After a long hiatus, I am happy to return to this blog and continue to share and write about good music. I completed my graduate program. I had the opportunity to spend some time in Japan and Korea this summer. I started a new job. Simon D is active on Instagram again. And C Jamm is a free man. Life is good.
Here is some of the music I’ve been enjoying this summer! A link to my entire ‘2018’ playlist can be found at the bottom of this post!
I’m going to get started with a few May releases because they dropped right after I took a break from updating the site.
Ja Mezz | GOØDevil (May 21)
To be completely honest, I had never really given Ja Mezz a chance before this album. I was familiar with him because of Show Me The Money but none of his music has ever really captured my attention. This album is a bit confusing thematically but way more musically diverse than I was expecting. My favorite tracks (and the only ones I really listen to) are ‘dance with the devil’ or ‘춤’ (feat. DEAN and Jinbo), ‘venus’ (feat. Woo Wonjae and MRSHLL), and ‘toruk makto’ (feat. Jay Park, Koonta, and Skull). These are solid tracks. I would even venture to say that ‘venus’ in particular is one of my favorite tracks from the entire year so far.
Crucial Star | think ’18 (May 30)
Crucial Star never lets me down. I’m biased (he’s one of my top three favorite Korean rappers), but his releases don’t get anywhere near the amount of attention they deserve. I have listened to both tracks on this project – ‘think’ and ‘studio life’ (feat. Jaeku and Beaver) – quite a bit. I’m hoping he’ll release his next full-length album sooner than later in 2019.
Hyukoh | 24: How to find true love and happiness (May 31)
Like every other Hyukoh album, 24 deserves a full review. I probably won’t write one but check the SeoulRebels Facebook page soon for a link to a recommended review! I’m not going to bother to list the tracks I like because there are only six songs and I think they’re all fantastic. I will say that the song I’ve listened to the most this summer is ‘Gang Gang Schiele’. Do yourself a favor and watch the videos below.
Lots of quality content from the month of June this year.
Simon Dominic | DARKROOM: roommates only (June 15)
The return of the freaking king. My reaction to this album came in two phases. The initial phase was comprised of excitement and surprise at the nature of the album sound-wise. This project is so different from any of Simon D’s previous releases. I immediately loved ‘06076’. Simon D worked with Dihcro, a producer he’s rumored to have discovered via SoundCloud, on ‘06076’ and five other tracks on the album. The second phase is made up of deep respect for Simon D as an artist and his raw vulnerability on this album and a desire to take a much closer look at the lyrics. Please read this brief yet excellent review of Dark Room. Two tracks later added to the album (not available on Spotify) are ‘Me No Jay Park’ (produced by GRAY) and ‘In my hood’. The release of ‘Me No Jay Park’ – dubbed the “best resignation song ever” by one Youtube user – was Simon D’s official announcement that he would be stepping down from his position as co-CEO of AOMG. Again, I respect Simon D’s vulnerability in sharing a glimpse of the things he’s been wrestling with and I hope that he continues to push forward and create at his own pace. I will try to do my part by being a less demanding fan…even if there’s another three-year wait for new music.
pH-1 | harry (June 22)
This is probably my favorite project from pH-1 thus far. ‘DVD’ is so good. pH-1 stands out to me in the industry because he really does have his own flavor and is committed to developing that instead of doing what’s trendy.
Indigo Music | IM (June 24)
The exciting first collaboration album from the Indigo Music crew. Most of you are likely familiar with Swings and JUSTHIS, as well as NO:EL (controversial High School Rapper contestant) and Young B (Show Me The Money 6 contestant and winner of the 1st season of High School Rapper). I had heard of everyone except for Jvcki Wai before listening to IM. I have never really listened to Kid Milli’s music, but after hearing him on this album I checked out his solo project IMNOTSPECIAL. My favorite tracks on IM are ‘Swoosh’, ‘Work Out’, ‘180409’ (produced by YunB),and ‘IndiGO’ (produced by BRLLNT).
Lee Jin-Ah | RUN (June 26)
I have yet to listen to the rest of Lee Jin-Ah’s album but I could not get enough of this song this summer! GRAY collaborated with Lee Jin-Ah on this amazing track. Read this review and check out the music video below!
Jeebanoff | Panorama (June 27)
I was a huge fan of Jeebanoff’s last album so I had great expectations for Panorama. ‘Good Place’ (read another great review by Wonjung Choi of this song here), ‘Last Morning’, and ‘The Ferry’ are my favorite tracks.
Next up we have the month of July which was packed with releases from artists I’ve grown to love.
2xxx! | Life+unconsciousness (July 2)
Artist 2xxx! returned with three new songs this summer which make up the “unconsciousness” portion of this album (tracks 1-8 were previously released on Life). The songs – ‘rfrff’, ‘genesis’, and ‘5mm free’ – are all instrumental tracks and you should listen to each one.
Yoon Mirae | Gemini 2 (July 5)
This summer Queen T blessed us with a new full album titled Gemini 2. Yoon Mirae has proven to not only be one of the most skilled rappers in the industry but a strong R&B vocalist as well. I honestly couldn’t decided which tracks to highlight (the entire album is on my 2018 playlist anyway) so please make sure to give all of them a listen!
Crush | wonderlost (July 13)
Crush is another artist who never ever lets me down (who knew he could pull off blue hair??). I feel like I do nothing but hype him on this blog so all I have to say this time is listen to wonderlost in its entirety.
Giriboy | hightechnology (July 22)
Above I mentioned that Crucial Star is in my top 3 list of Korean rappers. Giriboy is also on that list. Number 3 is currently serving in the military :((( Anyway, I don’t have a lot of excitement for the upcoming season of Show Me The Money but 99% of the excitement I do have is due to Giriboy FINALLY being a producer on the show. My favorite songs on hightechnology are: ‘Peace’, ‘high qual-la’, ‘Love Contract’, ‘Deep Sea of Outer Space’, and ‘logout’.
Dingo x Indigo Music | flex (July 31)
‘flex’ is another great track produced by Giriboy and performed by him along with Swings, NO:EL, and Kid Milli from the Indigo Music crew. This track has a playful summertime vibe to it and it’s even more fun with the music video (brought to you by Dingo) below!
Finally, while there’s more music released earlier this month I probably missed, I wanted to highlight one particular August release I’ve enjoyed.
pH-1 | loves (August 20)
So glad to have more music from pH-1 already on his recently released loves single album! ‘Cupid’ (feat. Penomeco) and ‘Groupie’ (feat. Mokyo aka Thurxday) are bops. Exciting stuff from H1GHR Music producer Thurxday for these tracks. Check out the visuals for ‘Cupid’ below!
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