Big Like Large
This is a numaish of launda party. And an interesting combination of laundas to boot.
Rozeo, who is given primary attribution on this song, has a smaller audience than the quality of his flow would deserve. There is an effortlessness to his delivery which indicates a deep entrenchment in the listening of foreign rap. In this stead Rozeo reminds me of an early Shahzad Hameed, or even Talal Qureshi a few years ago. A consistent display of skill but a missing hook connecting this skill to a local audience.
Taha G, in contrast, has a string of incredibly catchy hooks that make him an easy entryway into more recent Pakistani pop if you have been away for a while. It’s new, but retains a familiarity from Punjabi melodic texture that is better known.
The standout of this recording is Ashir. Many desi rappers struggle to find a comfortable tone early in their career, trying too hard to match their pitch and vocal energy to the underlying beat. With time, rappers find a comfortable position where their voice shines, not worrying about sounding energetic. The resulting confidence ends up exuding the aura needed by the song. Ashir has this skill. While he will not be known for his lip-synching, Ashir’s delivery adds a layer of variety to the Lahori pop rap scene built around Maanu and co.
It’s notable that Maanu has kept the softer recordings for his upcoming album Sakuna Matata, while the drowned-in-smoke brashness continues to show in singles where he collaborates with other artists. Over time, this will allow Maanu to continue to cater to audiences of both pop rap as well as harsher hip hop, without diluting the overall trajectory of his sound as a solo artist as people dig into his albums a few years down the line.