Those looking for 'authenticity' will be disappointed. Those looking for a little fun on the weekend should pop right in.
Before we start with the artists unknown outside Korea, Here's last year's international collaboration of note to set your expectations.
Now that you have been exposed to the fragmented, frenetic, chopped-and-bent aspect of Korean-pop, here's something smooth to replace any lingering affection towards catchy Chris Brown songs.
A few months later, veterans Yoon Mi Rae, Tiger JK & Bizzy (aka MFBTY - My Fans Better Than Yours, a dig at idol fandom since they are from the underground) released this single from their new album which balances flow and hysteria while nodding towards India in its sample of Carnatic classical and Holi colours in the video.
Every idol group has a rapper these days. Here's a new idol group with multiple rappers. The video is quite tongue-in-cheek and outer-space themed so I expect more goodness from these guys.
Easily the best new rapper from any idol group is Rap Monster from Bangtang Boys. He inhabits the zone between Kanye (his look) and Tyler the Creator (his youth).
Its that point in the mixtape when you play the best track. Here's MFBTY with Rap Monster, your new trap overlords inducing hypnosis in black & white with 'BuckuBucku'. When the beat drops even lower at the start of Tiger JK's verse, heads snap.
I can't resist playing another classic, so here's last year biggest hit featuring half a dozen rappers from the underground to the idol groups (Epik High, Beenzino, Verbal Jint, B.I, Mino and Bobby) irritating their 'haters' with vertical video. Even people who only like 'old school' can enjoy this.
To wind down, here's the trap song which united Korean and Japanese rappers while riding OG Maco's 'U guessed it' wave and baffling the internet. #underwatersquad #orcaninjasgorambo #northface
Now that the tape is over, the hidden emo track! Here's a recent release leaning on the poppier side which caught me in a vulnerable position because it laid out the pattern of a relationship too close to real life. Giriboy, apart from being supercute, is working the rich vein of modern disconnect. Against the backdrop of pastel pop art visual design, he lays out the disappointment in a relation that is easy, casual and convenient - where we are more concerned with staying 'cool' than taking the plunge, where we are more concerned with giving each other 'space'.
The nights I spent up in useless hopes
I don't think I'll be excited even if things go well
But to end it all here, I'll miss your waist
Interspersed throughout the video are images of
- him sitting on a very shaky chair pile under attack by a bird,
- helping his more masculine rapper friends try out heels,
- waiting for the apple of knowledge to fall only to be foiled by a moment of distraction,
- an elastic table separating the couple,
- the girl fisting him right in the catcher arm bowl & most memorably,
- a stray nose hair.
The clash of picture perfection and what gets lost in the gap has never been so well rendered.