In this week’s installment of K-Music Thursday, Brand New Music’s P-Type drops his entire album and the music video of a single, rookie girl group Laboum is back, Crayon Pop gives us the choreography to their comeback song, Zion T drops one before he drops in, Rap Monster releases his mixtape on SoundCloud, and the rockers FT Island rock-on with their new studio album and release the music video to a single.
P-Type Hangs Out in “Street Poetry
Earlier in the month P-Type released the first single from his new album. And then again, last week on March 19, 2015 he dropped the music video of another single “Don Quixote 2”.
In this video, P-Type in his twangy-bass voice can be seen hanging around a skate park, rapping to the mellow piano keys. The piano melody is very raw and not just jazzy, but actual jazz. From the lyrics, P-type shows again that he doesn’t have time for anyone else’s business, as he delivers introspective lyrics, re-accessing his progress and aspirations as an artist.
The single features the Barberettes, in retro sonorous vocals that provide harmonious relief in the chorus and hook. Finally, the scratching introduced at the end of track is a nod for P-Type to his roots, and shows some nostalgia for the past.
The 35 year old rapper released his 4th studio album on March 23rd, 2015. The album called “Street Poetry” is choke-full of collaborations including with old-timers like Huck P and the previously mentioned lovely ladies of The Barberettes, who stole hearts at SXSW last week.
Here’s the track list in Enlgish (using Google Translate – so take with a grain of salt)
01. Violent hybrid culture [Violent Hybrid-Culture].
02. Do The Right Rap (Feat. Huckleberry P)
03. Timberland 6 “(Feat. NUCK Of souldive)
04. Neanderthal [Neanderthal] (Feat. Minos, Justhis)
05. Gwanghwamun [Gwanghwamun] (Feat. C-Luv)
06. Don Quixote 2 [Don Quixote 2] (Feat. The Barbarettes)
07. Gentile [Stranger] (Feat. Chaboom)
08. turning point [Halfway Point].
09. Worst Man [The Worst Man Ever].
10. Vice Versa (Feat. Jeongah Sunwoo)
11. Gwanghwamun [Gwanghwamun] (Inst.)
12. Don Quixote 2 [Don Quixote 2] (Inst.)
13. The turning point [Halfway Point] (Inst.)
LaBoum’s Extra Extra Sweetened “Sugar Sugar” Comeback
This extra sweetened and hyper-colorful MV will have you reaching for sun shades and vinegar while watching it. As if Kpop girl groups are not sugary enough, they had to call the song “Sugar Sugar“, and use candy-cane and lumps of sugar in the video. Come to think of it, Red Velvet too called their song Ice Cream Cake – someone please give these girls some dessert! Please, sense the sarcasm.
On a serious note, this is exceptionally fun, upbeat and lively, and will have you snapping your fingers and swaying in your seat. This is sure to liven the mood in a kpop-themed BarBeQue – I suddenly wish I was a DJ again. In the video, the girls of LaBoum are dancing in their nightgowns and pajamas wearing outrageous amounts of make-up. It seems like a slumber party gone wrong, in the cavernous bedroom of a Chaebol’s granddaughter.
• Kim Yu-jeong (김유정)
• Jung So-yeon (정소연)
• ZN (born Bae Jin-ye, 배진예)
• Yeom Hae-in (염해인)
• Ahn Sol-bin (안솔빈)
• Kim Yul-hee (김율희)
Shinhwa‘s “Sniper” Takes Out All The Competition
For the past two weeks, the news from the kpop weekly broadcasts has been Shinhwa dominating all other groups to win number 1, across the board, with their comeback single “Sniper”. What makes this rather remarkable is that Shinhwa are effectively the grandfathers of Kpop, even though they are all in their mid-thirty’s. Yet, with “Sniper”, they have all the much younger idols scrambling for cover.
Sniper, officially released on February 25, 2015, is a hiphop inspired number, with enough rapping interludes and a solid beat. Interspersed is the piercing vocals that can only be a product of SM Entertainment. Obviously, TVXQ and DBSK were based on the Shinhwa formula. The video, which has racked up almost 1.5 million views, is a reinvention for Shinhwa, and has vestiges of B.A.P. I guess, these all just really make it a kpop song.
Shinhwa are effectively in uncharted territory. Kpop groups, with their high premium on youth are notorious for not staying together once past their late-twenties. Yet, Shinhwa has found a way to continue to win, not just broadcasts but as a group in a fickle industry.
Shinwha is made up of Eric Mun, Lee Min-woo, Kim Dong-wan, Shin Hye-sung, Jun Jin and Andy Lee. They debuted 17 years ago on March 24, 1998 under SM Entertainment, and remained there until 2003 at the expiration of their contract. They collectively signed up with Good Entertainment, from then until 2008. After which, the members got together and formed ShinCom Entertainment, to manage their activities as members of Shinhwa.
Notably, the SM contract was 5 years – which seems quite unlike the slave contracts that have been all over the news, recently.
Even though they remain a cohesive group, each member noticeably has a life and aspirations outside of Shinhwa. Especially so, is Andy, who has a whole other kpop agency with artists and bands, including the popular boy band Teen TOP.
Many idol groups, including Girls Generation, say they look up to Shinhwa so they also may have a long career. Yet these same groups have not shown willingness to absorb the lessons of Shinhwa. Number one lesson – mutual respect for each other’s aspirations. If Andy can own an entirely separate and successful kpop agency that is separate from Shinhwa’s collective interest – why can’t Jessica have her fashion design business separate from the interests of Girls Generation. I guess, Taeyon and co missed that memo.
Crayon Pop Practically Releases New Single “FM”
Although dubbed a choreography video, the video released by the quirky girl group on March 25, 2015 is practically the whole song. The girls are dancing at the end of an alleyway with a basketball backboard from Gucci. What’s most surprising about this song, is that it has a rapping segment. The question is which of the girls is rapping? This is the first time as a group, Crayon Pop is incorporating rapping into their songs. Although, rapping was successfully incorporated into the unit debut of the twins as Strawberry Milk, in the ultra-fun OK.
The disco inspired dance number with ’80s-like electronic game sounds, melds well with the power rangers concept.
Rap Monster’s Mixed Tape
Rap Monster has officially released his much anticipated mixtape. Fact is, he felt he had something to prove, and it shows. Sometimes, our best work comes when we are undermined and unappreciated. Rap monster hits it out the park, with this album.
The only thing, though, does he always have to go from zero to 60 in five seconds, and just keep going. He needs to learn to pace himself. The first track is a case in point, 목소리 or Voice. While the piano keys slowly puts us in a rhapsody, Rap Monster insists, with each passing second to jar us out of our reverie with his speed and intensity.
As he grows older he’ll come to realize that taking a pause in the middle, or slowing down a little bit and picking up the pace again, is even more artistically appreciated than his one speed overdrive.
Zion T Floats Through “Zero Gravity”
Is Zion T running away to America? Or, he’s probably just going on a long needed vacation. Either way, he felt the need to release “Zero Gravity” on March 22, 2015, less than a week before he’ll be performing in New York and Atlanta.
The ascetic music video features a dancing astronaut, presumably over the moon on the love of a woman. While in a hastily painted off-white room, on a bed with immaculate white sheets, Zion T and the presumed lady take turns, but never at the same time. Zion T and the astronaut do end up staring at each other at the end of the music video – in what looks like a severe case of a missed connection.
FT Island “Prays,” and We Get An Awesome Album
Released on March 22nd, the rock group mistaken for a kpop boy band, FT Island released a helluva music video of their single “Pray”. The fast moving video featuring the piercing vocals of Lee Hongki, while Choi Min-hwan as the drummer works those drums like they stole his lunch. The other three members are Choi Jong-hoon, Lee Jae jin and Song Seung-hyun.