Young rappers from Delhi hit it big. Saby & Huzur: Sign In Album Review
After almost a year of delays, Saby and Huzur are finally making some noise with their debut album, which has the same emotional beats as a day in the life of a regular Delhi guy, reaching a crescendo as the day progresses and ending on a moody low by midnight.
New Delhi rappers Saby and Huzur just dropped their debut album Sign In independently, via their collective ‘The Truth Youth’. With a title like Sign In, it’s pretty clear that they are all set to take over the Indian Hip-Hop scene. Expectations for this album have been high for way too long in the underground circuits, facing various delays and technical issues. But after all the hype, it’s safe to say that it is worth the wait.
We get a sense of the sound just from looking at the album cover, designed by Vyshakh Prince. The use of warm colours and a hand-painted aesthetic gives the album a very intimate feel, which is complemented by the opening pads in “Subha Aakhe Khuli”, an early morning jam, which talks about the aspirations of an artist, who looks forward to fulfilling his dreams through the day. In this track, Saby and Huzur contemplate on their lives as creatives and ponder on the dangers of complacence and negativity. I don’t think there could have been a better opener for this album.
“Sahi Sahi”, produced by Rebel7, which was also the lead single, plays out as the perfect song to listen to while driving. The rhymes, while being simplistic, fall in line with the laidback beat and the electric piano in the main melody. The music video also reminds you of all the yellow and pink you see in the album cover. The next track, “Mango”, is my least favourite in the album, thanks to its overuse of pitch correction, which drowns out the natural character in Huzur’s voice. While the hook is catchy, the subject matter had a lot more potential. Huzur’s relatable and slick bars tried to redeem the song, but it ended up being a hot mess of a track.
After a small skit with Vyshakh Prince and Rebel7, the album flows into what I call “the hype zone”. With three back to back bangers, the album makes sure that there is something in store for hip-hop lovers. “Fanney Khan”, produced by the extremely talented producer-rapper Asura, is the best-produced song in the entire album. The beat flows like the trap version of a Spaghetti Western theme, with its layered horns and brass sections. Saby and Huzur talk about their come-up, with just the right amount of braggadocio to get everyone hyped up.
The flute riff playing in the background in “Sambha” reminds us of the iconic film Sholay, which inspired the title of the track. The flows on this track are “dirty”, and this Asura produced beat will surely get a lot of remixes by rappers. “Ae Hanji”, “Fanney Khan” and “Sambha” are stage-tested bangers that have a tendency to make the crowd go crazy when performed live.
The one-minute-long poem “Maayush”, while contemporary in treatment and vocabulary, is thought-provoking, and raises questions of anxiety, monotony, and work-life balance. Huzur’s delivery is heartfelt and gets the point across. This sets up the album for the climax with “So Jaane Do”, an acoustic ballad with guitars by Ishaan Kunwar. The track closes the album with a calm and serene emotion. However, with better mixing, the track would have been a lot more impactful and crisp.
Overall, the album is a good mix of emotion and bravado, and the two artists bring their best to the table. Both of them have unique styles, yet complement each other very well. Huzur is the more grounded, slang-spewing “dilli ka launda”, whereas Saby is the learned, saintly figure imparting life lessons in simplistic, yet engaging rhymes. There were a few noticeable problems with the mixing, but considering that production and mixing were all done in-house, it was a commendable job done. If I have to sum up the album in one sentence, it would be: SIGN IN SUCCESSFUL.
Coke ke sapne hai tere aur teri yeh zindagi fanta si
Ek din girlfriend bane meri fan, hai meri yeh fantasy (Huzur in Sahi Sahi)
Jaan le, jiski bhi nahi sunega uske liye fir banega paraaya hi tu
Aur soch zara, auron ki baaton pe agar chalna tha, toh khud se soch paaya hi kyu (Saby in Sambha)
Tu kehta reh k mai hu bekasoor
Par kya karu meri goliyaan nahi maanti (Huzur in Sambha)