Through to that type of article, we want to offer you a review of the Korean urban scene news.
However we need to make some clarifications.
Firstly, even if we are doing our best to give you the largest range possible, we’ll certainly miss some releases but it doesn’t mean that the project isn’t worthy of interest.
Then, if we are always trying to give you a review as much objective as possible, the fact is that there is always going to have some subjectivity in it. We haven’t the “received wisdom”, our aim here is only to promote the weekly releases and in some angles to express our views. After all beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, if you don’t share the same opinion than us don’t hesitate to tell us in our comment space, on twitter or facebook!
We also liked to say that to stay up-to-date on the current releases, we are leaning, among other, on K-Hip Hop France and HiphopKR pages!
Jay Park - "Finish Line" (ft. pH-1, Woodie GoChild, HAON, Avatar Darko & Sik-K)
Jay Park Finish Line (ft. pH-1, Woodie GoChild, HAON, Avatar Darko & Sik-K)
Here Chacha Malone offers us a kind of messy trap, almost a twerk track in which you can hear some rappers from Jay Park’s label H1GHR MUSIC.
Amburu’s little extra: I was really surprising by Sik-K’s tone in that track, I really enjoyed it!
Eli’s little extra: For me, pH-1 was just so different from usual and well HAON, Avatar Darko and Sik-K have all a really tight flow here but I’ve been especially impressed by Woodie Gochild. That track is a confirmation for me that I prefer him when he’s more on an incisive rap.
Khyo - "시치미 LYING" (ft Sik-K)
Mind-blowing/ethereal RnB for an interesting collaboration which is totally in keeping with what Sik-K could usually do. A nice and soothing track.
Dino.T "Father (not for you)"
Do not listen to that track by a full moon night. More seriously, here we are on a tragic-intense note, especially recommended for those who love emotional rap. This track would be really suitable for a movie original soundtrack. In any case it’s a track which is impossible to be indifferent about even if somewhat a little bit repetitive.
YDG - "Going Home (웹드라마 '고래먼지' 삽입곡)"
Well, we suppose that with that track YDG wanted to deliver some nostalgia but honestly, for us he missed it. We let you see by yourself.
Tommy Strate - "Yung"
The M/V’s colour-grading is pretty interesting and quite in agreement with the kind of mind-blowing instrumental. As usual Tommy Strate offers us a really clean work.
However, it’s also because we have high expectations for Tommy Strate that we agreed to say that compared with his global work this track doesn’t really stood out. Among other, we find that it was a little bit repetitive.
YunB - "Woah Woah Woah Remix"
A really good Cloud Rap/Trap track and a pretty well balanced instrumental. For us, what stood out the most here is YunB’s technique, his capacity to alternate a laid-back rap (Ed: a break-up/chopped rap which really emphasise the rhythm if you prefer) and a rather incisive rap (Ed: or a quicker flow which, unlike the laid-back one is really attacking the rhythmics, it’s more fluid).
It’s also worth noting that the M/V’s atmosphere reminds us a little bit of the aesthetic you can find in Keith Ape’s visual productions.
Amburu’s spoiler: At the end of the M/V the Happy New Year make me laughed so much!
Airplaneboy - "Kimch the kid" (prod.NISH)
A nice and quite original track, special mention for the adlibs.
Baeksik - Mixtape : "Junk"
A five-tracks mixtape nice and really complete, there is tracks with a nostalgia vibe, pretty much like a ballad as much as autotuned RnB ones. Special mention for What produced by Truman featuring Youngwon which especially stood out thanks to its House vibe. It’s really the icing on the cake!
Futuristic Swaver - "Heartless"
A clean trap/RnB song, in itself, there is nothing much to say, it’s a good track but we hadn’t really been transcended by it.
Mckdaddy - "Shut Up" (Feat. Ja Mezz)
There’s a lot to say about that track. Kind of Emo rap, which is emphasised by a production based on saturated effect and especially electric guitar chords. The visual production is in the same atmosphere.
Ja Mezz’s rap is really good and makes the first break of the song.
However, it’s the second one which caught more our attention, around 2.20min. Mckdaddy goes from a rap trap to a more raw/incisive rap and delivers us an almost a capella and really striking performance.
One of the tracks which stood out the most for us those last two weeks.
We didn’t know that rapper before but clearly now we have our eyes on him.
GXXD (Girlnexxtdoor) - EP : "GXXD"
A three-tracks EP in which you can hear MOON, Sik-K, Coogie and Goopy. We especially liked the track Come in. The Guitar chords are pleasantly matching GXXD’s velvet voice. It’s perfect to warm up in this cold January.
Amburu’s little extra: I particularly liked Come in with MOON and Sik-K for its vibe but also because it’s unusual to hear some songs with female and male rappers in it.
Eli’s little extra: I found Sik-K especially good in Come in.
ACACY - "I DON'T LIE" prod badassgatsby
This track by ACACY from the juiceoveralcohol crew (Ed: OHIORABBIT, KHUNDIPANDA and OLNL are also taking part of it for instance) will especially be appreciated by Trap/RnB lovers.
Eli’s note: I was a little bit annoyed by the prod balance though, the autotune or the effects are a little bit too much ear-splitting for me.
Blacknine "It's gonna be alright" (ft WHO$)
Here we are on the same tone and, well, same observation… The autotune is quite badly balanced even if it’s supposed to convey a dramatic/tragic atmosphere.
Honestly the track didn’t won our hearts but once again it’s only our opinion.
£.vıewƶ (이뷰즈) - "100" (Prod.Grabby)
We cannot help wondering if we’ll ever be disappointed by £.vıewƶ. The light trap production is especially highlighting the sensual and soothing voice of the artist. A very soft RnB/Soul track, thanks ~
WAP_AUTUMN – EP : "LEAF"
A very interesting EP even if maybe it can be a little bit repetitive. The productions and atmospheres work are really clean and pleasant.
We already highlighted his No Friend track with CIKA in featuring and if you like RnB/Trap mixes you are highly going to like it!
JERO – "ELIZABETH"
Mind-blowing/ethereal RnB with deep basses and a huge work on the texture, which means that it’s a track which is especially arousing the senses. Honestly it’s a little bit hard to explain this with words but you’ll figure it out immediately by listening to the track.
Amburu’s Note: I admit that the track is too languorous for me.
Eli’s Note: Quite the opposite for me, it’s exactly what I liked in the track, in order to enjoy it at its best it would almost be better to listen to it with closed-eyes.
Young West - "VLONE"
Once again you can hear Young West on an Emo Rap track but Emo Rap oriented on more soft and mind-blowing sonorities. Can’t defined it as Cloud Rap though but there is a nocturnal atmosphere prevailing. This atmosphere is also present in the M/V which can remind Don’t Move by the MKIT RAIN by some aspect. It’s all the more obvious because the visual director HYPNOS worked on both of them and they are frequently working together (Ed: maybe he’s even a member of the label team, we’ll try to figure it out!)
At the musical production, you can also find Louis Maui who were produced his single Fall in Love or even his Flight 21 Mixtape.
Eli’s Note: I really appreciated the track, it’s very soft and there is almost a out-of-the-time side and the prod is well balanced!
ZENE THE ZILLA - "Liquor" (Feat. Jvcki Wai)
If we had to define that track, the most appropriate term would probably be Bubblegum Trap. It’s a very joyful/bouncy/lightful track with a kind of playful side that you can also find in the visual production. Among others, the colour balance is very sparkling.
A really fun-to-listen track ~
Amburu’s little extra: I have been really surprised by Jvcki Wai’s rap here. For me she knew how to reinforce the lightness of the track while giving it more peps.
Eli’s little extra: I have to admit that I’m not usually a big fan of Jvcki Wai’s rap, it’s not because I don’t like autotune but I just generally find it a little bit too strong in his productions and precisely, here the autotune is more soft. A pleasant surprise!
Code Kunst - "XI" (Feat. Lee Hi)
This track follows on from X, the previous collaboration between Code Kunst and Lee Hi that you can find on the producer’s album MUGGLES’ MANSION (#HowToSayThatWeListenedSoMuchToThatAlbumAndThatWeAreStillDoingIt).
As always Code Kunst is really talented when it comes to point out the artist on his production. As a consequence, on that groovy/jazz vibe track you can hear a really asserted Lee Hi, a lot more than in X.
Slchld - "body of gold 2" (feat. oceanfromtheblue)
What to say, slchld + oceanfromtheblue = art.
More seriously, slchld and oceanfromtheblue are part of the most beautiful RnB Korean’s voices, this skill they have to deliver always more intense myriad of feelings… It’s hard to define it with words but if you don’t know them yet, we highly invite you to listen to them. Just velvet for the ears ~
Junoflo - Album : "STATUES"
If, for us Junoflo already took a turning point with Only Human, he clearly setted the bar higher with his album STATUES. there isn’t a single one track which would be beneath the others, the album is really complete and his structure well-thought. If it has always been an evidence that Junoflo had a perfect mastery of his rap; we found that this album had been the opportunity for him to sharpen his musical identity. Illustrating himself on Latino, Trap, Jazz and so on atmosphere. The production choices are offering to Junoflo a playground in which he’s easily standing out .
Funny fact, we had been both marked by Icarus, Statues, Sportage ‘07, Ausgang and LA FAMILIA.
Amburu’s little extra: I also recommend you to listen to Monday Blues featuring G2 to motivate you to go to school/work in the morning! Thank you Juno to the Flo!
Eli’s little extra: Besides those tracks, I really appreciated Yung Luchini / Bibi Interlude. And clearly, it’s an album that I will listen to a lot! How can we better start the year?
윤훼이 (YUNHWAY) - "Silhouette"
Here again some mind-blowing/ethereal RnB but we have to underline the really good work on the atmosphere, a little bit nocturnal vibe punctuated by light and muted basses.
G2 - "I Don't Know" (feat. Lyricks)
Once again, G2 is offering us a track tinted with Jazz/Groovy really refined sonorities. The simplicity of the production punctuated with piano chords is really well underlying G2 flow’s fluidity and shows us once again how natural rap is for him.
Like a discussion, G2 and Lyricks’ rap are very narrative. This impression is reinforced by the friendly and intimate atmosphere of the M/V.
YUMDDA - Album : "Breathe 2"
On that thirteen-tracks album we can hear collaborations with 뱃사공 bassagong, Don Mills, Coogie, Uneducated Kid, Futuristic Swaver or even Chaboom.
Globally the album universe is special and YUMDDA has a quite unique voice. Per se the album is pretty pleasant to listen to, it’s clean and the productions are simple but efficient and we find different type of atmosphere but we have to admit that we hadn’t been that much marked by the album.
Eli’s Note: If I had to recommend you two of them, I’ll choose pow pow featuring Chaboom. I liked the quite deep basses, and the refined and mind-blowing aspect; but also the track yaya freestyle which is another genre and is as much original as bouncy.
Keebomb - EP : "RELAX"
This seven-tracks EP has a suitable name. The productions are quite chilled and the rap is refined making the whole EP nice to listen to. All the more so as you can find collaborations with SUMIN, Owen Ovadoz, PENOMECO, oceanfromtheblue and pH-1.
Amburu’s recommendation: my favourite one is Problem featuring Owen, a track to listen to while studying, on the beach, everywhere.
Eli’s recommendation: I particularly appreciated Airplane Mode with pH-1 for its really interesting and a little bit irreal atmosphere. And also Relax featuring oceanfromtheblue, the prod is really rich and visual, a tad Lo-Fi without being nostalgic. It’s a positive piece and, well, if you hadn’t already realised it I’m pretty biased when it comes to oceanfromtheblue.
D-HACK - "KAWATTA"
A nice surprise, a very simple track, with a progressive structure and a tone which could remind you of the dream register. Really soft and pleasant ~
JAY2THEKIM - "badmood" (prod. lucid luc)
We’ll never say it enough, JAY2THEKIM is one of those rappers who have the potential to go really far.
He doesn’t seem really known by Khiphop audience and it’s probably because he is rapping in English, however every new tracks he released is the opportunity for him to overcome himself and to sharpen his musical identity. A one-of-a-kind Trap!