WEEKLY KOREAN HIPHOP-R&B + INDIE REVIEW & STREAMING GUIDE (9th March – 15th March)

From a satisfying EP ‘MITO’ by DPR IAN that grabbed one of the Top 10 spots on the Spotify Debut charts and Skinny Brown‘s impassioned EP ‘Berry Loves My Mood’, to alluring singles like Simon Dominic‘s birthday release ‘Party Forever’ and Jae Ryung‘s feel-good track ‘Today’s Sunlight’, this week is filled with a lot delightful, accessible musical releases to fit everyone’s tastes!

Please note: Some songs are not yet available on Spotify or iTunes India.

 

K-HipHop:

  • Simon Dominic – ‘Party Forever’

Doing it like his AOMG labelmate and CEO Jay Park, Simon Dominic gifted his fans with the track ‘Party Forever’ on his 37th birthday. A chill, laid-back melody and catchy repetitive chorus mixed with Simon Dominic’s bold and clear delivery as he raps in his polished diction: “At this party, they say I’m the man of the hour/ You guys look more excited than me but don’t you leave me early.” The relatable, detailed imagery of how a party unfolds with “spilled drinks”, “Broken bottles”, “Sticky plastic cup” and “Never-ending line in front of the toilet”, etc. also add to the chill party atmosphere of the track, drawing the listeners into that space.

Listen to and download the track on:

Spotify

 

  • Skinny Brown – ‘Protect U (Ft. Coogie)’

Accompanied by a music video that features great visuals of the trio: Skinny Brown, producer TOIL, and rapper Coogie, impeccably produced track ‘Protect U’ is part of Skinny Brown’s new 8-tracked EP titled ‘Berry Loves My Mood’.  Skinny Brown opens the track with his gritty voice in the verses and chorus as he in a singing-rap style passionately says, “You have to protect me, I have to protect u/ I have to keep my steps ahead and look back…I’m getting ready for you and my recognition, baby/ I have to protect everyone”. Coogie follows him with his own trendy melodic verse that showcases a different pitch of his vocals, taking the listeners by sweet surprise as it suits him to the T too.

Listen to and download the track on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • lIlBOI, WONSTEIN – ‘Circle’

Created as a commercial advertisement for Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro, the trendy duo formed through SMTM9 of lIlBOI and Wonstein is back with a track, ‘Circle’. With a classy groovy melody, lIlBOI kicks off the track adding some vocal inflections to his unique rap flow before passing it on to Wonstein who goes for a more soulful voice this time around rather than his modern subdued style. Their immaculate combination however can immediately make one forget it is a commercial ad and it is only when the beats cut off and the ending words of Samsung Buds Pro come on the screen that we realize that is so.

Listen to and download the track on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • SEONG GUK – ‘restart (Ft. Swings, Skinny Brown)’

Producer and Composer Seong Guk pairs up with Rap Powerhouse, SWINGS, and Wayside Town crew rapper, Skinny Brown on his new track, ‘restart’. Talking of not being afraid to try because of the fear of failure and of pressing the restart button and continuing even if they do fail, the track employs a euphonious guitar melody and classic drum and bass sound to accompany Skinny Brown’s bilingual resonating chorus and SWINGS piercing delivery of verses that carry the message forward,I don’t follow the rules/ Always, always change the game…After letting it collapse/Always press again to restart.”

Listen to and download the track on:

Spotify

 

  • Don Mills – ‘Dynamic Duo (Ft. Nucksal)’

A funk-infused beat, Don Mills pairs with Nucksal for a track that seems to be referencing to the OGs, Dynamic Duo as the listeners hear Don Mills in his powerful, versatile vocal tone enunciating, “like the Dynamic Duo!”, backed by Nucksal’s “We are like the Dynamic Duo”. The groovy feel of the track from his album, F.O.B.,  that Don Mills seems to carry with his bold but laid-back verse and hook is also well complimented by the contrasting Nucksal’s tight and fast rap flow.

Listen to and download the track on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • EPTEND – ‘Welcome Back Home (Prod. by June One)’

Featuring a classic beat flecked with the trumpeting flairs in between, upcoming rapper EPTEND’s track ‘Welcome Back Home’, sees him spitting hard and robust but in an almost effortless, chill style. His magnetic aura in the music video which is just him rapping with the Seoul cityscape in the background, also adds to the expressive power his verses carry, making the listening experience even more appealing.

Listen to and download the track on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

K-R&B:

  • DPR IAN – ‘Nerves’

Carrying the painful regrets and heartache of breaking up with a loved one, DPR IAN’s track ‘Nerves’ from his new EP, ‘MITO: Moodswings In This Order’, once again delves into the darker cinematic realms as the listeners experience visually the most vulnerable sides of the lover before “his transformation into MITO” (so-called alter ego of DPR IAN).

Aside from his exceptional cinematography, DPR IAN also uses his melodic vocals intertwined with the alluring band instrumentation and the beautiful guitar melody and build-up perfectly to attune the listeners to his feelings, as he sings passionately, “And I’m sorry, I was hurting too much to know that you were standing right there/ And I’m sorry, I will sing this song to you to tell you I really cared/ And I’m sorry, When I left you all alone, girl, I know that wasn’t fair/’Cause I loved you”. 

However, what is really interesting to note while listening to the track is the constant switch between DPR IAN and his alter-ego, Mito as when the pitch lowers, it is actually Mito who surfaces!

Listen to and download the track on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • Kim Jeong_uk – ‘away from home’

A former member of boy-group 24K and part of hiphop duo AUGUST 051, rapper and singer Kim Jeong_uk is back with EP ‘l o v e’ and title track ‘away from home’ which carries lazy, R&B vibes infused into his emotive rap verses. The laid-back feeling of the track and the cityscape setting of the music video add to the serene appeal of the track.

Listen to and download the track on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • homezone – ‘forevermore’

homezone’s mellifluent vocals in the track ‘forevermore’ have that heartwarming quality that just soothes the listener’s nerves and puts them in a calm and relaxed headspace. The music video features him just singing in an empty storehouse space, which has the effect of feeling as if his vocals ring and resonates in that empty space, enhancing the overall tranquil mood set by the track.

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

K-Indie:

  • Jae Ryung – ‘Today’s Sunlight’

Another tranquil, soothing release, ‘Today’s Sunlight’ by Jae Ryung is the perfect track to celebrate the joy derived from the little everyday things of life as it not only has the softest, honeyed vocals and heartwarming lyrics but also has a beautiful accompanying music video that features a lovable cast of actors and actresses enjoying a happy vacation time together.

Listen to and download the track on:

Spotify

 

  • Raffina & Cavi – ‘Woo-hoo Song’

The duo of Raffina & Cavi is back with another qualitative track titled ‘Woo-hoo Song’ with its lo-fi aesthetic music video. The key elements of the track that carry the most appeal are the melodious, lyrical vocals and the pleasant, refreshing guitar sounds that accompany it throughout the track.

https://www.instagram.com/raffina_cavi/?hl=en

Listen to and download the track on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • Kisnue  – ‘NIGHTMARE’

With the easy-on-the-ears and quite sincere vocals backed by the euphony of the almost old-school band instrumentation playing in the background, Kisnue is back with the track ‘Nightmare’ from EP ‘Life After’ that sounds the total opposite of the literal title as it feels even more airy and wispy than usual. The music video also features dreamy visuals and effects that add to the lovely sonics.

Listen to and download the track on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • Soon Ju – ‘I Know’

Showing off her lyrical sensibilities and her unique vocal range and tone, Soon Ju is back with a pleasing-to-the-ears track titled ‘I Know’. The melodic vocals and satisfying instrumentals however are outshone by the layering and double echoes of the vocals in the background, as they add much-needed texture and hence, steal the ‘highlight’ spot of the track.

Listen to and download the track on:

Spotify

 

 

What was your jam for this week? Did you also check out the other tracks in any of these album releases?
Let us know in the comments.