Atif’s latest solo song Ajnabi is a departure from his previous work. Ajnabi harks towards a newer style of pop rap from the likes of Hasan Raheem and Maanu. An argument could be made that it draws from Hasan and Maanu too much, ending up almost derivative.
In Atif’s position, he has two options – to keep minting his easy hits, or join the more modern sound and remain relevant for a developing audience. It’s heartening to see Atif make the braver choice. One hopes that Atif’s move in this direction moves his sizable audience in the direction of younger musicians innovating on the pop rap sound Atif is now dipping his toes into as well. Atif’s recent collaboration with Talal Qureshi & Maanu shows that this, in part, may already be happening. He would be well served to embrace the younger stars and internalize their success.