VIDEO PREMIERE: RAJ MAHAL HONOURS TRAP CLASSICS WITH 'WHAT DA DEAL'
Words by Christopher Kevin Au
Raj Mahal doesn’t just rap. He barks, yells and screams with an intensity usually reserved for hardcore bands. His music is the audio equivalent of getting punched in the face, dumped via text message, fired from your job without warning: It’s uncompromisingly heavy.
If you’ve seen him live recently - alongside Sydney crew Triple One or Brisbane emcee/producer Nerve - you’ll know that when Raj Mahal comes onstage, circle pits are formed and your earplugs are put to good use. He is loud, loud, loud. His 2018 single ‘Cake’ saw him spit over pulsating electronic production, making it one of the most unique local hip-hop releases in recent memory.
Now, the Sydney-via-Boston rapper has returned with another single which lowers the BPM, but keeps all of the attitude. ‘What Da Deal’ is Raj’s own tribute to throwback trap music: Think Gucci Mane and other ATL veterans who shaped so much of the rap landscape today. It was produced by Raj’s longtime producer Domba, a fellow member of the burgeoning Bodega Collective from Sydney’s West.
“IN 15 MINUTES, DOMBA AND I MADE ONE OF THE HARDEST TRACKS WE'VE EVER MADE,” Raj tells us over email, in a quote approrpriately typed in full caps lock. “THIS IS AN ODE TO SOME OF OUR FAVOURITE TRAP ARTISTS GROWING UP IN THE MID-LATE 2000'S.”
With those Damn, son watermarks, glitchy effects and Raj’s booming delivery, ‘What Da Deal’ is a little throwback treat. Watch it first below on Filter: