M.I.A. – Matahdatah Scroll 01 “Broader Than A Border”

Bashment, Dance, Hindi, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, Reggae, Tamil, UK, UK Asian, Video

Score: 8.1

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.

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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)

Raxstar – “Ego”

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

Score: 7.6

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)

Preeya Kalidas – “Love Between Us”

Classic, Hindi, R&B, Soul, UK, UK Asian

Score: 8.8

If you can ignore the pointless low-budget video – and we suggest you do just that – try to focus on this stunning new number from Preeya Kalidas, collaborating with Davinche to devastating effect. It feels strange to say out loud, but bizarrely enough it wouldn’t be hyperbole to suggest that this is reminiscent of that glorious Aaliyah/Missy/Timbaland triumvirate. The airy vocals from Kalidas are perfectly understated; the production from Davinche is incredible; the melodies will infiltrate your brain; and it is all delivered with just the right balance.  Well done, Preeya. (Reviewed by Jesal)