The stars seem to have a date with Seedhe Maut! You can feel it; they’re destined to do great things in the game. We’re pretty darn sure about this, you know. Fans have totally wrapped their arms around them, all the way from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and beyond. And those die-hard listeners, especially the ones from Delhi (or as SM call it, ‘Dilli’), have been showering them with crazy love since they burst onto the scene as two fired-up teenagers — Abhijay Negi and Siddhant Sharma. Did their ‘Bayaan-Nayaab’ series strike a chord with you? Well, it’s time to soak in all that goodness right now — because this is a new beginning. The two are taking a breather after that phase, prepping to unfold something even bigger and more impactful. And while they’re at it, they’re also redefining their sonic values, as evident in their latest body of work, ‘Lunch Break,’ which is a prelude to their sixth studio effort, ‘Kavi Kehna Chahte Hain.’
Dropping a mixtape or EP as a prelude to an album isn’t something new in hip-hop. And Seedhe Maut, always on the cutting edge, followed the tried-and-true approach when they released the ‘न’ mixtape as a teaser before the full blast of ‘Nayaab’. It’s a seasoned recipe, spicing things up and giving a taste of the meal to come while keeping the artist’s kitchen clutter-free, ready for action.
With a whopping 30 tracks, ‘Lunch Break’ is 82 minutes of gut-reorganizing, breathtakingly adventurous, awe-filled music packaged in an animated album cover designed by the enigmatic Anubhav G. It’s like motion-filled artistic cover art that plucks detailed references from popular anime series like One Piece, Naruto, and Dragon Ball Z. Some Easter eggs are nods to Seedhe Maut’s past, reflections of their present (fittingly, a lunchtime break), and glimpses into their future journey. A big chunk of the project (precisely 18 tracks) is produced by the talented hands of Calm. This guy’s a double threat — rapping like a speeding bullet and cooking beats like a pro. The remaining mixtape is a playground for some top-notch producers — think Hurricane, DJ SA, Nitin Randhawa, Talal Qureshi, and Batman. And that’s not all, folks! Witness the star-studded ensemble in the ‘Lunch Break’ saga — a league of the game’s big boys: from Badshah and KR$NA to Faris Shafi and Sikandar Kahlon — a synapse-popping galaxy of rapstars, featuring Raga, Bandzo3rd, Rawal, Rebel 7, Yungsta, Sonnyjim, as well as the G trappers of the Delhi scene — Qaab, Ab 17, Lil Bhavi, and Bhaskar.
Seedhe Maut Lunch Break Mixtape Review
Starting off strong, the mixtape opens with ‘11K,’ a shot of adrenaline where Calm takes the helm, steering the production ship. The gritty baseline sets the stage on which the duo splashes their creativity, layering it with some introspection. Encore steps up with a verse that isn’t just words; but beams of wisdom, lifting you up and infusing a fierce energy. The second track ‘Sick & Proper,’ produced by Hurricane, might not feel proper at first, leaving you momentarily sick. But as you get used to the moaning, the beat hits like a high-five. The moaning sample kind of reminds me of Gunna’s ‘P Power.’ In that context, it was like a puzzle piece that fit just right. But let’s talk about Calm — the motor-mouthed emcee is the real showstopper here. He effortlessly flaunts the best of two universes: his tranquil vocals intertwining with mind-bending multi-syllabic rhymes, all riding on his lightning-speed flow. Meanwhile, Encore ABJ takes it to another level, adding his own touch of brilliance in ‘Brand New,’ which is more than a celebration song. The hook of the track is a real curveball — unusual but oh-so-infectious. The transition from a grungy, distorted beginning to a soulful end serves as a bridge, leading you seamlessly into the next track.
‘Peace of Mind’ brings together three dynamic young talents, a trio whose styles mesh in perfect harmony. Lil Bhavi, Ab 17, and Bhaskar — each one a flavor that enhances the overall blend. They ride with their street-savvy flair, delivering slick talk that’s like the language of the streets. And speaking of Ab 17, this moment is like a full-circle spin. In 2022, he got a major push when he featured in ‘Nayaab.’ Now, he’s right back in the spotlight. The guitar sample used by Calm adds to the vibe of the song. But by the time Calm and Encore step in, the instrumental starts to feel monotonous. Nevertheless, from this point onwards, the mixtape shifts gear, diving into experimental terrain. And ‘Pushpak Vimaan’ stands out as one of the most complete tracks on ‘Lunch Break’ — capturing a synthesizer-heavy, funk-inspired backdrop. It’s got that nostalgic edge but also pushes the boundaries, fitting perfectly with Sonnyjim’s unorthodox rapping style. Despite that, ‘Pushpak Vimaan’ marks peak performances by the duo. They deliver jaw-dropping flows, punchlines that hit harder than a heavyweight’s punch — words you’ll want to quote, waving the Seedhe Maut flag high.
Jumping into ‘Dikkat,’ Encore taps into his 13-year-old self for the hook. His voice and cadence catch you off guard, no doubt about it. Then his verse takes the spotlight, mature and touching on themes echoing those you’ve heard in ‘Do Guna.’ Next comes ‘Kya Challa’ with a beat — like a playground, with a funky sax sample and other elements that give it a playful bounce. The song’s length feels just right, making it a breath of fresh air on the mixtape. Encore’s back at it, but this time he’s weaving into something that sounds like a Bollywood movie soundtrack. Think fast-paced metro life, and his voice just becomes a character in the tale. Now, ‘Fanne Khan’ — meticulously crafted by Nitin Randhawa — offers a canvas where Yungsta, the ‘Meen’ mastermind, paints his artistry in all directions. He shines bright, with Calm stepping in with a fresh flow and a flute sample that opens up new vistas. However, Encore’s delivery didn’t quite hit the mark, losing some clarity at times. But yes, art’s like that sometimes. Still, there’s no arguing — Encore ABJ’s pen is undoubtedly the sharpest Katana in his generation’s artistic arsenal.
From ‘Do Ka Pahada’ to ‘Lunch Break,’ Seedhe Maut’s evolution has been a sight to behold. On one hand, Encore has refined his lyrical finesse. Calm has undergone quite a transformation that seems like a musical rebirth. ‘First Place’ is a quintessential Seedhe Maut song — loaded with schoolyard tales. However, it lacks the charm, that sparks — reflects their ambition to break free from the usual patterns, to expand the horizon. This kind of change is crucial for their growth as artists and to offer listeners something that might pleasantly surprise them down the road. Just when I was dozing off with Calm’s guitar strings, he slams in ‘Champions.’ A whistle and some bouncy beats ignite a new fire. And that’s not all — Calm masterfully goes wild on his own beat. Meanwhile, Rawal, the Tablafaad Delhi rapper, elevates the track with his distinctive flavor, firing off punchlines that’ll make your head spin for a moment. And then Encore and Rawal flaunt their synergy in a back-and-forth. Things slow down with ‘Baat Aisi Ghar Jaisi’ — a gentle reminder — don’t sleep on Calm’s melodic prowess. He’s got a voice made for R&B and Indie music that can be heard in the synth-heavy track ‘Hausla.’ Set against a soul-stirring, mellifluous backdrop, his vocals are like a spell. When Encore steps in, his poetry blurs the line between real life and imagination.
One of Calm’s most interesting productions, ‘Naam Kaam Sheher’, greets Rebel 7 with a custom-made beat to own. Despite its stacked-up structure, there’s room aplenty for each artist to shine. In ‘Pain,’ Encore draws a vocal contrast with Calm. His voice becomes a tool, adding a cool twist that’s unmistakably fresh. The cut isn’t just a showcase of their versatility; it’s a dive into emotional depths. The topics here reveal a fearless embrace of thoughts, hitting you square in the heart. The title track ‘Lunch Break’ slides right in the middle of the tape, signaling the start of round two, which is even more thrilling. Their anime aesthetic remains intact, woven with a Japanese string sample. ‘Lunch Break’ is like the ultimate proof that the fusion of Calm’s fast-paced flows and silky vocals is a hit every time. And then Encore flashes a glimpse of their seamless chemistry — maintaining the fan-favorite vibe which he later expands on tracks like ‘Swah!’ — that also underlines the duo’s adeptness at excelling in featured artists’ styles — evident on tracks like ‘Khatta Flow,’ ‘Luka Chippi,’ ‘Taakat,’ and ‘Asal G.’
As the title suggests, ‘Asal G,’ is where the true game-changers, Faris Shafi and Talal Qureshi, come to play. Talal’s production feels like it was made for a high-octane race in NFS. While Faris, in his signature element, throws down flows that align perfectly with Seedhe Maut’s ferocity. With a thin vocal sample, ‘Swah!,’ sees Badshah find his groove, like stepping onto familiar ground. But what really left me surprised was how Seedhe Maut and producer Hurricane executed ‘Focus Sedated’ and ‘Off Beat.’ Encore ABJ’s poetic wizardry shines through once more, while Hurricane raises the bar to new heights. And then comes ‘Taakat,’ an incredible track crafted by the stellar producer, DJ SA. The instrumental helps Seedhe Maut to blend their fire with Lil Bhavi’s laid-back delivery, resulting in an exceptional composition that hits.
When I first saw Bandzo3rd’s name on the tracklist, I was expecting a drill song. But ‘Luka Chippi’ had other plans — it’s like Seedhe Maut’s compass points in a different direction, showing their commitment to art over trends. This approach carries into ‘Khauf,’ where Calm incorporates more Indian elements into his beat. As for Encore, he keeps the fire burning in his words, with Bandzo jumping in to justify his spot in the lineup. Shifting gears from supersonic ‘Khauf,’ Calm takes a breath in ‘I Don’t Miss That Life,’ like a soulful intermission before the mixtape’s heavy rush of adrenaline hits you with — ’Akatsuki’ and ‘Khoon’ — tracks engineered for mosh pit uproars. It features the two untamed titans of the scene: Raga and Sikandar Kahlon — the wordsmiths who never miss a beat, infusing the tape with their hardcore verses.
As the tape progresses, ‘W’ becomes the final pulse of the project. Its chorus infects you with the scent of the ocean breeze, a splash of freshness that soothes the senses. Then comes ‘Joint In the Booth,’ an experience that’s truly one of its kind. The duo’s tight flows slice through like ninja shurikens, setting the stage for the most anticipated moment of the tape — ’Khatta Flow,’ a treat for die-hard KR$NA fans. Sonically, this track is a tight collaboration between Seedhe Maut and KR$NA, their flows intertwining with finesse. While from an artistic perspective, other songs shine brighter on this project. But hold tight, because the last two tracks — ’Kavi’ and ‘Kehna Chahte Hain…’ — offer sneak peeks into Seedhe Maut’s metamorphosis, an upcoming sound that’s more experimental, poetic, and aesthetically pleasing. ‘Kehna Chahte Hain…’ serves as a prelude to this transformation, where an abrupt beat switch and the school bell tolling — like the lunch break’s ending — and you’re on the brink of witnessing the rebirth of India’s supreme rap duo, Seedhe Maut.
After Ahmer and Prabh Deep, Seedhe Maut has also parted ways with Azaadi Records, making ‘Lunch Break’ their farewell project with the label. The announcement gave birth to random discussions in the community: Could this be the reason why the duo released 30 tracks together? Perhaps to liberate themselves from contracts and to start fresh? Yet, even if it’s the case, they deserve a standing ovation for what they’ve achieved by creating the biggest project of their career, a mixtape that keeps you captivated at every turn, never letting you lose your interest for even a second.