Let Them Eat Cake

A unique blend of cross-cultural influences, including Latino and Arabic pop.

When you listen to Outlandish, you expect diversity and a very unique blend of cross-cultural influences, including Latino and Arabic pop, to form what is predominantly hip-hop. This is what sets them apart from the other very cliched artistes belonging to this genre. Outlandish owes its cultural diversity to the fact that all three of its members hail from different backgrounds: Isam Bachiri from Morrocco, Lenny Martinez from the Honduras and Waqas Qadri from Pakistan.

Formed in 1997, their first album, "Outland's Official", made it quite big in Denmark. Their second venture, "Bread And Barrels of Water", speaks out loud of the global influences in their music. The album opens up with the aptly titled "Introduction", a melodic combination of Indian flute and hip-hop beats. This then moves on to "Guantanamo", which has a very catchy Latino influence, and is one of those songs that stays in your head. The album also offers the musically interesting "Peelo" (this you have to hear for yourself, especially if you understand Hindi), and the hit "Aicha", a beautiful melody of guitars and vocals, blending together, to form a soulful ballad (which to me sounds a lot like Joan Osborne's "God is Great").

Overall, Outlandish's "Bread And Barrels of Water" is definitely a different and entertaining experience, which deserves a listen, especially among all hip-hop fans out there. It also serves as a good experiment for music lovers who are not specifically devoted or ardent fans of this genre, as it dishes up a very unique fusion of multicultural musical influences mixed with hip-hop.

This article was first published on 12 Jun 2003.