Shen B Confronts Humanity’s Hypocrisy
The Jammu-based hip-hop artist weaves a powerful tale of choice and consequence in thrilling neo-noir music video for new track
Shayaan Bhat aka Shen B has released a blistering new single, Karma (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEE9hm1TPR8). Marking the hip-hop artist’s third track of 2021, after the playful Sunshine and the braggadocious Zamaana, Karma, is a scathing reflection on humanity’s hypocrisy. Championing his tradition of critique, the Jammu-based hip-hop artist weaves serrated verses with dark production on “Karma”, interrogating humankind’s unnerving duality that roils beneath its gilded surface. The groovy bass and percussion-led single finds the rapper/poet in a confessional and confrontational space; he bides his bars, he harbours no haste. On “Karma”, Shen B invites listeners to meditate on the crossroads of choice. Will their path beget consequence or will their passage bring forth change?
Accompanying the song is a neo-noir music video that tells the tale of a man surrendering to his own karma. In the four-minute clip, we see Shen B portray two sides of a person — the calm side and the wild side. Representing the logical and impulsive personalities that live within human beings, the dark and dreamy music video for “Karma” explores the fight between the two sides of the coin to see who consumes who first. The rapper/poet worked closely with director Wikki Koul to develop the music video for “Karma,” building on the many rough ideas bubbling in his mind. Imbuing every frame with meaning, Shen B’s new single is ultimately a cautionary tale: we determine our destinies, we are our own karma.
“It feels like the right time to let this single out into the world. ‘Karma’ is a message to everyone that whether your actions are good or bad, you shall receive its consequence in kind. Our deeds are our own; they determine how we shape our lives and by extension, the universe. Let’s not empower hypocrites and their falsities, let’s speak truth to power and create an enriching karma. I hope this track encourages people to drop their masks and forge their own fate.”
After releasing May’s vibrant and philosophical summer anthem “Sunshine,” Shen B was left with a void. He found within himself a space that was brimming with voices that begged to be let out. Gathering all the criticism he had garnered over the years, Shen B crafted “Karma” in a month. This song is the artist’s way of saying that he is conscious, aware and in control of his actions, and that he won’t accept hypocrisy and double standards as the moral norm.
The music video for “Karma” was filmed in four locations across Jammu city. The prison scenes were shot in Shen B’s home, the clips of the rapper in the shed were filmed in his aunt’s house, the bathtub scenes were shot at music video producer Danish Tak’s home, whereas the underwater clips were filmed in a swimming pool. Bearing in mind the severity of the Covid19 pandemic, Shen B ensured that filming progressed in keeping with the best safety practices. In true DIY style, he also approached the project with an attitude that was both creative and inventive. The result is a neo-noir music video that brings alive the isolation and ambiguity of the film genre.
“Karma” marks a triumphant release for Shen B who has been on a roll in 2021. After dropping his powerful debut EP Zamaana, as well as a slew of successful singles, the rapper/poet is now looking to dive into different genres. Fans and listeners can expect surprises in store for the year ahead as Shen B taps into new facets of his artistry; realms he’s previously left unexplored. “Karma” signals a change for the artist who continues to build an unparalleled musical legacy in Indian hip-hop.