So before I get into this post I suppose I had ought to introduce this blog and in particular why I have chosen this song to be the first i’m going to feature!
Put simply I’m a massive rap music nerd from the UK and have grown up listening to rap music in English from both sides of the Atlantic. Midway through 2016 however I stumbled across this absolute banger of a song and my love for Korean rap music was born, seriously I had this song on repeat for an entire day! Since then I’ve spent time trying to discover new rap artists from different countries and, as you might have guessed, have decided to write a blog about it.
So now on to the song and my thoughts on it! Firstly it’s notable that this track is a continuous freestyle by 5 different rappers (with the exception of Flowsik’s segment at the end), each of them jumping on the lasts lyrics and in certain cases combining to deliver punchlines. I love how slick this comes across as each of the MC’s maintains the frenetic pace in their delivery and intensity. It’s incredible how organic this seems and gives the track a playful tone like a group of friends joking around together. The highly structured lines flow effortlessly and it seems like each rapper is trying to outdo the others and showing off their rapping ability! The final verse is delivered solo by Flowsik who calls for the beat back after Punchnello ends the main segment with a “Swish”, this works in my opinion excellently as Flowsik’s guttural voice and heavier sounding flow provides a dark contrast to the lighter voices of the other MC’s.
The beat features a repetitive melody that gives the song an eastern flavoured sound, in my opinion, and provides a different sound to the very common trap sound that is prevalent in western rap music at the moment. My favourite part of the beat though has to be it’s minimalist sound, it serves first and foremost as a backdrop to the vocals and doesn’t compete for the listeners attention. I found this refreshing after the sheer volume of songs I’ve heard where a heavy beat is used to make up for lacklustre rapping.
Lyrics wise it is notable that amongst the Korean (a language that I find flows incredibly well in rap) their are a fair amount of killer lines delivered in English. These include many references to different aspects of western culture, with Tony Montana, Future and Stephen Curry being named dropped. This made me feel like the track was perhaps written with an aim of reaching a western audience and as it did for me provide rap fans with an entry point into discovering Korean rap. A particular highlight has to be the line by Live “I’mma let you finish but, take your mic, Taylor Swift – *autotuned* Haaaaan – Kanye cheoreom”,referencing the infamous VMA incident and delivered as he cuts of Owen Ovadoz mid flow. The attention to detail and perfection in this lyric alone is excellent as the second half is delivered in autotune another nod to this incident as Kanye was big into using autotune at the time.
As someone who listens to rap music it’s not uncommon to hear songs that consist mainly of boasting and rappers trying to outdo each other. More often than not this is usually accompanied by lazy lyrics and even lazier delivery (especially when trap artists are concerned!). Now whilst this track doesn’t really have much of a serious message to it, the level of perfection, inventiveness and sheer fun energy on this sets it apart from others. Here the boasting seems justified as the rappers back up their claims with an exemplary rapping exhibition!