asian, USA

Score: 6.0

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)

Raxstar – “Jaaneman”

Hindi, Hip Hop, Pop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian, Video

Score: 9.1

After his interesting but wrist-slitting “About A Girl” EP (which dropped in the last few weeks), it’s relatively easy to see which direction Raxstar is heading: as Pac once so famously told Biggie, “Go for the GIRLS!” In this post-Drake landscape, the new school of rappers make very specifically targetted, near-formulaic songs where they cater to the female market, don’t swear, and make sure their track will get on the radio/TV, by hook or by crook. “Jaaneman” most certainly falls into this category, and that’s not a criticism in itself – whatever you do, do it well. Raxstar delivers his as-per-usual impressive verses (at this tempo, at least), although Kee comes in to really save the day, with pitch-perfect backing vocals (taking her part out would just not make this as effective a song). Give “Jaaneman” time, for it is a genuine grower. In the end, we can dissect a track all day long, but if you really connect to it, and the artist makes you feel a certain way, it is has probably achieved what it set out to. And like most great relationships, the first impression may not have been all too great – but there is a real substance to “Jaaneman” meaning that actually, it probably will go the distance. As the hands of time relentlessly tick forward, this could well turn out to be a true classic.

Raxstar – “Cooler Than Me” (Featuring RKZ)

Hip Hop, Mixtape, Pop, R&B, Rap, Remix, Soul, UK Asian

Score: 8.4

Whilst we here at SuperCritic refrain from scoring freestyles and cover songs, we can’t help but break the rules for Raxstar and RKZ’s reinterpretation of Mike Posner’s “Cooler Than Me” – for it is simply outstanding, and betters the original in almost every way. In fact, the video is barely even necessary: when you first hear Raxstar’s words, his artful description is so dead on that you’re there, witnessing everything unfold in real time, in that club. The simple piano backing is perfect, allowing the artists the space necessary, and RKZ – for what might be the very first time – really excels on the chorus (his growing confidence hinting at a singing career over rapping). It’s one of those efforts that makes you wish that the original simply didn’t exist, so that this could be a fully-recognised original in its own right. Yes, it’s that good.

Horizon – “Down”

Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian

Score: 4.4

It’s not often that we here at SuperCritic will say this, but Horizon needs to stop making videos for a while. He’s clearly a young chap with great passion, and even his direction isn’t all that bad, but he should take some time out and dedicate himself to improving virtually everything about his art. “Down” has a lovely mid-tempo beat, sounding incredibly crisp, but it’s is almost entirely ruined by Horizon and his lyrics/rapping/singing. It’s a real shame, because he’s trying to do something different here, weaving a worthy morality tale. Displaying that ambition is laudable, but he’s just nowhere near the level required yet, and he’d honestly be better off just (quite literally) saving his money, and building up a collection of great songs whilst focussing on his multiple weak areas. How this one slipped through the net, we shall never know, but it’s a memorable lesson: just because you have good intentions, that doesn’t automatically make your song any good.