It is officially time to get pumped for “The First Chapter” Amoeba Culture Tour 2015! The concerts will devastate Atlanta and NYC fans on March 27th & 28th – and concert goers must prepare themselves for the audio awesomeness they are about to experience!
Hip hop record label Amoeba Culture was founded in 2006 by Kim Yoon-seong and Choi Jae-ho (Gaeko & Choiza of Dynamic Duo) and their graphic designer-turned-current-CEO, Go Kyung-min.* This small independent label has grown to become a pillar and vanguard of the South Korean hip hop scene. The AC family currently boasts a cadre of hot hip hop, R&B, and electronic music artists.
For “The First Chapter” US Tour they are sending us five of their brightest stars: Dynamic Duo, Zion.T, Crush and Primary. The best part about this line-up is not only are they each fantastic artists individually – they also create some epic collaborations.
Here are Ariel’s listening recommendations designed to get your ears primed for the Amoeba Culture magic that’s about to happen.
Dynamic Duo – Choiza & Gaeko
Friends since 6th grade, and now in their 30s, this well seasoned power act has hit a sweet sweet stride. They were invited by the Kennedy Center in Washington DC to represent South Korean hip hop as part of the One Mic Festival in 2014. They also impressed US hip hop legend DJ Preemo so much at MIDEM in 2014 that he love-called them for collaboration (AEAO and b-side Animal – which made Billboard’s 20 Best K-Pop Songs of 2014).
Their 7th album Lucky Numbers (2013) -which took home a best album award from Melon – and Gaeko’s new solo album Red in Gray (2014) are essential listening.
But if you are crunched for time, check out their most recent MVs –BAAM, Three Dope Boyz, Summer Time and throw-back Ring My Bell. Then don’t forget Gaeko’s new solo MVs for No Makeup ft. Zion.T and Cheers with Yankie, Babylon and Beenzino. Oh, and Rhythm is Life, of course!
What to expect live? 110% FUN. 110% SWAG. These boys are the real deal.
[LIVE] Primary medley + Ring My Bell – Dynamic Duo on Sketchbook (2013)
M!Countdown 399 (Oct 23, 2014) Gaeko “No Make Up” win + Encore (Eng Sub) via Soompi
If you only know our Kim Hae Sol, aka Zion.T or sometimes “Skinny Red,” from his recent single releases Yanghwa BRDG (2014) & Just (2015), then please drop everything and feast your ears on more of his discography.
His debut solo album Red Light (2012) took home a Best R&B and Soul Album award from the 11th Korean Music Awards [see MVs Babay & Two Melodies], and then he leveled up his sound with his digital mini album Mirror Ball (2013) [Miss Kim]. He also collabs well with idols: Infinite H – Without You, G-Dragon – I Love It, Jonghyun (SHINee) – Deja-Boo. And let’s not forget labelmate rap group Rhythm Power – Bond Girl, and his newly-minted (last night!) Zero Gravity.
What to expect live? An off-beat sense of humor that will charm you, a minimalist performance style that will keep you hanging on his every syllable and a voice that drives the ladies wild. Brace yourselves for a lot of fangirl screaming.
[LIVE] Click Me + Umm Ahh – Zion.T at Do It For The Fans Show (2011)
[LIVE] Doop – Zion.T + Second Session for Naver ONSTAGE (2014)
[LIVE] Yanghwa BRDG – Zion.T + No Makeup – Gaeko ft. Zion.T on Sketchbook (2014)
Shin Hyo Sub or Crush is Amoeba Culture’s rookie performer. He made his solo debut as a singer last year, but he started out as a music producer (see Gary’s too-hot-to-handle Shower Later and AOMG rapper LOCO’s Hold Me Tight). He’s also the kid who introduced Zion.T to R&B — and for that alone, the universe should be grateful!
His debut solo album Crush On You (2014) is a rich, soulful listen with more maturity than a kid his age should be able to deliver — and it even won the 12th Korean Music Awards’ Best R&B and Soul Album prize. Of course you should watch his MVs for Sometimes, Hug Me ft. Gaeko, Sofa, and labelmate Planet Shiver’s Rainbow.
What to expect live? A lot of soul, some sensuous falsetto, and maybe even some dancing.
Hug Me (Acoustic) – Crush on what looks like a 1theK Special Clip (2014)
Rainbow – Planet Shiver ft. Crush + Danny Arens for 1theK Special Clip (2015)
Choi Dong Hoon or Primary is one of the slickest producers in the Korean music industry – his tracks are smooth AND sharp, cooler than cool, and his brand of hip hop bends and blends music genres. Sadly he got into a plagiarism controversy in 2013 (failed to credit other musicians he borrowed from) – but it was amicably resolved in 2014.
I believe this tour marks Primary’s first major public appearance since all that fuss. We should all be super excited for his comeback – because even if he’s borrowing from other people, his end-products are unique and transformative.
For some deep listening, check out his epic album Primary and the Messengers (2012), or for cliff notes version see the MVs below. And check out his Wikipedia entry for a likely incomplete but still mental-breaking list of his producer credits and collaborations.
What to expect live? The DJ is always the guy in the back, the silent man on stage – but Primary is sure to lay the beats in the boss-est of ways. But the real question is, will he wear the box?
Question Mark – Primary Ft. Choiza (Dynamic Duo) + Zion.T (2012)
Meet – Primary ft. Zion.T (2012)
Poison – Primary ft. E-Sens (2012)
[LIVE] I Got C – Primary + Park Myung Soo, ft. Gaeko on Infinite Challenge (2014)
(Yes, this is one of the songs he got in trouble for, but it is still a fantastic product.)
And now you know what happens when they all come together: MAGIC!
So…ARE YOU READY?
And if all this wasn’t enough to get you excited — there’s some bonus good news about “The First Chapter” Amoeba Culture Tour! Concert organizer Music Enkor is partnering with MOI’M to donate a portion of the NYC show’s proceeds to the Korean American Family Service Center – a non-profit dedicated to preventing domestic abuse. So if you’re one of the lucky fans attending the NYC show, you can feel good about supporting great musicians AND a great community outreach project!
Reminder: all shows are 18+ and ID will be required for entry.
* Amoeba Culture’s current CEO, Go Kyung-min is a woman — I just feel compelled to point that out.