Britain's premier female Asian rapper finally releases her debut album...
Jaspreet Pandohar 2008
As the UK's first Asian female rap artist, Hard Kaur has been waxing lyrical for over a decade. Part of the British Asian music scene since 1995, the Birmingham-based lass has performed alone and alongside desi collectives, such as The Sona Family. So it's astonishing that Supawoman should be her debut solo album. Thankfully the situation has been rectified with this bumper 15-track CD, which includes the hit singles Bombay Deewana and Look 4 Me. Every bit as feisty as the lady herself, Supawoman is an energetic offering from a gifted singer/songwriter.
Kicking off in true hip hop style, Hard Kaur introduces herself in The Legend. ''Welcome to a new place… understand, I am revolution'' she spits confidently. And you believe her. There are no ordinary girlie songs about love here. It's all about female empowerment and the freedom of music.
Heading into Hype, the Handsworth rude girl sets the tone for the rest of the album. Rapid-fire lyrics overlay heavy bass lines to create one of several tracks that would sound at home in any mainstream club, radio or satellite music channel.
Skilfully mixing English, Punjabi and Hindi lyrics, Sexy Boy and Bombay Deewana show off Hard Kaur’s verbal dexterity and are the album's best tracks. They also illustrate her knack at fusing contemporary and retro Indian sounds. A sample of Hum Tum Ek Kamare Mein Band Ho from hit '70s Bollywood movie, Bobby, lights up Sexy Boy, while the cheesy sounds of Indo-pop infiltrate Bombay Deewana to great effect. Both tracks are guaranteed to have booties shaking, whether in Manchester or Mumbai.
''I put my heart in my music and never abuse it'' says Hard Kaur at the beginning, and this is reflected all the way through, particularly in songs like Dreams and Nobody Knows. They demonstrate the personal journey she has taken since arriving in England in1984. ''I went from freshie to freshest'' she states, and when it comes to Supawoman, that is never in doubt.