Music

Swet Shop Boys: Sufi La EP

Swet Shop Boys’ new EP Sufi LA is a showcase for MC Himanshu Suri and is altogether stronger than their debut Cashmere.


Swet Shop Boys

Sufi La EP

Label: Customs
Release Date: 2017-05-26
Amazon
iTunes

On 2016’s Cashmere, Swet Shop Boys, consisting of MCs Riz Ahmed and Himanshu Suri (Heems), along with producer Redinho, made a strong postmodern hip-hop album that explored South Asian identity amid the current cultural climate. With lyrics that frequently referred to the vacillating tendency of the ruling class to demonize and fetishize their respective cultures, Ahmed and Suri were able to create a unique space the coupled woke rhymes and funny asides for the album’s 36-minute running time.

Still, as strong as Cashmere was, there was a clear sense that Swet Shop Boys were still in the process of finding their tone. As much common ground as there was between Suri and Ahmed, they sounded like they were going for different ends too much of the time -- with Suri pushing the cloud rap improv thing while Ahmed hit each track pretty straight-on with his grime-inflected flow. For their follow-up EP Sufi La, Swet Shop Boys said that they are leaving "the political for the party", resulting in a five-song stretch that finds the MCs creating a synthesis that’s more coherent in its looseness and fun than its more serious-minded predecessor.

For the most part, Cashmere was a startling introduction to Riz Ahmed's rapping skills. Mostly known as an actor, Riz was able to prove himself as an MC through his intensity and his unique lyrical perspective that could just as easily support B-boy trash talking as well as references to Homer. His rapping on Sufi La is uniformly strong too, but it's imbued with a levity via Fred Flintstone "Yabba Dabba Doo" quotes and self-aware groaners like "I used to be unruly / Now she turned me into a foodie" on "Thas My Girl" -- which itself is a reference to Brandy and Monica's "That Boy Is Mine" with a little sprinkle of R. Kelly and Usher's "Same Girl".

6

The 10 Best Electropop Albums of 2019

From bubbly, perky synthpop to the deepest of darkwave, electropop in 2019 reflected the general malaise by forging the brightest of pop to forget the bad times on the one hand, and embracing downtempo textures and moods on the other.

Music

Codeine Club Music: 10 Sizzurp Rappers and Their Lean Lyrics

Southern Houston rappers put a twist on old blues musicians' mix of cough syrup and booze and stirred it up into a more dangerous concoction. Here are 10 rappers who took the brew from their double-cups and dropped the purple drank / sizzurp / Texas tea / "lean" into their lyrics to mixed effect.

Music

Brits in Hot Weather #19

This week we have shadowy trap from Jordan Comolli, grime infused techno from Barney Lister, eclectic indie from Weird Milk, lo-fi indie pop from Tricky Juno, and an absolute belter from Two Tribes.

Music
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.