Supreme Team is finally back after two years of forced hiatus due to E-Sens‘ marijuana controversies.
The track Stay Still featuring Crush is currently receiving an explosive welcome back on charts. It has topped 10 out of the 11 real time charts and is only denied 1st place on Cyworld by none other than Busker Busker 2012 super hit Cherry Blossom Ending.
This explosive answer from the Korean audience may lift the shadow of a doubt that Supreme Team might have had about E-Sens’ forgiven status for his past minor offenses.
Enjoy Supreme Team’s Stay Still here:
Though ranking first on nearly all charts, Stay Still is not performing like a super hit yet as it failed to hit the roof on Melon and is currently dropping slightly on its chart.
Meanwhile, Davichi‘s latest title-track Take a Drink Together has given away some of the spotlight, but looking almost certain that it will regain as soon as the CCM duo kicks off promotions on music shows.
Do you think Supreme Team will continue its reign on charts?
Simon D and Yung Yong Hwa have surprised fans and the media after Simon D confirmed the two stars were from the “same town, same apartment and same high school.”
The Supreme Team member uploaded a picture with the CNBLUE singer on January 8, captioning “Same town, same apartment, same high school.”
The photo (as above) pictures the two stars standing head to head, surprising many fans and the Korean media of the unrevealed special friendship.
Simon D and Yong Hwa took the photo on the set of Running Man, which the episode will feature actress Choi Jiwoo, BEAST’s Lee Gi-Kwang and CNBLUE’s Lee Jong Hyun.
CNBLUE is set to make a comeback with their fourth mini-album on January 14.
Source: The Star
[2012 In Review Series]
0. Prelude – Best Album Art
2. Best R&B/Soul
3. Best Rock/Alternative
4. Best Rap/Hip-hop
5. Best Dance/Electronica
6. Best Pop/Ballad
7. Best Crossover/Miscellaneous
8. Best Original Soundtrack
9. Best Collaborative Work
10. Label of the Year
11. Rookie of the Year
12. Song of the Year
13. Artist of the Year
14. Album of the Year
15. Concluding Remarks
Welcome back to our 2012 In Review series! Today we go above the distinction of genres to recognize the best works of a collaborative nature. My rule of thumb for this category goes like this: not only must a selected album or song sound good, but it also needs to display a kind of synergy effect that makes the work equal more than the sum of its parts. It doesn’t always have to mean that the synergy was unexpected, but the act of collaboration has to bring more to the table than simply another voice or instrument to change things up. This tends to be a category dominated by hip-hop musicians, but this year’s picks are relatively well-distributed across genres.
I tend to discount producer-singer collaborations for this category - Sweetune worked with Kara and Infinite on some good tracks, for example, but that’s not really in the spirit of this. (Otherwise we’d be counting everything.) I will count these types of collaborations under two circumstances: either the composer is normally not a producer by trade, or he/she is actually the primary artist.
Many of the works below have been featured already in the genre categories, so we’re skipping the one-liner descriptions for honorable mentions today. And as always, honorable mention picks are sorted by alphabetical order of artist names.
Best Collaborative Album 2012
Poetree – 사랑해, 희망없이 (Love, Hopelessly)
Collaborators: Rooftop Moonlight, ALi, Hwayobi, Jung-yup, Park Ji-hye, Jooey, Chiyu
If I didn’t know any of the collaborating artists and you told me that they were all just different vocalists for one big group, I may have believed you. The Poetree duo has a well-defined style – mellow pop-ballad with traces of R&B and soul sprinkled in – and as such, the texture of their compositions is pretty consistent. The hard part is finding vocalists that can maximize the impact of each track. Credit them for that: selecting Hwayobi and her husky tone for the old-school groove of Sunday of My Life was brilliant, as was taking Park Ji-hye’s slightly burnt-out but amiable voice for 근.자.감 (Baseless Confidence). One good decision becomes eight, and the transitions between them are seamless. It’s a tall task to make a ballad collaboration this cohesive, and Love, Hopelessly was one of the very few that worked out.
Runner-up Collaborative Album 2012
Clazzi – Infant (also selected Honorable Mention Dance/Electronica Album) (read our review)
Collaborators: Whale of W&Whale, Yi Sung-yol, MYK, Jinsil of Mad Soul Child, Hyun-song & Su-ryun of The Koxx, Christina, Im Seulong of 2AM, Kim Wan-sun, Jang Woo-hyuk, Jo Hyuna of Urban Zakapa, Kota & Jubi of Sunny Hill
Even in my original review (the rating to which I’d add another star, now), I noted the strength of the collaborations. Most striking is the unexpectedness of some of these appearances; I would never have expected Yi Sung-yol to appear in a bubbly house track, let alone handle it that well. His reassuring voice is the anchor that holds the track down. And while Jinsil wouldn’t have been as much of a leap of imagination, the way in which her vocals are used – essentially lithe, washed-out chorus backing – took me by surprise. Further, DJ Clazzi isn’t afraid to adapt his style to fit his guests’. 40 Nights absorbs The Koxx’s electro-garage, while Can Only Feel appears to be written with Kim’s voice in mind. While the tracks don’t quite come together nearly as cohesively in this one, the depth and breadth of Clazzi’s experimentation gets this album high marks.
Born Kim – Future Color (read our review)
Collaborators: Rang Show of Black Tea, The Solutions, Crucial Star, Jolly V, Dok2, Lee Won-suk of Daybreak, Nuck of Souldive, Pento
Eluphant – Apollo
Collaborators: Kim Phil, Bumkey, Jung-in, Simple J, Jooyoung, Ra.D
Collaborators: No Brain, Lowdown 30, Simon Dominic of Supreme Team, Beenzino, Zion.T
Lee Seung-gi – 숲 (Forest) (read our review)
Collaborator: Epitone Project (Cha Se-jung)
Leessang – Unplugged (also selected Honorable Mention Rap/Hip-hop Album)
Collaborators: Yoon Do-hyun of YB, Jung-in, Jo Hyuna of Urban Zakapa, Simon Dominic of Supreme Team, Bobby Kim and Juvie Train of Buga Kingz
Primary – Primary and the Messengers LP (also selected Honorable Mention Rap/Hip-hop Album) (read our review)
Collaborators: Simon Dominic and E-Sens of Supreme Team, Yankie, Mellow, Jinsil of Mad Soul Child, Gary of Leessang, Garion, Zion.T, Beenzino, Bumkey, Paloalto, Gaeko and Choiza of Dynamic Duo, Jinbo, Dok2, Deez, Rhythm Power, Jay Park, Double K, G.O. of MBLAQ, Junggigo, Dead’P
Son Sue-kyung – I Am (also selected Honorable Mention Crossover/Miscellaneous Album) (read our review)
Collaborators: Dynamic Duo, K.ing, Jung Tae-chun, Yoon Do-hyun of YB, Phantom, Jang Hyo-suk, Son Seung-yeon, Yu Sung-eun, Woo Hye-mi, Ji Se-hi
Soriheda – Soriheda 2 (also selected Best Rap/Hip-hop Album) (read our review)
Collaborators: Rhyme-A-, DJ Wegun, R-Est, Kaedemelodii, Dead’P, Kang Sun-ah, B-Free, Marina Zettl, Paloalto, Okasian, Huckleberry P, Satbyeol, Hwaji, Born Kim, Soulman, Minos, Soulfish, Suda, Deepflow, Jolly V
Best Collaborative Song 2012
J-Tong – 개판 (Clusterf*ck) (also selected Honorable Mention Rap/Hip-hop Song) (actual version here)
Collaborators: No Brain
The above video is not the version I’m talking about. I refer to the shiny new 2012 album edition, which you can listen to from that link, but it’s actually useful to compare the two versions. As you can see, J-Tong’s original had plenty of energy with that electric riff and cadence, and especially with the rapper’s characteristically charismatic flow. And then you listen to the newer version… and “plenty of energy” nothing, this is a veritable explosion of energy. No Brain’s instrumentals put a thick coat of power on the original riff, and add an especially punchy device in the deliberate, cymbal-heavy drum play. No Brain vocalist Lee Sung-woo also brings a hook with him: his higher-tone shouting endows a further taste of punk to complement J-Tong’s growl-infused rapping. This is a zany song, crafted by some of Korea’s most indefatigable musicians and resulting in more kinetic vigor than either team could have achieved alone. It’s the very embodiment of what this category represents.
Runner-up Collaborative Song 2012
Kim Jin-pyo (JP) – 아저씨 (Ahjusshi) (also selected Honorable Mention Rap/Hip-hop Song) (read our related review)
Collaborators: J Rabbit
This is one of those cases where I can just quote myself and have it work out. (Love it when that happens.) “It’s about a girl in her teens or maybe 20s falling in love with a much older guy, who adamantly resists the relationship. The presentation is not only tasteful, but positively irresistible. Entertaining lyricism… and the back-and-forth dynamic between narrators show what JP’s music can be when everything goes right. Additional credit is due to J Rabbit; Jung Hye-sun’s ungarnished, sweet performance is picture-perfect for the song. This is a magnificent piece of pop.” Even in hindsight, JP could hardly have picked better artists to portray the eagerness of a young girl in love. His own depiction of the flustered old guy is humorous but spot-on. They each complement what the other does not have, and Ahjusshi turns out as one of the year’s best love songs (so to say).
Bae Sun-yong – The Lady of Seba (Featuring Park Ju-won) (also selected Honorable Mention Crossover/Miscellaneous Song)
Bulhandang – 한 길을 걸어가라 (Walk One Path) (Starring Keeproots, P-Type, Rhyme-A-, Wimpy, Minos, Daephal, Sean2Slow, Garion) (also selected Honorable Mention Rap/Hip-hop Song)
Choi Baek-ho – 뛰어 (Run) (Featuring Park Ju-won, Malo) (also selected Honorable Mention Pop/Ballad Song)
Double K & Loco – Home (Featuring Jinsil of Mad Soul Child) (also selected Honorable Mention Rap/Hip-hop Song)
D-Story – 부탁이야 (Please) (Featuring Hyun-joong of M.A.C., Xena)
Ga-in – 시선 (Gaze) (Featuring Yoon Jong-shin) (read our related review)
Goodmorning Heaven – Goodmorning Heaven (Starring Lee Sang-mi of Ex, Jung Yu-jong of Daybreak, Park Soon-chul of Oh Ji-eun and the Wolves, Jo Jun-yong, Lee Myung-joon; featuring Harim)
Grand Mint Band – So Nice (GMF 2012 Version) (Main sessions: Kim Sun-il, Kim Jang-wun, Jung Yu-jong of Daybreak, Yu Jung-kyun, Jang Dong-jin, Jung Su-wan of Serengeti, Lee Su-ryun of The Koxx, Kang Min-suk, Im Young-jo, Kim Dong-hyun, Kim Myung-gi, Jo Jung-hyun, Kim Sung-hwan, Kim Hye-bin, Lee Da-hye; featuring Ko Young-bae of Soran, Kwon Jung-yeol of 10cm, Kim Hyuna of Lalasweet, Oh Ji-eun, Sweet Sorrow, Thomas Cook, Lucia). As an aside, I’m fairly certain that 26 people credited in one song is a 2012 record.
Lena Park (Park Jung-hyun) – You Don’t Know Me (Featuring eAeon) (read our related review)
MC Sniper – 할 수 있어 (I Can Do It) Song Version (Featuring Yiruma, Kim Ji-soo) (read our related review)
Nam Soo-rim – Drive Me To The Moon (Featuring Park Ji-yoon) (read our related review)
Oh Soo-min & Rex.D Project – 어색한 인사 (Hello)
Park Ji-yoon – 소리 (Sound) (Featuring Park Asher)
Park Myung-soo & Jung-yup – 꿈이었을까 (Endless Dream)
Siberian Husky – Real Sound (Featuring Lee Sung-soo of HarryBigButton)
Skull & Haha – 부산 바캉스 (Busan Vacance)
Soran & Kwon Jung-yeol of 10cm – 미쳤나봐 (Maybe Crazy)
Soul Fish – What We Do (Featuring Okasian, GLV, Paloalto, B-Free, EVO) (also selected Honorable Mention Rap/Hip-hop Song)
Sunghoon – Ma Boo (Featuring San E)
Wanted – Like You (Featuring IU)
What do your picks look like for this category? Discuss with us in the comments, and join us tomorrow in Part 10 as we recognize labels that had the biggest years!
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the reviewer and not of hellokpop as a whole.
B.A.P will become the new face of NIKE’s Air Force 1 as the company’s 30th anniversary approaches.
The group has been chosen for the style icon for NIKE‘s Air Force 1 as it is their 30th anniversary. They have created a project group titled The Ones to celebrate the 30 year anniversary. Style One represents B.AP, Creative One represents the hip hop icon Primary, and Innovative One represents media artist Teo Park, there is a total of 5 teams for this project.
Rookie group B.A.P was chosen as the style icon and NIKE official says, “B.A.P was perfect for our campaign theme futuristic as they have set themselves apart with their unique style since their debut and has been receiving lots of attention in Korea and overseas as well. B.A.P will continue to go on as fashionistas of the K-pop artists.”
In the photos, B.A.P is wearing all white to show a futuristic style. You can check out their anniversary song by Primary, Dynamic Duo and Simon D titled Nalli Good (난리 good!!) with B.A.P’s style pictorials as a digital gallery titled The House of Force.
Check it out in the link here.
3호선 버터플라이 (3rd Line Butterfly) – Dreamtalk
Release: October 8, 2012
Distributor: Mirrorball Music
Genre: Psychedelic, post-rock
After 8 years in the making, Dreamtalk is pretty appropriately titled. Its lyrics are pervasively hazy – sometimes acutely lucid, but often just confusing like nothing else. Sometimes, the lyrics manifest in subtler forms of meaning, as the obscure allegory of 향 (Aroma), the unfinished narrative of J Says, or the outright gamesmanship of 끝말잇기 (Connecting Words). At other times, the nonsense is simply a form of 3rd Line Butterfly being faithful to the old vocals-as-instrument philosophy. There are lots of onomatopoeia, meaningless repetitions, percussive utterances, and rhythmic wordplay all throughout Dreamtalk; I’d even say that this is the primary mode of lyricism. Weiv already has a detailed, informative breakdown of the chaotic flow and effectiveness of 스모우크핫커피리필 (Smoke Hot Coffee Refill)‘s lyrics, but even apart from this exercise in deconstructionism, elements like the hypnotic ad-libs in 니가 더 섹시해 괜찮아 (It’s Okay, You’re Sexier) and solely positional exposition of 너와나 (You And I) meld slyly into the instrumentation and influence the album’s mood not by message but rather by sound.
The instrumentation is brilliant, by the way. It just takes a back seat in light of what 3rd Line Butterfly is doing with language in this album. The band gets pretty creative with its structures, for starters: Smoke Hot Coffee Refill and 꿈속으로 (Into The Dream) are both ambitiously scaled multi-movement scores that effectively travel between introspection, elation, energy, and in case of the latter, even haunting unease in the space of four or five minutes. The experienced hands of Sung Ki-wan and Kim Nam-yoon perform evocative guitar work and tantalizing effecter usage throughout; some of their most handsome payoffs appear in lead single 헤어지는 날 바로 오늘 (The Day We Part, Today) in the form of a deliciously layered, soaring outro. (I can’t shake the feeling that this is what Deli Spice‘s single earlier this year should have been.) Nam Sang-ah‘s relaxed performance adds to the nebulous combination.
Like dreams themselves, Dreamtalk is easy to identify with but difficult to interpret. Sometimes it just throws eight minutes of a post-rock sound experiment like The Hitchhiker-reminiscent 제주바람 (Jeju Wind) 20110807 at you. Like with any great album, unraveling Dreamtalk is an involved process, but it helps you out. Its ambience and psychedelia are immersive. The lyrics (when they make sense) are thoughtful. And perhaps the best of all, unlike an elusive dream, none of it is fleeting.
Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)
1. 스모우크핫커피리필 (Smoke Hot Coffee Refill)
2. 꿈속으로 (Into The Dream)
3. 넌 어느새 난 또다시 (Already For You, Again For Me)
4. 니가 더 섹시해 괜찮아 (It’s Okay, You’re Sexier)
5. 너와나 (You And I)
6. 헤어지는 날 바로 오늘 (The Day We Part, Today)
8. 향 (Aroma)
9. J Says
10. 다시 가보니 흔적도 없네 (I Go Back And There Isn’t Even A Trace)
11. 쿠쿠루쿠쿠 비둘기 (Cuckooroocuckoo Pigeon)
12. 제주바람 (Jeju Wind) 20110807
13. 끝말잇기 (Connecting Words)
Miss $ – Miss Us?
Release: October 25, 2012
Distributor: Neowiz Internet
Miss $ rappers Oh Yumi and Jace have had some problems in the past, but rap tone has not been one of them – rather, the main issue has always been an inability (or lack of demonstrated ability) to consistently build engaging flows and lyrics. (In this they are joined by several present and past idol rappers - Zinger, Hwayoung, and Chae Rina come to mind most readily.) Miss Us? doesn’t help tremendously in this department. 몸인지 맘인지 (Body Or Soul) immediately rehashes all the familiar problems: simplistic (or nonexistent) rhyming, trite subject matter, ill-fitting touches (such as the floating intonation in the second verse), and overcooked performances – from both rappers as well as Kang Min-hee, the new vocalist. By now, I want to conclude that drama doesn’t help this group much – there seems to be a recurring tendency towards superfluous emotion in ballads.
On the other hand, the groove-minded tracks on the EP work much better.안자고 뭐해 (Good Night), which frames itself as an advisory message much like Nam Soo-rim‘s 그는 너를 사랑하지 않아 (He Doesn’t Love You), benefits from the rappers’ steely delivery and a easy-flowing beat that takes some of the burden off of lyricism. 내 전화 좀 뺏어줘 (Please Take Away My Phone) likewise frees up room for some creative dynamics between the girls and the two featured rappers, and has the EP’s best verse when Jace breaks off for a pushy, no-breath four bars reminiscent of Tiger JK‘s style. So I think there’s a glimpse of what will work for Miss $ in Miss Us?. But until they bring up their fundamentals more, the ceiling doesn’t appear all that high for this group.
Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)
1. 몸인지 맘인지 (Body Or Soul)
2. 안자고 뭐해 (Good Night)
3. 니 남자가 아니야 (Not Your Man)
4. 내 전화 좀 뺏어줘 (Please Take Away My Phone) – Featuring Huh In-chang; Kanto of Troy
5. 안자고 뭐해 (Good Night) – Instrumental
6. 담배 좀 줄여 (Cut Down On Smoking) – Bonus Track
Primary – Primary And The Messengers LP
Release: October 31, 2012
Distributor: CJ E&M
Genre: Rap, hip-hop
In hindsight, this really isn’t the best album to try to review in anything less than full length. At 20 tracks, Primary And The Messengers really puts the “L” into that “LP”. Heck, it’s the longest I’ve tackled since last year’s 32-track behemoth, Art & Business by Cho PD. I’ll throw out some key words to streamline the discussion: funk and R&B, topics that don’t stray too far from modern love stories, the most insane supporting cast to grace a single album this year. Okay, now let’s go through these.
The beats are all hand-crafted by Primary, as expected. He embraces a wide spectrum of instrumentation, with the first disc focusing on funk and jazz and the second shifting towards soul and R&B . They’re always solid and often nuanced; each track is created with attention to staccato-laden, bass-layered, brass-sputtered detail. The knock on the instrumentation, if anything, might be that no track stands out with killer beats, but that’s as much a result of quality consistency as of composition. And it doesn’t help that the majority of the album’s subject matter revolves around the recent hip-hop trend of soft, sensitive love songs. Yes, these are smart lyrics that approach stories from diverse directions, but even that can lead to monotony in an album this long. Some welcome changes-of-pace are found in the vintage Garion beatdown in 말이야 (What I Mean) and the rousing, triumphant soliloquy of 독 (Poison).
But then again, a lot of people who listen to this aren’t going to care about any of that. If there’s one album this year to listen to just based on name value, it’s this. A total of twenty-five artists appear on Primary And The Messengers to lend a hand, and it’s like a who’s who of Korean hip-hop today. The cast is diverse – young and old (from G.O. to MC Meta and Nachal), rapper and vocalist (from Gary and Yankie to Mellow and Jinsil), mainstream and indie (from Jay Park to Deez). Many of the country’s most influential crews, including Hi-Lite, Amoeba Culture, 1llionaire, Movement, Bulhandang, and by a stretch Jiggy Fellaz, are all represented. The performances all meet, if not exceed, expectations (E-Sens, Garion, and Zion.T have the most memorable contributions), but that’s not as important as the fact that listening to this album is like experiencing a demographic confluence of Korean hip-hop. This is a fine album, but an even finer snapshot and archive of where this scene stood in 2012.
Tracklist (recommended tracks listed in bold)
1. 요지경 (State of Affairs) – Featuring Supreme Team, Yankie, Mellow
2. Happy Ending – Featuring Jinsil of Mad Soul Child, Gary of Leessang
3. 말이야 (What I Mean) – Featuring Garion
4. 만나 (Meet) – Featuring Zion.T
5. 멀어 (Too Far) – Featuring Beenzino
6. LOVE – Featuring Bumkey, Paloalto
7. 씨스루 (See-through) – Featuring Zion.T, Gaeko of Dynamic Duo
8. Mine Tonight – Featuring Jinbo, Dok2
9. 입장정리 (Clearing Things Up) – Featuring Choiza of Dynamic Duo, Simon D of Supreme Team
10. 하이엔드걸 (High End Girl) – Featuring Deez
1. 2주일 (Two Weeks) – Featuring Rhythm Power
2. ? (물음표) (Question Mark) – Featuring Choiza of Dynamic Duo, Zion.T
3. 축하해 (Congratulations) – Featuring Dynamic Duo, Jay Park
4. I’m Back – Featuring Yankie, Double K, G.O. of MBLAQ
5. Playboy’s Diary – Featuring Junggigo, Dead’P
7. 독 (Poison) – Featuring E-Sens of Supreme Team
8. 3호선 매봉역 (3rd Line Maebong Station) – Featuring Paloalto, Beenzino
10. 거기서 거기읾 (All The Same) – Featuring Dynamic Duo, E-Sens of Supreme Team, Boi B of Rhythm Power
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the individual and not of hellokpop as a whole.
Have a recent release that you’d like to see reviewed? Tell us in a comment below! Requested albums will be considered each week and may be selected to be reviewed in the subsequent week.