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Indian rapper-creative Prabh Deep drops intensely personal sophomore album Tabia on Azadi Records

Sonically, Tabia pushes the envelope with Jazz, Jungle, Breakbeat, Trap and Lo-Fi Hip Hop grooves

LiFTED | Sean D | 16 Mar 2021

Prabh Deep has been building a large and fervent following ever since he released his debut album, Class-Sikh, in 2017. Widely recognized as a creative innovator, he has risen along with India’s explosive Hip Hop scene, but also remained in a sonic space entirely his own.

Tabia [chess moves in English] finds Prabh more reflective and soulful than some of the hard-edged rapping of his previous singles. He also sings quite a bit throughout the album’s 16 tracks – adding to a folk-like dimension that was evident on earlier tracks such as last year’s ‘Fly.’

Three years in the making, Tabia is Prabh Deep’s magnum opus, tapping into a rich tapestry of sounds and melodies while leaving the Hip Hop braggadocio behind to be replaced with thoughtful and vulnerable themes and lyrics.

According to Prabh Deep, Tabia is a concept-driven album exploring themes of multiplicities within oneself. It’s the eternal battle between the material temptations and one's soul, as well as the complex and necessary monologue that stems from accepting and confronting one’s demons in a bid to find true happiness. While that may place Prabh in rarefied air in today’s Hip Hop circles, he seems to be leading a charge of new-breed Indian rappers who are delving into introspective and delicate political topics with conviction and abandon.

Sonically, Tabia is also an expansion of Prabh Deep’s sound. Working with producer Richard Craker, Prabh explores new and traditional sounds that juxtapose stylistically - like jazz’s unpredictable moments, with elements of Jungle, Breakbeat, Trap, and Lo-Fi Hip Hop. But it’s Prabh Deep’s innate ability to create vocal hooks that keeps it compelling. The lead single “Waqaf’ is a soul-searching journey in which Prabh considers the immediate material trappings of success versus the longevity and peace found in a more spiritual existence. With the results being an album of weight and consequence that has certainly raised the bar for all other South Asian rappers.

Listen to Prabh Deep's Tabia below.