Riz Ahmed’s acting star has been on the rise in recent years—you might know him from roles in Nightcrawler, Rogue One, The Night of and the forthcoming blockbuster Venom. But did you know he also raps, under the moniker Riz MC?
If you didn’t, it’s the perfect time to get acquainted. Yesterday, the Brit actor-rapper dropped “Mogambo,” his first solo track in a while—after his 2016 mixtape Englistan, he’s been spending his time, rap-wise, in the group Swet Shop Boys with Heems (formerly of Das Racist) and producer Redinho.
Named for the villain from the Bollywood classic Mr India, “Mogambo” is a short but potent dose of defiance and swagger. Over Redinho’s slow-burning beat, Ahmed addresses “the mosque and the mosh pit,” taking aim at the tides of Islamophobic and anti-immigrant sentiment in the Western world. “They say the airport search is random / But if it’s always me it ain’t random / They won’t let me go without a ransom / They want selfies, shout out the fans dem,” he raps sardonically.
The Bassam Tariq-directed video—which opens with a furious freestyle by Ahmed—captures the sweaty, mud-stained excitement of a folk wrestling competition in Pakistan. Check it out below: