Rising Australian rapper Tkay Maidza has inked a deal with legendary British indie label 4AD, currently home to artists like Grimes, The National, and Big Thief. It’s not a common destination for fledgling rappers, but Maidza, who recently collaborated with Baltimore experimentalist JPEGMAFIA, is no ordinary hip-hop artist. For proof of her refreshing approach to the genre, fans won’t have to look beyond her banging new single “Shook”.
On the track, Maidza can be heard rapping with an elastic flow over a distinctly Missy Elliott-esque beat. The sonic parallel isn’t purely coincidental, either; “Shook” was actually produced by Dan Farber, who helmed the instrumental for Lizzo’s “Tempo” single featuring Elliott herself. Maidza’s cadence during the verse is also slightly reminiscent of Gwen Stefani’s 2004 hit “Hollaback Girl” — a favorite of hers — which further links Maidza with early 2000s pop and hip-hop aesthetics.
However, Maidza has a composed delivery that ramps up to a breathlessly intense surge by the song’s end, putting her in a lane that’s entirely her own. Watching her deliver the sleek hook — “I came, I don’t play by the book” — while shimmying between smoldering car wreckage in the song’s video is a total treat.
Watch the clip below, which was directed by Jenna Marsh, known for her work with Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Dua Lipa, and Nicki Minaj. There are currently no plans for a new album, the follow-up to 2016’s Tkay, but this new record deal is a good indication that plenty more is to come from the 23-year-old up-and-comer.