KR$NA Far From Over EP Review

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When it comes to this ever-evolving genre of music we call hip-hop, getting noticed is like catching fireflies on a summer night. But once you’ve lit up the sky and everyone’s eyes are on you, it’s like being the star in a dazzling show where competition never stops, and new talents keep popping up like surprises in a magic hat. So, as you journey through this musical adventure, it’s your secret recipe to stay in the spotlight, making your fans happy with fresh output while they’re still cheering for you. Not least of all, when you’ve got dreams as big as KR$NA’s, well, the stage is yours to conquer.

While KR$NA’s lyrical skills are truly commendable, he’s got the rhymes down pat; and even his rivals admit it openly. But, let’s be real, one thing his music’s been missing is some variety. In hip-hop, not everyone has to sing, but it’s good to try new things for your art’s sake and to keep your fans coming back for more. After taking a hit from the listeners for being a one-trick pony, KR$NA’s taken it on the chin and put out ‘Far From Over,’ where he’s trying out some fresh flavors without losing his lyrical edge — in fact, it’s even sharper now.

KR$NA’s last EP, ‘Time Will Tell,’ dropped earlier this year, had a collaboration with Pakistani rap sensation, Young Stunners. Now, with ‘FFO,’ he’s teaming up with India’s dynamic duo, ‘Seedhe Maut,’ and adding some international flavor with a blazing cameo from Canadian rapper, AR Paisley. Hitting the streets on August 29, 2023, this latest body of work by KR$NA is jam-packed with pulse-pounding beats crafted by the brilliant Bharg and Umair. What’s more, it’s wrapped in a visually captivating EP cover (courtesy of the talented artist Shawn) which is a refreshing change for fans who were getting a bit too accustomed to seeing KR$NA’s face on every project’s cover.

KR$NA Far From Over EP Review

Kicking off with a bang, ‘Still Standing’ keeps the same fire that can be felt in KR$NA’s previous project openers, injecting you with a surge of rebellious energy that’ll make your heart race. Over a piano-punctuated beat, he quickly proves that he’s back in action like he’s never left. He declares loud and clear that no matter how hard life tried to knock him down, he never backed down and stood tall and strong. ‘Still Standing’ is full of cool wordplay and clever stuff, with a throwback to his 2021 album ‘Still Here,’ solidifying that he’s not giving up, and he’s still hustling hard. It’s a wise choice for an opener in the sense that it proves that his pen game and flow have by no means blunted, and from there, any long-term fan of KR$NA was sure to be hooked. While the track is solid overall, the hook could use a bit more maturity in its composition. Fortunately, the vocal layering and music come to the rescue, giving it some much-needed depth.

Firmly keeping the attention spans ensnared, the second track, ‘Prarthana,’ has KR$NA going all out with his high-caliber rhymes, making you wonder if it might just outgroove even ‘No Cap’ as his funkiest jam. It also sees the union of the Avengers Prime from the DHH universe, where Bharg takes the production reins, co-piloted by Umair and Deep Kalsi. ‘Prarthana’ bursts into action with a synthesizer-heavy sample and a bass guitar that adds a touch of old-school Bollywood crime-chase drama to the vibe. The Cajon percussion kicks in, adding a rhythmic punch, while KR$NA tackles the instrumental from all angles, delivering mind-bending flows. This track, with its intricate synapse-popping rhyme chains and signature KR$NA bars, showcases the rapper’s mad skills, probably giving him a boost of confidence to experiment even more with his music.

Though there’s notable experimentation on the project, KR$NA’s strengths remain as evident as ever. His return to a fresh and vibrant take on his signature sound, the very sound that initially propelled him to greatness, proves to be not only worthwhile but it’s a treasure hunt that often yields gold.

Consisting of the fingerprints of previous work, ‘Wanna Know,’ highlights the jealous rats, always hiding in the shadows, pretending to be friendly while secretly wanting to know the secret sauce behind KR$NA’s success, like it’s a tasty treat they can’t resist. KR$NA’s razor-sharp delivery suggests that he’s earned every bit of the braggadocio that he exhibits on it as he spits ‘Main tha independent, jab independent na cheez, vaisе when I’m second guessing, this passion is what I keep/Scеne mein todun ceiling, feeding my demons to feel the need, chilling film mein jaise villain, I kill ‘em n then I leave.’

On the Seedhe Maut-aided ‘Hola Amigo,’ we witness a seamless blending of the sounds of KR$NA and Seedhe Maut. So much so that when you consider how long they’ve been sharing the same musical space, it almost feels like a missed opportunity that there haven’t been more collaborations between them. However, recently, they decided to come together for a track on ‘Lunchbreak,’ and nobody expected them to collaborate again anytime soon until KR$NA himself dropped a hint during one of his shows. ‘Hola Amigo’ is a fun feature on the EP that showcases the trio doing what they do best — Seedhe Maut organizes a musical funeral for the beat, and KR$NA being KR$NA delivers a tight verse with some jabs at his opponents. The chemistry between Encore ABJ and KR$NA on the chorus sounds really cool, making it a loop-worthy song.

Yet, when it comes to the emotional centerpiece of the EP, that honor unquestionably falls to ‘Some Of Us.’ Featuring AR Paisley, the project’s closer feels like both a jubilant celebration of KR$NA’s incredible journey, but beneath the surface, it echoes with feelings of numbness and solitude. In the latter part, KR$NA talks about those who troll Kalamkaar, warning that when record labels come knocking with opportunities, they’ll be the first in line. KR$NA, steadfast in his loyalty, emphatically declares he’s no turncoat; he’s got his brothers’ backs. Meanwhile, AR Paisley’s hook drives home a chilling truth — in this unforgiving world, he’s found solace in his own zone, trusting no one, rapping: ‘I like living lowkey, they love the attention/Always keep a switchblade, so I can cut the tension.’

In the grand scheme of things, ‘Far From Over’ stands as a noteworthy offering from one of the shining stars in Indian Hip-Hop. While it may lack the fine-tuning to be a stellar EP, it’s a thrilling teaser that sets the stage for the explosive album awaiting us. Though ‘Prarthana’ holds a promising nature, the project occasionally meanders, losing its way. Yet, it undeniably solidifies KR$NA’s ability to break new ground, delivering music that’s far from outdated. While some songs may come across as half-hearted cast-offs, others skillfully blend the essence of his finest works with fresh creative sparks, creating a polarizing yet striking contrast that sets the project apart.

So, those pondering if KR$NA can broaden his horizons in future projects, they are worried about the wrong thing. While the Delhi-bred artist’s creative journey on ‘FFO’ didn’t quite reach the ultimate heights, it was far from a misstep. In fact, ‘FFO’ serves as a bold declaration, firmly anchoring the start of an intriguing chapter in his career.

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