Fotty Seven’s ascent to the top of the Delhi-Gurgaon scene has been characterized by lyrical prowess and rawness within his signature sound. Since rising to prominence in 2020 with his breakout EP “Asli Independent,” Fotty Seven has been one of the most relatable artists, working alongside established names like Badshah and Raftaar. The man is a true genius when it comes to not only composing and performing music, but academics as well. On February 28th, 2023, Fotty released a surprise EP titled “Emojis Vol. 1,” which features 5 songs from 5 different zones that adhere to the same roadmap. This EP recalls his earlier vibe (only day ones know) and takes us on a journey of struggle, highs, lows, inspiration, race relations, and much more. By having anthemic hooks, local slang, and usual slick talk, Fotty Seven has always been very clever in his songs but with so much going on in the last few years, you would have expected him to experiment with his music as so many other influential rappers have done. As a result, he dropped this standalone effort with no promotion and no features, demonstrating his faith in his craft.
Fotty Seven Emojis Vol. 1 EP Review
Self-produced entirely by Fotty Seven, “Emojis Vol. 1,” has only 18-minute runtime, but it gives its listeners a full experience. However, he has been dropping singles from this project with emoji art covers (somewhat like Drizzy’s CLB), but I’ll share my thoughts while taking it into account as an EP. Fotty explains his effort best as he writes, “I experimented with my sound and tried to make 5 songs completely different from each other yet sharing the same theme. I’ve set the theme to five stages of grief. Each track is a different stage and if you don’t know what that means, you can still enjoy them independent of the theme. This is it. This is real life. This is my music.”
The first cut on the project is titled “But I Like It,” an angst-ridden depiction of depression, self-doubt, and heartbreak. In the era of rappers that talk about exotic cars, lakhs, and crores that most people have never even seen in person, Fotty with this song pours out to his listeners. Throughout the record, we see that Fotty Seven struggles with depression and finding his purpose. He drops a line that shows that he really feels alone, “Ek bojh mere dill mein hai, ek mere kandhe par/Jo gaane pasand the pehle, voh karte hain sar mein dard.” And feeling alone is not something that only Fotty Seven struggles with. Therefore, whatever he talks about on the track feels so relatable. And that’s why Fotty has so many loyal listeners because they can actually relate to his art. Fotty Seven has a keen ear for sound, and he modifies his voice to suit the acoustic spectrum he wants us to experience. In this song, he uses a deep, husky voice that, when combined with a soulful contemporary beat, emphasises the track’s richness and depth. Though the chorus is not as memorable as it perhaps should be, but one could not argue that it sits for a long time in your head.
The single “You Got This” is probably the song that would inspire many listeners. The song starts with some cinematic vocals over a jazzy instrumental with electric guitar, which sounds like a prayer. As the song progresses and the percussion takes the lead, Fotty’s simple yet impressive production carries you in a different zone with twinkling piano keys in the background. “You Got This” is more than a gym song and is a reflection of Fotty Seven’s perspective on self-care and self-reliance. On the hook, he promises that he won’t let himself or his supporters down and says that if he continues along the same path, wonderful things will eventually happen. However, this can only occur when accountability is taken and issues are faced head-on. Fotty Seven seems to be encouraging you as he sings out, “Akele rehna seekh, tera tu hi hai/Khud ko kar support, apne peeche khada reh/Kami nikal khud ki aur sudhaar usko/Ban khud ka hater, ban khud ka sabse bada fan/Main ni chahta tu kare regret/Aaj se dus saal baad meri bas baat maan ek/Nazar uthake kehna maine koshish kari thi/Jab aasman me honge judge sahab saamne.”
“Confessions” is a meticulously crafted breakup song that features sophisticated, well-intentioned production and heartfelt poetry by the artist. The vocals and some quotable lines are more specific and listeners can hear the emotion in his voice as if he’s whispering them in your ear. Aesthetically pleasing, this effort largely takes on Fotty Seven’s perspective of grief, which finds the rapper to share his personal feelings in the event that he’s tired of ugly panic and seemingly never-ending uphill battles. It’s a surreal experience that pulls you right into the heart of your darkest moments. Fotty says “Toh aaj main baarish mein bike ni chalata/Aaj main dosti mein bhai ni bnata/Jo sheeshe mein jam jaati dhundh/Uss dhundh mein main ungli se sign ni bnata.” Soon after he expresses his sincere self-expectations by saying “Main kahin aur hu, par main wapis aana chahta hu/Main phirse bina damn diye bina gana gana chahta hu/Main phirse apni ghatiya shayari sunana chahta hu/Main chhoti chhoti cheezo pe khushi manana chahta hu.” Fotty Seven is going back and forth doubting himself if his life is even worth living. The climax of the record hits even harder after having been through a painful breakup and the broken road you’ve traveled.
On the following track ‘POV Freestyle’, Fotty talks about his journey and how he has changed his life with hard work. The closet of his happy moments was looking broken, while you can hear the frustration in his voice. One of Fotty’s biggest messages is that money cannot buy happiness, as he poetically explains on the song. Almost every bar hits hard and the close-to-no feature of percussion sounds in the instrumental sounds good. Overall, the penultimate song is a good, 3-minute freestyle to prep you for the closing cut. The song may sound like a freestyle but has a deeper meaning than it seems. It gives us a key piece to the puzzle and the last line hits hard when Fotty says, “Sidhu ke saath kaam karna ek sapna hi reh gaya,” which shows the impact of industry’s one of the biggest losses.
The EP concludes with the outro track “Kisks Hua,” on which the artist raps over a soulful instrumental about the post-heartbreak mindset, questions, and thoughts that give you sleepless nights. The song gives listeners a more in-depth understanding of what a sincere lover is thinking. Opposite of his debut project, Fotty closes this EP by putting his true emotions into a therapeutic song, which reveals his vulnerable side while also conveying an insightful message about acceptance of the fact that life goes on. The hook on “Kisks Hua” is possibly the finest on the EP. Fotty’s vocal texture is soothing on this track, and the hard-hitting lyrics make it stand out. The bridge elevates the track where Fotty Seven raps about how he would’ve saved his bittersweet relationship if had known it was about to end. Furthermore, when the song’s climax approaches, Fotty reveals his more mature viewpoint on acceptance and how true love never endures for an extended period. I found it particularly pleasing how the poetry and soul-stirring piano instrumental complemented one other to make the lyrics more potent and the emotional purity more refined.
Fotty Seven “Emojis Vol. 1” may be shorter and less memorable than a full-length album but has a humanity that connects, especially for a generation struggling with anxiety and depression. In a landscape strewn with so many who have come and gone without as much as a goodbye, Fotty manages to defy the odds and remain relevant. Although all of the tracks discuss various stages of grieving, the project as a whole shows the vulnerable side of a tough guy. His lyrical skills are more than proven, but his greatest asset on this project was his ability to convey his honest feelings in different tracks. Even if the lack of variation in the production was a major letdown, I genuinely respect his decision to share his heartache and problems rather than bask in the success of his rap career. As these are the universal conditions of life, let’s hope this trend continues in DHH.