Listen to Rico Nasty's pioneering remix of Magic, ft. BARKAA and MADAM3EMPRESS
The new remix sees the US rapper team up with two of Australia's best, in addition to visuals by First Nations creative agency INCOMMON.
In hip-hop, a co-sign can often be worth its weight in gold. There are countless musicians who have found their time in the spotlight thanks to the aid and uplifting of others, whether it's shown through vocalised support on social media, or through collaborations and remixes that introduce these new artists to established, further-ranging audiences. For example, look no further than The Kid LAROI.'s JuiceWRLD-assisted breakthrough, or how someone like Baby Keem - a US rapper synonymous with hip-hop's future - continues to be supported by pioneers such as Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Travis Scott.
It's something that makes the song we're about to talk about so special; a rare and incredible feat where one of hip-hop's most exciting and adventurous international musicians are giving a leg-up to two of the most deserving and promising in Australia. It comes thanks to Rico Nasty, the experimentalist who has had a stronghold over the last few years thanks to a consistent string of releases that hasn't seen her falter once. Magic, released back in July, continued that; showing how Rico is continuing to evolve and further her already boundary-pushing sound in the wake of her last record, Nightmare Vacation.
Now comes the remix of Magic, and it sees Rico Nasty delve into the talents of Australia's blossoming next generation; two artists that are amongst the heights of the future's leaders, and are synonymous with the talent and prowess captured within. The first is BARKAA, the Malyangapa and Barkindji rapper whose music has become some of the country's most striking and essential, thanks to the empowering lyricism she constantly highlights through her impactful work. The second comes from MADAM3EMPRESS, who almost feels like Australia's defining soul/R&B act as we approach 2022, with a talent and excitement surrounding her that feels near-comparable to some of R&B's leading internationals.
The remix of Magic shows why BARKAA and MADAM3EMPRESS are deserving of their glory, as they stand tall and refuse to be drowned out by the abrasiveness of Rico Nasty, someone whose presence often overshadows (in a good way, for her) the collaborators she works alongside. The pair use the opportunity to reach new heights in their musicianship; BARKAA going for a more subtle take on her sound that showcases versatility and range, while MADAM3EMPRESS is about as ethereal as ever, bringing a heavenly touch amongst the song's lingering darkness.
"It was such a mad opportunity to be able to jump on the remix of Magic alongside MADAM3EMPRESS and to be able to show a softer side to myself, it took me out of my comfort zone and made me think outside the box which was an experience for me as an artist," BARKAA says on the remix. "It’s been huge watching Rico’s uprising and it’s beautiful for me as a woman of colour to be able to be on such a massive remix. It feels pretty historical."
It's a sentiment shared by MADAM3EMPRESS, too: "It is an honour to be a part of something so monumental in Australian music history… to have a First Nations woman tell her story and completely and utterly body her verse on a new track from one of the most exciting artists coming out of the states right now is something I am so honoured to be in the mix of. Big ups to Rico Nasty for allowing us to be a part of this. To have a Black African woman (myself), and a First Nations woman (BARKAA) appear together on a track like Magic is such a big statement. I hope it will help the world to see we have an important culture here - one of colour, one of power and one of womanhood," she says.
Importantly, the single arrives with visuals by First Nations creative agency INCOMMON; creative director Sofii Mara using a tapestry of colours to emphasise the boldness of Magic and the potency BARKAA and MADAM3EMPRESS bring to everything they set their sights on.
The Magic remix is a moment, and you can take a dive into it below: