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Review

Prabh Deep’s Fated Homecoming, Back In Element On Latest EP ‘KING Returns’

After taking a year off to himself, on a path of spiritual introspection and creative exploration as he calls it, Prabh Deep kicked off his 2024 release calendar with his EP “KING Returns’. The title points to a revisit of his debut EP, KING, which was released almost half a decade ago. It was the project which led to his name circulating amongst the people of Delhi and other cities, before that he had dropped perhaps the most iconic record in all of Desi Hip Hop, Class – Sikh.

The EP starts off with a track that Prabh released after the extremely unfortunate demise of his father in 2023. It features a sombre melody over which Prabh sings about how he dealt with this loss and also talks about his relationship with his father. The hook has a beautiful melody and lyrics, talking about how Prabh remembers the memories of his father. It seems like he goes through the different stages of grief in the verses. He talks about being gutted and sad in the first verse. He gains some hope in the second verse, talking about how it’s all part of the plan of God, how he will remember his dad through the other people in his life and family, while also talking about how he would do anything to get his father back and how the days just keep going without him. This verse ends with an immense tear jerker of a line. “ Kandheya da bojh hun aa gya ae Dil te”. The outro and third verse reinforces the themes of the track, where he talks about how he’ll remember the beautiful memories of his unfinished story with his father. The track starts off with a click sound, which sounds like the play button on a cassette player. The hi hat pattern in this track also sounds like the sound of a cassette tape rewinding, which could be a subtle hint to the fact that through this track Prabh is essentially rewinding his life and remembering his father.

The next track “Babaji” features Prabh carrying on some themes from the first one, while also talking about believing in oneself. The hook talks about how it’s impossible to forget, while also marking two different contrasts in his life, as to how when he started out people told him whatever he would do would turn out to be a “siyapaa” and now people call him the “baba” of the game. This track acts as a subtle reply to Prabh’s haters as he talks about how they shouldn’t mistake his silence for weakness, because they haven’t done him any favours and that’s why they don’t need any answers or replies.

The next track Girgit has been a favourite since its release as a single back in June of 2023. The beat has a lot of sounds which are brought in and out masterfully to keep the track fresh. Prabh’s underrated production side surely shines through on this one. The track’s title is suggestive of its theme. Prabh talks about how two-faced people change colours like chameleons, playing a different tune and switching sides whenever it works for them. He readdresses some themes from the second track, asking haters to keep their mouth shut and telling them that he doesn’t owe them any debts or answers since they did nothing to help him get where he is. Another minute but beautiful attention to detail on this EP shines through,  when Prabh sings the “irdh-girdh” line on the hook of the song, the sound slightly pans from right to left, painting a literal picture of what he’s trying to say. The instruments drop out at the 2 minute mark and are replaced with Prabh’s fading voice. The listener is caught off guard as the vibe of the song completely changes at the next beat measure, with punchy and much faster drums. Prabh tells the armchair about his fulfilling lifestyle, doing what he loves, making songs day and night. He’s really embraced his vocal and singing side on this EP, and he’s succeeded spectacularly, with the melody of each song adding an extra layer of emotion with the way it’s delivered.

“Daang” starts off with a style reminiscent of 2004 Kanye West, a mellow melody with a vocal choir sample over which Prabh comes in with a fun, high energy hook, painting a picture about him leaving his city. This song is all about reminiscing about his city, Delhi, specifically the area where he grew up and spent most of his life, the alleys and streets of Tilak Nagar and the camaraderie he found there. After shifting operations to Goa, he talks about his old group of friends, telling them how he’s achieved everything he dreamed of, from wealth, to happiness, and the high roller lifestyle, all through music while also fondly remembering his old stomping grounds.

The lead single from this EP “Ethe Rakh” has a trap vibe to it, everything from the rapid drum hits to the synth and string instrumental. Prabh talks about how he’s on his way to the top, letting anyone who comes in his way to stand at the sidelines and watch as he conquers the scene. He talks about his area and place (talking about his debut record Class – Sikh which essentially gave birth to the Delhi hip hop scene).

Prabh closes out this 6 track EP with “Bachpan”, a song he released on Children’s day. It has a very nostalgic feel to it, everything from the instrumentals to the way the sound has been engineered to make it feel like you’ve heard it somewhere before but you can’t remember exactly where. Prabh talks about simpler times, not worrying about trivial things and worldly concerns and difficulties, indulging in mischief with his buddies. He talks about the typical Indian kid’s summer vacation, spending it at your grandparents’ house. This track also talks about how Prabh had big dreams and ambitions from the get go of his life, and how he made them come true, while also tugging at the listeners heartstrings tapping into the feeling of always wanting to stay a child.

It’s safe to say that this is going to be Prabh’s year. As the title suggests, he’s locked back into his mindset from 5 years ago when he dropped the “KING” EP, only this time with a lot more wisdom and introspection about his life. He’s truly in his element.

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