This release is significant in so many ways. Firstly, it marks something of a comeback for M.I.A. collaborator Afrikan Boy, whose flow is now considerably more digestible and just a touch less (faux) African – both great moves for an artist we've always thought had massive potential.
Then you've got country and soul singer Jeb Loy Nichols sampled on the hook and appearing in the flesh, which just feels so right here, offering something appropriately out of the ordinary while maintaining a totally cohesive vibe.
And last but most crucially we get perhaps the first major glimpse of legendary grime producer Darq E Freaker in front of the lens. This is massive because Darq E has always had something of a Phantom of the Opera mysticism about him. It's even more significant because as we revealed last night on Ross Allen's radio show on Strongroom Alive, Southern Hospitality will be releasing Freaker's next single 'Blueberry' featuring rapper of the moment Danny Brown at the beginning of May. But much much more on that to follow in the next few weeks…
In the meantime enjoy 'Hard Times' and make sure you grab ahold of the mindblowing 3D Mix by Darq E Freaker for MTV UK. It will change your life.