Cartel Madras is a sister duo composed of Eboshi and Contra, and they’ve dubbed their genre “goonda rap.” It’s a fusion of exhilarating trap, punk, house, and South Indian aesthetics that was informed by their upbringing. They were both born in Chennai in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, but raised in Calgary. The sisters have just signed to Sub Pop with an endorsement from Shabazz Palaces’ Ishmael Butler and are releasing an EP this fall titled Age Of The Goonda, which follows their first EP, Trapistan. Today, Cartel Madras are sharing a new single from that EP called “Goonda Gold” along with a video.
The word “goonda” means “thug” and is commonly used across India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. I’m not qualified to speak on whether this track is actually “thug,” but it definitely slaps. They’ve got an absolutely wicked flow — think M.I.A. meets Cardi B. Hints of traditional Tamil music are sprinkled throughout. Otherwise, the cusp of the beat is formed by a drum machine and loaded out with hi-hats. At one point they repeat the refrain, “Bitch, I’m bad, I’m brown, I’m gold.” Directed by Bhaveek Makan and Jashan Makan, the video shows the sisters rapping on top of trucks and playing with Holi powder alongside a cast of women affected by the Southeast Asia diaspora.
Watch the video for “Goonda Gold” below, where you can also check out the video for Cartel Madras’ prior single, “Lil Pump Type Beat.”
02 “Goonda Gold”
03 “The Legend Of Jalapeño Boiz”
04 “Lil Pump Type Beat”
05 “Dawood Ibrahim (woof woof)”
06 “Glossy Outro”
Age Of The Goonda is out 11/1 on Sub Pop. Pre-order it here.