Hot on the heels of last week’s Weekly Idol Zion T, here’s another hip-hop/R&B artist you should listen out for.
Babylon, real name Lee Jongmin, released his comeback track Fantasy last week. His nickname comes from Scarface – The Babylon is the name of the bar that Al Pacino’s character Tony Montana hangs out in.
Naming himself after a bar was no coincidence – this guy is hella sociable – he has released countless collaborations with other hiphop and RnB artists including Paloalto, Gaeko, Takeone, Nafla, Untouchable and Iron. In 2015 he also appeared with Zico on the playful track Boys & Girls. He also co-created the label MMM (Max Mind Music) with Last Nite, to write lyrics and music together. All this along with his own solo remix album, Feeling.
Although he was performing under a different nickname, ‘Soul J’, Babylon has been on the Korean music scene since 2011. He debuted then as part of a five member group, N-Train, who performed R&B/soul/hip-hop tunes. Prior to that, he was a backup dancer for girl group VNT, and a vocal trainer in Hongdae.
With his up do and tats proudly on display, Babylon has been compared style-wise with Jay Park, but music-wise with Chris Brown, who he confirms is an inspiration. In an interview with hiphoplaya he said: “I really do watch a lot of his videos and listen to a lot of his music. The songs that inspired me especially are Pot of Gold and Private Show. In general, when he releases a new song or features on a song, I look them up to listen to them. I mainly pay attention to his diction and ad-libbing.”
Zico and Babylon – Boys & Girls
Paloalto – Good Times featuring Babylon
Gaeko, Yankie – Cheers featuring Babylon