Nearly 1000 fans gathered Saturday, December 6th to celebrate Lim Sung Bin/Been aka Beenzino and his Up All Night Album Release Party at the 333 Live nightclub in Los Angeles. The crowd was diverse -a mix of Asian, Latino, Black, and White, women and men in their 20s and 3os. The devoted began queuing up outside the venue around 7pm and endured a long and slightly chilly wait to see the South Korean art-student-turned-rapper. The doors opened at 10pm, and local LA talent, DJ B provided two hours of club jams as warm up.
Our man Beenzino took the stage just after midnight with MR support from DJ B, and charmed the crowd with a 50 minute set of love, loss, and swag.
Up All Night
Illionaire Records’ resident fashionista sauntered out in a bright blue leather Adidas jacket, black burnished skinny jeans, and high top sneaks of indeterminable brand – and he launched right into Jackson Pollack D*ck – the filthy-fun first track on his 2014 mini album, Up All Night. The crowd immediately lit up and sang along.
Next came UAN’s track #2 (and this fangirl’s personal fave): How Do I Look? and he was rewarded with more screams of recognition and adoration.
Then the jacket came off and Beenzino-in-buffalo-plaid took us back to 2012 with the sweet and sexy Nike Shoes (see video below) and then the bitter, yet sexy Aquaman – both off his solo debut album 24:26.
A pause for a drink, a little chat with the crowd — then the sweatshirt was off, a beenie was on, and Beenzino was beguiling as he delivered his 2013 hit single Dali Van Picasso. The audience was completely enthralled by this point and willingly sailed along with him into a highlights medley of Illionaire collab tracks including 1llionaire Gang 2, 11:11, Profile, and YGGR.
Isshoman brought it back to his new mini album with the braggadocious Mitch As F*ck, and the eponymous walking heart-wound, Up All Night – during which he appropriately swilled a bottle of champagne for affect.
Another break to catch his breath, and then he closed out the night with some more 24:26 action: the effectively seductive pick-up track, Boogie On and On and the smooth carpe diem anthem for insomniac youth, Always Awake. (Fun fact: Always Awake was actually a 2011 Jazzyfact single, but appeared on 24:26 as a bonus track!)
The crowd was sad to see Beenzino go and communal hopes for an encore went unfulfilled –but many stayed to rock the party vibe for another hour with the help of DJ B. (SoCal K-hip hop fans may have recognized him as the the same DJ who spun pre-show for AOMG at the Belasco last month.)
Beenzino’s performance style is deceptively relaxed and casual, but there is a crispness and precision in his movements that indicate either careful rehearsal and/or a native talent for live performance — he is clearly an experienced performer.
The small, uncomplicated hand gestures he uses to punctuate his phrases, and the loads of deliberate eye contact with the crowd make him quite engaging, despite the seeming simplicity of his act. He knows how and when to work his boyish charms for high impact and maximum affect.
But his coolness on stage was put the test when an enthusiastic lass in the VIP section hurled her bra at him during Boogie On and On. Beenzino caught the bra, smiled when he realized what it was, and passed it off to a staff member at the side of the stage without breaking from the song. It was nice to see that k-hip hop’s social media goofball has actually has a high level of professionalism on stage.
Though the set was short, Beenzino delivered an intimate, rewarding performance that left the crowd wanting more. It’s easy to see why he’s won crowd-voted Hip Hop Playa Awards annually since 2011, and why the press releases for the Up All Night Album Tour were billing him as “back by popular demand.” This was Beenzino’s third trip to The States this year -hopefully he’ll be bringing his special brand of love-sick swag boogie -and maybe some more new music??- back again in 2015!
LA fans, don’t forget to keep your eyes on KTOWN Night Market and watch for their upcoming events.
And special thanks once again to Cheryl at KandyKandy.com for the photography!