Lucknow-based rapper Panther brings on several moody tones in his debut EP Why. The collection of five tracks have the MC introspecting on several themes, a heartbroken relationship being a major one. This finds me chartering lyrical territories that would make him sound almost like an Indian variant of emo- rappers like Juice WRLD.
However, with this being said, Panther’s sound is no stereotypical Soundcloud- style auto-tune wailing. He seems to be building his own style of melodic rap bolstered by some standout high-level production by Mr. Snob, Nik Beat$ and VeeGi On The Track. This EP is clearly made for different moods and settings. It makes for good music for philosophical late-night sessions but also has enough fiery, energetic verses and beats to make it catchy enough to be played at parties and live events.
While Khwaab seems to be fueled with adrenaline, other tracks like Kyu and Barsaate are high on the meditative emotions of contemplation. Panther’s flow is effortless and he has enough creativity in his lyrics to carve out pretty catchy hooks worthy of singing along. Even though the corona season implies a dip in live concerts, listeners can hear the sheer raw passion that Panther puts in his songs.
Songs like Tanha and Khwaab would easily make for energetic concert
performances in the near future. While heartbreak is a running theme in Why, it might tend to get a tad bit repetitive especially if listeners plan to binge-listen to the EP. Heartbreak can be a slippery slope for many an artist as it’s a common tone for many other independent genres too but Panther still adds a very personal and frustrated confessional take on it. It’s just that with an artist of Panther’s mettle, one would expect slightly more diversity in his lyrical abilities.
Yet it’s not that major a drawback as the three producers involved in the record ensure that each song projects a versatile soundscape. Furthermore, considering that this EP is just the rapper’s debut, Panther shows great potential for his future discography which probably would present more experimentation. Panther doesn’t rap about overdone clichés of flexing or proving his worth over other rappers. He’s clearly committed to using hip-hop for telling his own stories.
Verdict: High on energy and heartbreak, Panther’s Why is a top-notch work of Indian emo-rap.