Delhi’s hip-hop landscape has been set ablaze with raw talent and captivating narratives, but there’s one rapper who stands out among the rest, and that’s none other than Rebel 7. If you rank your rappers based on their poetic and sonic finesse, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone better than Rebel. Already celebrated for his critically acclaimed 2022 album ‘EndaVishesham,’ the enigmatic artist has resurfaced, ready to plunge us into uncharted emotional territories with a brand new EP, titled ‘Kaafi kuch.’
The 6-track EP is exquisitely crafted, revealing emotions and tales we’ve never heard before from the lyrical virtuoso. Joining forces with the maestros of Delhi scene — Huzur, Vyshakh Prince, and Sant — Rebel weaves a rich tapestry of melancholy, struggle, pain, and determination within each track. Their heartfelt verses are a soulful outpouring of emotions, retaining the artist’s signature essence while creating something entirely fresh and profound. The EP’s surreal art cover, masterfully designed by Vyshakh Prince, reflects the current phase of their journey — that set the stage for this evocative project. Throughout the EP, Rebel’s storytelling prowess shines like a guiding light in every song, pulling listeners into his world of introspection and emotional depth. As the EP unfolds, we find ourselves exploring the raw and profound aspects of life, encountering moments of vulnerability and resilience in equal measure. ‘Kaafi kuch’ is a testament to the artist’s growth and his unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of his artistry, embracing vulnerability and strength alike.
Rebel 7 Kaafi Kuch EP Review
In the depths of vulnerability, where the rawest emotions lie, Rebel 7 unveils his soul in the candid opening track, ‘Daur.’ As the minimalistic instrumental sets the stage with its slapping kicks, we are drawn into a world of introspection and self-discovery. With each line, he walks us through the labyrinth of his most secretive feelings and insecurities, baring his heart for all to see. In a profound display of empathy, Rebel puts himself in others’ shoes, imagining how tough life would have been without a place to call home. He weaves a poignant tapestry of emotions, one moment feeling grateful for what he possesses, and in the next, peeling back the layers to reveal his most sensitive thoughts — the ones that haunt us all as the clock strikes midnight (reminiscent of the pouring clock portrayed in the cover art). Amidst the shadows, he opens up about wrestling with the weight of not being where he aspires to be in life. These moments of doubt and self-criticism resonate deeply with the listener, creating an intimate connection that binds us all as human beings. With each poignant word, bearing a purposeful weight, a slap of reality strikes as you hear — ‘fans ko nahi pata ke khada main stool pe — an evocative reflection of the artist’s battle with suicidal thoughts. In exposing his own scars, he creates a safe space for us to accept our own, reassuring us that we are not alone in our struggles.
Following the shadows of his own mind, Rebel ventures deeper into the abyss with ‘Buri Aadat’. Holding a mirror to his soul, he fearlessly confronts his inner demons, unafraid to embrace every facet of himself. The hauntingly catchy hook reverberates with the message of self-acceptance, urging listeners to shed the burden of judgment and stay true to their essence. The soul-stirring instrumental sets the stage with its soothing piano keys and guitar sample, weaving a melancholic vibe that perfectly captures the mood of introspection. As Rebel’s vocals layer upon each other in the hook, the low-pitched heaviness adds a demonic quality, emphasizing the significance of the message and giving it an otherworldly dimension. With ‘Buri Aadat,’ Huzur takes the mic and delivers a powerful verse, painting a vivid picture of how the world turns its gaze upon you when you hit rock bottom. In his heartfelt lines, he offers glimpses of his relationship with his pen, showcasing the profound love he holds for his art. The fusion of vulnerability and resilience in his verse creates a poignant narrative, touching the hearts of listeners as they resonate with the highs and lows of the creative journey. Meanwhile, Sant takes the stage and dazzles with his old-school penmanship, weaving poetic rhymes that captivate the soul. His verses are like brushstrokes on a canvas, painting a vivid picture of the inner struggle and triumph that comes with embracing one’s true self.
The soul-stirring title track, ‘Kaafi Kuch,’ beckons listeners into the artist’s psyche. As the boom-bap beat kicks in, accompanied by the Jazz-influenced saxophone sample, the song delves into the duality of Rebel’s mindset, shedding the fog of uncertainty as he sets his sights on the destination he aims to reach. In the hook, he captures the very essence of Shayari, infusing the song with a poetic charm that resonates with the soul. With redefined confidence in his voice, he embraces the unconventional path he has chosen, one paved with blood, sweat, and unyielding dedication. He reflects the clear picture of carving his own destiny, unapologetically diverging from the norm, and marching to the beat of his own drum. Yet, amidst the determination, he lays bare the vulnerability that gnaws at him — the helplessness he feels as his body and mind ache with the pain. Metaphorically, he speaks of the everyday hardships, the weight of societal pressure, judgments, self-doubts, failures, and anxiety. With each line, Rebel’s words resonate with authenticity, and as the song unfolds, it becomes an anthem for anyone who has ever sacrificed for their dreams.
Next comes, ‘Nateeje,’ which sees the personal and societal consequences of our actions. As the chorus echoes in your ears, Rebel directly addresses you, urging you to be mindful of your choices today, for they will shape your destiny tomorrow. With divine signs pointing the way, he implores you to work diligently for yourself, steering clear of the paths that lead to turmoil. Huzur shows us an unfiltered depiction of the world we’ve created — a hellish realm where even Satan fears the rise of humans turned devils. In the next verse, Sant justifies his moniker by unraveling the truth of a world marred by deception and opportunism. He highlights the prevalence of fake facades and the loss of humanity in today’s inhuman interactions. With a mesmerizing and consistent flow, he leaves an indelible impression. As Vyshakh enters the stage, his verse is a masterclass in life lessons. Proud of the path he’s chosen, or perhaps the way life has molded him, he imparts wisdom to his listeners. Each poetic line serves as a guidepost, teaching us the value of staying true to ourselves, never resorting to begging, and being prepared to pay the price for greatness. As the song reaches its conclusion, the sound of the whistle gracefully waves goodbye, leaving a lingering positive smile. It serves as a gentle reminder of the journey ahead, wishing the listener luck and encouraging them to face the future with a steadfast spirit.
With the penultimate cut, ‘Better Dayz,’ we bear witness to the relentless spirit of a hustler who has poured everything into the game, refusing to back down despite the challenges. The song’s title serves as a poignant reflection of the artist’s yearning for brighter days ahead — days filled with motivation, improved mental well-being, and prosperity for his family. It is a heartfelt plea from an artist who has given his all and now seeks the validation and rewards that match his unwavering dedication. As the track kicks off, we are drawn into the pain and frustration of a hustler, specifically an artist, who has been grinding relentlessly but has yet to reap the fruits of his labor. This raw portrayal of an artist’s struggle resonates deeply with listeners who have faced similar hurdles on their own paths to success. It is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those who dedicate their lives to their craft, pouring their heart and soul into their artistry. Speaking of the production, it is apparent that the instrumental may not have been an obvious choice to convey the pain and struggle of an artist. The beat, already familiar to avid DHH listeners, may evoke a different vibe. One may not immediately associate with the artist’s message. However, this choice of instrumental does not take away from the compelling performances of Rebel 7, Huzur, and Sant, who deftly embrace the beat and deliver their verses with incredible skill and emotion. Rebel 7 concludes ‘Kaafi Kuch’ with the closing track, ‘Daur (Flip),’ which is basically a version that serves as a flipped rendition of the first track, with subtle changes here and there. But this time, Rebel hands the microphone to Huzur in the second verse. Despite the minor changes, the lyrics and production of ‘Daur (Flip)’ remains the same as ‘Daur,’ making it an unusual outro for the EP.
While some may point out technical and sonic limitations in ‘Kaafi Kuch,’ it becomes evident that the true magic of this project lies beyond production values. With profound vulnerability, Rebel shares his most personal journey, unafraid to explore the darker corners of his mind and heart. In doing so, he gifts us with a mirror to reflect upon our own inner struggles and triumphs. While the production may not be the primary focus of ‘Kaafi Kuch,’ it becomes evident that it is intentionally designed to create an immersive therapeutic experience rather than a mere spectacle of sound. As we reach the conclusion of this EP, it stands as a masterpiece in its own right, an opus — a companion in our journey, offering solace and self-relief in times of need.