If the mainstream K-Pop isn’t your only love, the Korean Music industry has a lot of other equally compelling and exceptional genres to offer music to you every day, all year round. I am talking about genres like K-Hiphop, K-R&B, and K-Indie which might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but they sure are one flavourful brew!

Starting out our new segment focused on tracking the weekly releases of the so-called “Other genres” of Korean Music, let’s dive into this week’s list which features both popular, veteran artists like The Quiett, Jay Park, and BROWN EYED SOUL, and underrated/rising artists like SWRY, walo, and Banni.

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

 

K-HipHop:

  • Ourealgoat – ‘Sick of it (진저리) (Ft. Leellamarz, ZENE THE ZILLA)’

The first of the two title tracks of his newly released album (With All My Might), “Sick of It” is a real bop with its great combination of talented rappers and the melodic acoustic guitar playing in the background. Bringing their best to the table, every artist displays their own individual charms: Ourealgoat’s catchy bars in his raspy throaty voice, Zene the Zilla’s cadence as he stretches the last word of the line to almost a singing-rap style, and Lellamarz’s vocal inflections along with the astounding ease with which he changes up his flow. Bringing all these stand-alone elements together into one cohesive bop track is also a testimonial of the great music production and mixing done by Ourealgoat for ‘With All My Might’.

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • walo – ‘Jewel (Ft. Blanc)’

 

A gritty electro-infused instrumentalization underlining the clear, aggressive tone of each of these two rappers’ bars and a simple yet catchy hook, is what makes “Jewel”, arranged and composed by musical artist ‘Mind182’, an addictive hype track for the ardent K-hiphop listeners! The track is also part of his EP “Baddest” which features a dope title track by the same name in which the renowned freestyle MC, Huckleberry P flows alongside ‘walo’ who intrepidly raps, “Imma rip off rappers’ face masks/ I was always honest from the start”.

Listen to exclusively on Youtube.

 

  • MUSHVENOM, JUSTHIS – ‘Take It (Prod. GroovyRoom)’

 

With Latin-influenced trap beats production by the GroovyRoom duo, the comic-historic witty rap flow of MUSHVENOM blending surprisingly well with the Rap Messiah, JUSTHIS’s signature audacious bars, bring out the eccentric alluring charm of these artists’ that captured the hearts of the viewers of the reality show, SMTM9 under a team titled, ‘G+ Jus’. The song was released before alongside remixes of two other famous tracks from the show, however, the music video released this week brings to life the visual wittiness, sassiness, and comedy that the lyrics of “Take It” talk of. A cameo appearance of Rap Powerhouse, Swings having hilarious connotations, is part of this visual impact of the music video.

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • The Quiett, Simon Dominic, Nucksal, Jay Park, Loco, pH-1, Changmo, Yumdda, Way Ched, WOOGIE – ‘Mentors’

With probably the hottest line-up of mentors in High School Rapper up till now, Season 4 of the show began with the pre-release of the mentors’ track which features this season’s rap-mentors: The Quiett, Simon Dominic, Nucksal, Jay Park, Loco, pH-1, Changmo, and Yumdda. This pre-released track, titled “Mentors” shows off the polished rap skills of each of these mentors of the upcoming high school participants along with the prodigious production skills of the producer mentors: Way Ched and WOOGIE. After listening to this track, there will probably be no doubt in anybody’s mind why they are, where they are, judging the rap reality show.

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • meenoi  – ‘WGC (Ft. Yummda)’

The female rapper who won the roving attention of  SMTM9 viewers alongside other strong contenders like Mushvenom, Wonstein, Lil Boi, etc., Meenoi has paired up renowned hustler and Flexer, Yummda for her new track, “WGC” [Korean literal title: My house’s cat likes Churu-ru (Chew Chu-ru)]. With a staccato gritty beat that goes hard, meenoi and Yummda’s combination is so alluring that even after the song ends, the song keeps looping over and over in the listener’s head. The music video which is basically set in a photoshoot studio is painted in hues of blue, red, and yellow as a sleek feline meenoi and a bright yellow outfitted Yummda sporting golden Grillz, ooze charisma at every shot!

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • Huh! (Sunghyun Heo) – ‘uh-uh (Ft. Kid Milli, Gaeko)’

Changing his rapper name from ‘Rose De Penny’ to ‘Huh!’Sunghyun Heo recently signed with Amoeba Culture and is back again with a banger single titleduh-uh”. Flowing on a hard-hitting gritty beat, the song opens with ‘Huh!’ (Sunghyun Heo’s) verse where he raps of how far he has come from days when he was starving and slaving away 3 years ago to the present where he seems like a completely different person: “Now go back to when I was starving/I didn’t even have a washing machine to do laundry/now things have changed these past 3 years/ I was trying to survive in Seoul as a kid/ I got what I wanted, bring it on.” This smoothly transitions into Kid Milli’s signature ‘feel-good-sounds-good’ flow as he displays his exceptional cadence, switching up his flow in the most unexpected moments.

When Gaeko takes over, the track acquires greater depth and texture as he raps braggadocious bars like, “I won’t offer you a price/ You get the honor of featuring Gaeko” and “I failed in my school days but look now/My lyrics are included in the Korean language books.”

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • HANHAE – ‘Syncopation (Ft. KILLAGRAMZ)’

With a quite simplistic and repetitive catchy hook and a beat arrangement which is quite intriguing with its syncopated rhythmic flows and flicks of trumpet sounds, Rapper Hanhae is back to the grind with his track “Syncopation”. Referencing to the change-inducing experiences of his life like the Compulsory Military Service, the 3 tough seasons of Show Me The Money, and talking of his distinct signature rap flow, the track’s eccentric instrumentation is backed by equally exceptional rap flows of Hanhae and Killagramaz who wishes him, “Congratulations on your discharge”.

Listen to and download on:

Spotify

 

  • Flowsik – ‘Mission’

A Korean-American rapper, known for his charming husky voice tone, Flowsik is back again with a laid-back, mid-tempo track titled “Mission”. The all-English track starts by letting the melodic beat breathe for a while before all focus is on Flowsik’s declaration of “On a mission, yeah!” as he molds in the beat with perfect ease, rapping, “I’ve been on a mission…racking up the digits, trying to make a living.” 

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

K-R&B:

  • BROWN EYED SOUL – ‘You’

When a chance encounter on the streets of two lost lovers (played by Kim Young Kwang and Kyung Soo Jin) leads to a reminiscing moment of their sweet but short and unfinished love story, the burst of heartwarming yet heartwrenching emotions that flow between the two is embodied by R&B group, BROWN EYED SOUL’s eloquent vocalization in slow-tempo R&B/Soul track, “You”. The music video that accompanies the track feels like a 20-episode K-drama rollercoaster ride fitted into just 5 minutes of explosive emotional poignance.

Listen to and download on:

Spotify

 

  • KISSXS – ‘Love is Callin’

Heralded as the next-generation R&B female vocalist, KISSXS through the track “Love is Callin” displays her versatility as a well-rounded artist who can hit the high mellifluent notes with ease, enrapture the listeners with her charisma and deliver ear-pleasing music that makes them hit the replay button over and over. The easy-flowing melodic song talks of how her love is calling every time it is raining and how she wishes to hide from her feelings as KISSXS sings, “I’m going off the grid, being alone is better/But you flicker before me.”

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • LambC – ‘When my Heart Breaks’

LambC, a Korean singer-songwriter who has even majored in music production and sound engineering is back again with a more hearty pop-rock track, “When My Heart Breaks”, which talks of the constant struggle involved in love where LambC professes to his leaving lover, “Baby, kill me if you have to let me go/I could never be the one to leave you.” The supporting music video of this colorful alternative pop track also catches the eye of the viewers/listeners with its contemporary scenes which combine the music-production process scenes with eccentric, sometimes comic shots of the artist himself.

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • SWRY – ‘Waited’

Known for his Soundcloud uploads and mixes, Artist SWRY is back with the track, “Waited” which features pleasant and refreshing instrumentation backing his soothing mellifluous vocals as he sings with repeated accentuation, “She got a boy and lot of toys/Bought a handful of bottles/Girl that’s what I told you not to do/Pretending you’ve never heard before /Yeah I waited”. 

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • Banni – ‘You’re the only one’

Probably an undiscovered diamond in the rough, singer Banni is back with a soft R&B track titled “You’re the only one”, which features her soothing, emotional vocals, harmonizing with the alluring ad-libs and attractive, catchy instrumentation in the background. The lo-fi music video also adds to the beguiling, calm ambient space created by the track in the listener’s mind.

Listen to exclusively on Youtube.

 

K-Indie:

  • Broccoli You Too – ‘Upright’

‘Broccoli, You Too’ is a co-ed indie trio whose very name was chosen by the members for its “not really stylish or fashionable” word-sequence. This track “Upright” features a soft, easy-on-the-ears melody and vocals, which when combined with the music video that portrays the peaceful solitude of our ordinary lives, gives a wholesome, at peace feel to the listeners. The light humor in the music video also adds to this chill, calming experience.

Listen to exclusively on Youtube.

 

  • illionoah – ‘FLOWER’

An independent singer-songwriter and composer who had uploaded his songs to SoundCloud before his recent debut on December 23, 2020, ‘illionoah’ has recently released his 1st Mini Album titled, ‘Winter Vacation’. The title song, “Flower” follows the winter-themed setting as we see illionoah alternating between scenes of slowly walking through snow-covered streets and landscape and residing in a warm, cozy room. The euphonious melody of the song, combined with the sweet-toned vocals and a slightly surprising singing-rap verse from illionoah, make for a much-needed heartwarming listen!

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

  • Balming Tiger – ‘JUST FUN!’

Signing recently with Columbia Records UK, the self-proclaimed “Multi-national Alternative K-pop band”, Balming Tiger released a double A-side single, “Just Fun!” and “Loop?” which saw the participation of all the members of the collective. “Just Fun!” features the perfect blend of individualistic, eccentric music styles of ‘Sogumm’, ‘wnjn’, and rapper, ‘Omega Sapien’ on chill, groovy beats produced by ‘wnjn’ and ‘Unsinkable’. The quirky, playful music video also complements the catchy, dance-along vibes of the song, making the track a sure hit with those who like to sway along to the music!

Listen to and download on:

iTunes 

Spotify

 

  • APOKI – ‘GET IT OUT’

Korea’s most renowned virtual artist, APOKI had self-introduced herself as “A Rabbit drawing a map for future virtual influencers” with her musical talents and transmedia sharing of content. She is back again with a dance-pop track titled, “GET IT OUT”, which features not only her mellifluent vocals but also a hi-fi animated futuristic-themed music video to heighten the experience of listening to the bop by adding a dope visionary angle to it as well.

Listen to and download on:

iTunes

Spotify

 

Did you discover a side of Korean Music you never explored before? Which track became your this week’s jam?
Spill your thoughts in the comments.