Delhi-based artist Prabh Deep prides himself on being a utopian storyteller with remarkable visuals and narrative, making him one of the best in the game today. Prabh has evolved into an amazing forward-thinking artist and his ability to craft intricate visions into music has allowed him to connect to a massive audience with every release. With a witty amalgamation of jazz, hip-hop, soul, and a sweet mixture of urban street culture, Prabh has carved a unique place for himself in India’s hip-hop community.
His most recent album BHRAM released earlier this month explores the alternative style of hip-hop. With every song, a story unfolds- a story of man-made illusions around which humans are centered. The album feeds on the idea of how we, as individuals and society have driven ourselves into a maniacal race of power and fame. The album oscillates between delicate timelines of past and present, both of which show Prabh constantly at a war with himself to prove his worth. His past untangles an idea of his illusions; a war with himself to turn his dreams into a reality and his present where he finally breaks those chains of illusions. BHRAM strives to create a visual kaleidoscope with costumes adorned by Prabh and also the historic landscapes that add a seamless vision to his experimental storytelling. Let us break down all the songs in the album.
Paisa talks about Prabh’s relationship with the idea of money as a power insinuates. The song takes us on a journey from his past to his present where he constantly struggles with safety and security through money and how he finally starts to make peace with his past. Sonically, the first track starts with a very intriguing and suspenseful bass line. Then comes a jazz flow with the chorus effect to elevate the feel of the thumpy drums.
Shaurat starts with a very intense vocal sample and ambient chords with a trappy flute and drops into a bouncy trap beat. In this track Prabh talk about the meaning of success-his past and present insecurities and his everyday battle of hiding those insecurities. He dismally remembers how the spotlight trapped him into becoming something he was not. Later on, Prabh realizes that what makes him a legendary artist is his music and his ability to inspire an audience with it. Rishte starts with very heavy bassy drums and an exotic inspiration from Middle-Eastern sonics He talks about his past relationship and people who turned their backs on him when he needed them the most. In this track, he credits his audience for being his backbone and pushing him to find peace within himself and be appreciative of the people who inspired him to flourish as an artist and as an individual.
Nafrat has reinvented punk-rock era melodies, especially with the sonics and the drums. This track, I believe was a very personal story wherein Prabh reminisces and steps into the shoes of a father whose eldest son was caught bringing a gun to school. Throughout the song, Prabh vocalizes a sense of pain and realization that the past always comes back to haunt your present and it not only takes you down but it also drags along the people nearest to you. Izzat has instrumentals that create a very emotional and intense aura along with an old-school style of drums emphasizing what he is trying to say. In this track, he openly talks about his journey of becoming an independent man who prioritizes himself and shamelessly owns his origin and his journey as an individual. The guitar solo at the end is exactly what was needed to end the song.
Khayaal starts with a marimba-inspired melody and turns into a very hard bass-heavy beat with an anchor of jazz influence. The track talks explicitly focused on Prabh’s mental space. His fight with his destructive inner thoughts creates a toxic cycle of an illusion of control. Inayat stars with a very ominous dark bell arp which later drops into a very bass-heavy beat. This track develops from an ominous tone to a very uplifting one. Throughout the track, Prabh preaches one ideology alone- to be good and do good. Prabh inspires his listeners t break the shackles of race, gender, and caste and work together above all these classifications; work alongside each other with kindness and humanity.
Tajurba starts with a very catchy beat and the melodies of saxophone and the desi twist of the dhol sprinkled throughout the track take a notch further. In this track, Prabh holds up a mirror of self-reflection and came to the realization that his struggle with power was actually a struggle with himself. His esoteric exploration leads him to the very crux of power: we create the mirage in our own heads.
Prabh Deep strives to represent a vision of evolution through BHRAM by blending in sonics and visuals like never before. The entire album is a soulful rollercoaster of memories, self-reflection, and pain orbiting around the joy of acceptance. All in all the album seems to have taken quite a unique stand when it comes to poetic lyricism and Prabh’s vulnerability. I believe that Prabh’s emphatic melancholy and conceptualization of such a holistic project makes the listening experience comforting and relatable.