Behind every great man is an even greater woman. That’s how the quote goes, right? Well, Queens rapper Anik Khan’s new song, “Cleopatra,” is propping these queens up on their rightful throne.
“The inspiration behind ‘Cleopatra’ is knowing that you can be the voice for a large body of people, and feeling like a king who’s ready to be that voice and take shit over,” Khan tells us. “It’s about taking shit over from one end of the world to the other, and having Cleopatra by your side to do it together.”
The single is the latest banger from the on-the-rise artist. He equates his girl to diamonds and gold over a sample from the Bollywood song “Jiya Jale,” composed by A.R. Rahman. It’s an upbeat, feel-good anthem that straddles the line between hip-hop (specifically early ’00s—just when the song starts to taper off, he hits us with a Craig David sample) and Khan’s Bengali background.
As explained in a profile by Noisey, Khan’s music was first birthed from the polarizing views of his favored genre and the culture of his home country. “Cleopatra” is proof that he’s found a way to marry them both sonically. “This record has an international feel for me, mixing samples of South Asia and drums of the West Indies,” Khan says. “I thought it’d be perfect to incorporate some of London’s finest, Craig David, because it just felt good. It sounded like Queens and London when I was creating it with [co-producer] Melo-X.”
Check out the full song below and listen to more of Khan’s music here.