Heems used to be in Das Racist, and Riz Ahmed used to be on The Night Of; together, they are the hip-hop duo Swet Shop Boys. Their album, Cashmere, is due out Oct. 14, and on Wednesday they released the project’s first single, “Zayn Malik.”
Much like Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand” or Young Thug’s recent “Kanye West,” the song actually has very little to do with the artist it gets its title from. Ahmed (who goes by Riz MC when he’s rapping) does mention the prodigal pop star in his verse (“I pray for my nephew, I pray he ain’t antagonized / By all the hateful news and s— they sanitize / Look, Zayn Malik’s got more than 80 virgins on him / There’s more than one direction to get to paradise”) but the song is more about the political and social themes common to both rappers’ music.
Listen to “Zayn Malik” below.