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!
niahn - EP : [extape] (8 tracks)
It might be through the duo neonblue in which he is accompanied by Bloo that you heard about niahn for the first time.
Yet, this friendship goes back to way beyond since they actually grew up together is the LA streets, joining the crew Young Creation alongside Nafla, Young West, AP or even EK and others until they had to take different paths. Unlike Nafla, Young West and Bloo, niahn didn’t joined the 42crew (more information on the page of the 42crew)
It didn’t stop niahn to keep in touch with them since it seems that he even had officially joined the Mkit Rain label now.
But let’s go back to this album, as far as we know, besides his SoundCloud releases and his previous featurings, the extape is the artist’s first official project. And can we talk about a Masterpiece ? For sure !
If there’s no accounting for taste, one may reckon that the album is excellent and most of all pretty coherent, with a real thought behind it. It’s worth noting that it’s the producer GRB who made all the beat but also the mastering work, while Youbin Lee et Ohmija did the M/Vs
Overall, niahn chose to go for Cloud rap, Broken Hurt though is more on a Mind-Blowing Trap vibe with a 140BPM (while the others are between 75 BPM like with Chuck and 120 BPM for Cartier) and he is rapping with a surprising softness, accompanied by Loopy on Cartier and Bloo on Runaway.
However, if this project is really well-thought, it’s also tinted with spontaneity, especially with the really introspective lyrics, almost reminding of the thoughts outburst.
We’ll do a further analysis of this album on a dedicated article which will hopefully be released this week or the next one, we wi’ll especially adress the ambivalence of Alone and Broken Hurt, or the resonance between Alone and Alright (there is indeed a lot to say haha)!
KURO - “우울증” [P.DOSHE]
Depression and more generally psychological troubles aren’t really that addressed in the Korean society but despite that, KURO offered us here a really deep and personal track.
From the few lyrics in English, it seems that the artist is depicting some ill-being, the feeling to get lost, to be drowned by your thoughts, seeking help in therapy, without success, and also the complex relation to others.
And just as what he is describing, KURO raps some verses with softness, some other with intensity on a light Lo-Fi production tinted with melancholy.
A really touching song ~
Zap hardy & YunGGI - "OxO"
A rather fun song just as the M/V which is filled with references to the retro gaming universe and more generally to the 90’s/ beginning 2000 computers !
PARTI CHILD - “WGF freestyle”
A really short freestyle but really in keeping with PARTI CHILD‘s colour, lively and sharp ~
Swervy - "Red Lite"
New recruit of the label Hi-Lite Records, Red Lite is Swervy’s first M/V and for a first impression, the rapper does not leave indifferent!
On a Trap instrumental with a fast rhythm (around 170 beats per minute) but still rather simple, Swervy gave a charismatic display. The rapper kept on spitting bars with ease and fluidity, naturally imposing herself.
The lyrics are just as the artist’s assertiveness, a mix of Egotrip and Gangsta Rap (this aspect is king of heighten by the beat’s gunshots samples)
In short, a pretty striking performance for a first, and an artist which seems to be quite promising!
Hong_Key💔More liquor💉 - “Trap Track” ft $ATSUKI
Still impressively prolific, Hong_Key chose this time to rap on a saturated alternative Trap instrumental which ends with $ATSUKI’s soft voice (That’s a lie) ~
More seriously she is progressively taking over the beat and completely owns it when comes the final note.
SIK-K - Album : “FL1P” (14 titres)
New Sik-K‘s album and we must admit that FL1P is a suatable name just for the fact that the general atmosphere of this project pretty stands out of what the rapper signed with H1GHR MUSIC had previously released.
Different but still really in tune with his colour, FL1P is quite bewildering but overall we had been pleasantly surprised. If we had to express our opinion briefly, we could say that we had the feeling Sik-K‘s musical identity is more asserted here?
If there’s one thing which did not change though, it’s clearly the use of the autotune which is pretty much a signature of the artist now. However, when in his previous project he might have been more conventional, doing mostly a sort of a mix of Trap/Mind-Blowing Trap and more Pops tracks. Here what strikes us the most was the rather important influence of the Alternative Rock on tracks like NOIZY, LOVE ACHES, FIRE, ADDICT, or RIP for instance.
But there’s also songs which stand out but it would be hard to explain really in what, like VANESSA and SORRY (1000) featuring Crush (they definitely have a nice chemistry) or MI CASA ES TU CASA with JESSI and The Quiett.
It could be interesting to do a further analysis of this album in a dedicated article but not before next week though !
Mac Kidd - “2019”
Trap in is simplest form, that is to say a quite refined instrumental and a 140 Bpm (which is a regular BPM for Trap). Mac Kidd’s rap is maybe a tone under the beat though. Simple effect of light mastering problem, this track will still please the Trap lovers!
y o s i - “h e a d a c h e ㅠ ㅠ”
A mostly Jazz atmosphere, halfway between Old School and Lo-Fi on which y o s i raps with fluidity, quite a warmness in the voice. It’s rally smooth/lively, almost groovy ~
한오월 - “9 9 9”
Just as the visual, this track can be described as experimental, it’s really progressive, a strange mix of Cyber Rap and Jazz vibes and a rather surprising rupture on the end.
And as always, despite a quite captivating beat, 한오월 manages to keep owning the track. Really interesting!
citygroove66 VELO - “만취 Freestyle” (DEMO)
We won’t repeat it enough, citygroove66 VELO is clearly one of the promising Trap rappers of the SoundCloud Scene et he proves it once again through this freestyle.
HONO - “PHONECALL” Ft. ONYOURSIDE
For now, HONO has indeed only released two songs, but he already quite stands out on the Lo-Fi SoundCloud scene collaborating with the really talented ONYOURSIDE who is seemingly nowhere to be seen on the social networks, his SoundCloud accounts seems to have been deleted…
More specifically, this song stands out thanks to its structure. What seems to be a regular Lo-Fi beat takes another dimension in the middle of the track. The atmosphere is darkening, an almost spiritual/mystical vibe.
Can’t wait to hear more from this artist!
purpall - “Calendar” ft. IndEgo Aid
In another experimental register, here the tempo is really slow (between 70 and 80 BPM) which highlights even more purpall’s flow.
Los - “HUSTLE” (Feat. Dok2)
West Coast Vibe just as the M/V and more generally Los and Dok2’s influence, it’s really clean, up to what the rappers’ reputation 🌴☀ 🌴☀
황세현 - EP : “🐷 돼지라서미안해 🐷” (10 tracks)
- ECONOMY CLASS – 0:05
- 돈을졸라벌면 – 3:04
- 3AM FREESTYLE – 6:41
- 돼지라서미안해 – 9:50
- Parental Advisory – 13:19
- STOMPED A LEGO – 17:36
- 전기장판처럼 got dat heat – 20:38
- 냉장고털이범 – 23:43
- 내통장잔고영원 – 27:32
- T O T H E M O N – 31:09
Sorry for this format, that was the only way to find all the tracks..
Overall there is different kind of atmospheres in this project, but it’s really coherent and well balanced!
There is autotune on a huge part of the tracks, at a more or less high degree and it’s mostly Trap with different type of vibes
For instance, Parental Advisory is on a rather dark register, followed by STOMPED A LEGO which can be described as a quite aggressive track especially because of the several sound information
On the contrary, there is almost a light melancholic vibe on 전기장판처럼 got dat heat because of the dissonance on the beat. ECONOMY CLASS, 냉장고털이범 and T O T H E M O N are on more lively and colourful sonorities while내통장잔고영원 is on a more regular Trap register.
Besides the Trap aspect, 돈을졸라벌면 which follows the first track has a light folk side thanks to the guitar chords. Guitar chords that are also present on the title track “🐷돼지라서미안해🐷” which seems to be sampled on Camila Cabello’s Havana. Finally, 3AM FREESTYLE is rather a mindblowing track.
In short, a really nice project. We won’t recommend one specific track though, the atmospheres are so varied that it really depends upon individual tastes!
Cubana - “Who Cares!”
Cubana has a really lively flow, fresh, he raps with ease on a cadenced beat. It also seems that he’s really receptive to the beat, he is good at adapting his flow to the track evolutions. Really nice!
Jimmy Brown - “No One” Ft. Minshik
Jimmy Brown and Minshik are part of the WVVY crew and they offer a quite languorous and nocturnal RnB Track. The mix of their voices is especially nice, it’s really pleasant ~
Cubana - “Deft!” Prod. by Mixtape Seoul
A quite pop and zesty vibe ~
Pre$$BullDog - Mini Album : “[Me=Pre$$BullDog]” (4 tracks)
A homogeneous project which would especially please Old School rap and quite Jazz vibes lovers.
Pre$$BullDog’s rap is really raw!
NANSA(난사) - “A Random Shot” (prod.ass)
Cyber Trap might be the genre which would describe this track the best. There is a lot of sounds information and NANSA opts here for a rather thigh rap!
KOREANGROOVE - EP : “[GROOVY SEASON]” (5 tracks)
Once again a project based on Trap variations. KOREANGROOVE has a really good flow and if there’s overall nothing much to say about it we highly recommend you to listen to it.
We may just add that it seems that Chosen One has been sampled on the Belgian singer Stromae’s Tous les mêmes song!
rheehab - “니가잠에들었으면좋겠어” ft el.le
Mind-blowing and colourful Trap, the whole is rather soft though!
FREE MORICK - “Heimish”
FREE MORICK has a really interesting voice texture, quite deep which is really in tune with the quite jazz, almost Lo-Fi beat.
박진오(J1NO) - “1919.3.1”
Really good, as much for the technique as for the track itself. J1NO has a really good control of his flow!
Mokyo(모키오) - 'Something'
If there is one thing interesting with H1GHR MUSIC, that’s trully the diversity of their artists
New member of the label, Mokyo is one of those artist with a really unique universe, almost disturbing.
Just as the M/V which has been thouroughfully made and by the way kind of in rupture with the label’s regular productions, Something is a track full of melancholia, sadness even. As much because of the beat tinted with violins as because of the very personal lyrics which show all the gratefulness Mokyo has for the person who gave him life :
“You used to make me watch while you take my clothes out the closet, making sure that I grow out of the pants you’re folding”.
It’s worth noting that the M/V description is literally “I love you mom”
But who would also have left him :
“You, Before I met you, my life was delightful, I was too blind to know that this love would take something very far away from me that I couldn’t see you starting to leave.”
A really touching song !
Osshun Gum - “Walk In The Rain”
Osshun Gum offers us a rather soft performance, quite aerial.
Snacky Chan - “Skillz” ft Boi B & A-Chess
It’s rather Boom Bap, really well balanced and an excellent work on the atmosphere. There is nothing wrong with the rappers performances, they are excellent as well!
BENPICKS X ACHILLO - “GTA” (Prod. IFI)
A rather different Trap, it’s hard to describe it, but both rappers are really good, it’s pretty lively and energetic!
YEONG GWANG - EP : “Instant” (3 tracks)
A rather calm and refined track with still some groovy notes though. Concepts and Jonjae are standing out!
조우진 - “출세주의”
Once again a really calm atmosphere, quite subdued with a slow and rather punctuated rhythmic. Chowoojin raps with ease, he manages to convey an interesting range of emotions.
Bravo (브라보) - “SOSIM” (Feat. Danny Roots)
A pretty fresh track, just as the M/V which is simple yet nice with an interesting concept of storytelling through a printer!
off_click - Mixtape : “off click” (3 tracks)
Once again an artist who is debuting, and if he only released a 3-tracks project for now, it’s already clear that he’s promising!
With a really pleasant voice and a smooth flow, off_click is especially good with quite jazzy Old School vibes as you could hear it on No Think .. and Break Time.
An artist we’ll definitely support!
OJYUN (오전) - “Faces” (feat. wijineedsmore , 개미친구)
OJYUN is a korean beatmaker who’s pretty into a wide range of registers but here he went for a jazzy beat. You can hear wijineedsmore on the first part while it’s the rapper GaminchinGoo on the 2nd one.
An excellent Track!
Lil Sunder11 - “SCV🔋” ft purp xanny
Surprisingly, there hasn’t been that much off Alternative Rock releases this week.
To be more precise, here it’s more mind-blowing Alternative Rock and the harmony between Lil Sunder11 and Purp Xanny is pretty interesting, their voices are mixing well. Purp Xanny on the last part of the track is especially good, the calm he’s exuding goes well with the autotune.
Tatte - “Different” (feat. HOLYNN)
It goes without a doubt that this track will please the jazz-lovers
It’s a collaboration between Tatte and HOLYNN who is a member of the crew Marilyn Monderland alongside JUNNY and yelloasis for instance, or also the producer Holymoley! who also contributed to this track.
A really fine track with a really interesting work on the atmosphere!
DIVINE - Mixtape : “[ INSTAGRAM ] _ 2019.4.27” (4 tracks)
The whole is on a pretty fresh RnB vibe, we especially recommend you Movie Sweet ! and I Wanna Do.
Realtic - “Woo AH” (feat. inGGood)
A rather lively Trap with some Old School vibes on the end!
nathania - “stay all night”
Nocturnal RnB but still lively though, with almost some Trap sonorities on the beat. As for nathania, as usual, she’s just excellent in this genre ~
Siggie Feb - “스물다섯(25)” Ft. KILLTH4TKIM (Prod. BadMax)
Trap once again but on a quite subdued atmosphere this time, sort of a nocturnal side.
Purp Xanny 🖤 - “Frozen Heart” ft 린린
Purp Xanny stays true to his Alternative Rock/ Trap sonorities, quite close to what Travis Scott can do on the beginning of the song, but more lively though.
Then the song is taking another dimension. Can’t explain exactly in what, but the work on the balance of the production is pretty interesting!
skyminhyuk - EP: “괜찮아 질거야 (2019늦겨울)” (5 tracks)
A rather varied project with as much jazz/groovy sonorities on the first two tracks, fresh and groovy on the third one, colourful on the fourth one as Trap on the last.
We especially recommend you the first and the last ones!
딥플로우 (Deepflow) - "36 DANGERS"
Deepflow‘s reputation is largely established now, his rap is excellent and the beat he chose is pretty interesting, almost a light psychedelic Rock vibe with the combination of electric guitar/drums/marked Ride Cymbal and Synth.
The M/V is just as the track by the way, a clean style but still with a certain class !
squalowave - EP : “WORK MORE” (11 tracks)
This project is a producer’s EP. She’s pretty into nocturnal Jazz vibes, perfect as a background music!
kumira - "내가 어떻게 해야 해"
A fresh and zesty track, in tune with kumira‘s usual style ~
Kidd King @kiddgotospace - “Stacks On Deck” (w/ Life of Hojj)
Just as the EP Money Clip released on february 20 we quietly already talked about, this track is kinf of on a Mind-Blowing Trap Vibe. Stacks On Deck is an addition of this EP and it pretty clean, Life Of Hojj and Kidd King have a nice chemistry.
The whole project is rather chill, really pleasant!
LoyeL (로옐) - “직업병” (Feat. 쟌 of TrashBox)
A track halfway between Rap and RnB, rather nocturnal, just as the M/V!
$ammy (새미) - “Sammy-Pro”
A rather groovy track with an interesting visual!
brwn - 063 - 031(Feat. Siggie Feb) Prod. badmax
A track which quite stands out this week. It’s worth noting that BadMax is really good when it comes to do pretty original Trap beats!
Siggie Feb and brwn‘s chemistry is really interesting, you should give it a shit!
diamondkash - “알아야 해” ft. Hash Swan & y1ee (Prod. dkash)
A quite light track, each of the three rappers brings his own colour to the whole and diamondkash did a really good work on the production!
$ATSUKI - “트랩조폭” Feat. Uno . Hong_Key💔More liquor💉 (prod . orrrrrrro)
Rather saturated Trap with a lot of sounds information and almost a metal influence sometimes, especially in $ATSUKIB‘s parts.
$ATSUKI - “Shoot your XXX”
Two tracks the same day, here it’s more of a cadenced Trap and more generally, $ATSUKI‘s rap is really lively, almost a dramatic side since she emphasized her intonations a lot!
Mac Kidd - “폭주”
A simple yet effective Trap track!
KILL X KEM - "NETFLEX KKMIX😈"
With KILLTH4TKIM and KEMBETWA on a same track the result could only have been great.
And yet, this is some quality Trap, which pretty stands out from what you can usually hear in this genre, even more heighten by BadMax‘s beat. It really well thought, nothing is left to chance!