Prabh Deep wants to make a hip-hop album without drums. No boom bap, no hard-hitting trap, no rattling hi-hats. “I want to create a meditative sound – something you can walk into a jungle with and feel at peace. It’s not about what I’m saying, necessarily. I want people to pay attention to the frequencies of sound; to understand that you can have rhythm without drums.”
“But how do you move people without drums?” he preempts. As radical as it sounds, this has been done before. Most famously, you have Nas “Nasty Nasdaq” raging against the world over Jay Electronica’s calm keyboard-led production on “Queens Got The Money”. That was 2013, a year when Jay Electronica himself had demonstrated that you could emblazon a rap track onto unwitting brains even if there’s only acoustic guitar and violins – and a lion’s roar – for company, as on “Eternal Sunshine”. RZA, Action Bronson, Tyler, The Creator have all tried it: But it’s evident that only the bravest have gone this deep, confident in everything else their song has to offer.
It’s been nearly three years since his debut album Class-Sikh zapped Prabh Deep straight into the orbit of Indian hip-hop royalty as the main purveyor of urban Punjabi rap, and established Azadi Records as a force to reckon with.