RELEASE OF THE WEEK: NAEEM ‘SHIRAZ’
Words by Christopher Kevin Au
It’s not every day that an Australian artist finds himself on an album alongside Madchild, Kaytranada and Harlem god Max B, but that’s exactly the sweet situation that landed upon West Sydney emcee Naeem. His track ‘Shiraz’ was included on illustrator Gangster Doodles’ compilation album Gangster Music Vol. 1 earlier this year, and now the single gets a fitting video treatment to boot.
Naeem exudes an effortless cool in his raps, and ‘Shiraz’ is filled with enough similes and metaphors to spotlight his slick, boyish charm. When Naeem declares that he’s “got the raps on lock like a wedding ring,” his calm, zen-like delivery makes it all the more believable, as if he’s got nothing to prove in the first place. The track’s nonchalant vibe is aided by conversational breaks littered throughout the three minutes, as well as smooth keys and bass courtesy of producer Mohi (who’ll also be performing alongside upcoming singer/rapper/dancer Glo at Milan Ring’s headline show this weekend).
The video finds Naeem walking through Sydney’s suburbs in the night, stopping outside eateries, favoured local spots and taking selfies with tradies. It’s fitting given that sonically, ‘Shiraz’ feels like a casual stroll through a familiar neighbourhood on a crisp summer evening, drink in hand.