Delhi rapper Prabh Deep says that age is starting to mellow his rage down

Updated: May 30, 2018, 12:30 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

You might construe those words as the angst of an angry young man. But at the cusp of turning 25, Prabh Deep insists that he is starting to mellow down

Prabh Deep
Prabh Deep

Delhi-based rapper Prabh Deep is unequivocal in stating, "Everything pisses me off." This damning indictment of the state of affairs in the country comes when we ask him, "What are a few everyday issues that upset you the most?" That's when he answers, "If I am paying my taxes, why can't I demand smooth roads? Why can't people drive in designated lanes? All these little details about this country piss me off."

You might construe those words as the angst of an angry young man. But at the cusp of turning 25, Prabh insists that he is starting to mellow down. "I have grown from talking about problems affecting the streets to more adult issues, like the GST bullsh*t that's going on. So my new material too will reflect these experiences. But it's not going to be in a very aggressive way. I have found a [calmer] way to tackle the root of the causes I'll talk about," he says, ahead of his gig later this week in Mumbai.

It goes to show how the first generation of Indian rappers with any sort of street cred — and we are not talking about the Baba Sehgals and Honey Singhs of the world — are now starting to reach a place of maturity that will inevitably refine their raw, uncut sound. But does that mean that desi hip-hop is coming of age with a legitimate voice? Prabh doesn't think so. "Let's see what happens," he says, adding, "It's the next generation that will define an Indian sound, because we are following the West at the moment and the kids are following us. And we don't have any Indian influences right now."

Be that as it may, the sort of impact that his highly acclaimed 2017 debut album, Class-Sikh, had mirrors — and some might even say surpasses — the breakthrough sound of gully rappers like Naezy and Divine. It gave the listener an unfiltered image of West Delhi's underbelly, warts and all. But like he said, the new material he is working on will reflect his growing years. It will have the sort of restraint that comes with, say, giving up on binge-drinking and restricting yourself to a glass of wine.

And that is despite the fact that as a citizen and an artiste, Prabh, in his own words, remains pissed off.

ON: June 2, 9 pm
AT: Levi's Lounge, Mathuradas Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
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