Queens-based rapper Anik Khan recently collaborated with electronic producer Melo-X on “Cleopatra,” a futuristic fusion of hip-hop and Bollywood. Khan is known for celebrating his Bengali heritage via music by employing a range of sonic elements into his songs. For “Cleopatra” Melo-X and Khan–who co-produced–flipped a vocal sample from Bollywood movie composer A.R. Rahman and laid it into a groovy, electro-hop sonic bed.
Over gyrating synths and crisp drums, Khan rhymes to the object of his affection: “Tell me that you love me, make sure that you mean it and I’ll treat you like royalty, ” he promises. To keep the international flavor going, Khan tells his lady, “you remind me of Africa,” likening her to the song’s ancient Egyptian namesake.
The song works in several realms, representing the varied palette that has helped both Khan and Melo-X become renown in the underground scene. You can listen to “Cleopatra” below.