In the midst of their world tour preparations, Monsta X’s maknae rapper I.M dropped his mixtape. It is his first solo release since Fly With Me in 2018.
Horizon is a trap soul song “full of feelings”, featuring American rising artist Elhae. As part of the rapper’s solo mixtape SUN RISE SUN SET, the song contains lyrics that portray a person’s desire to burn one’s feelings with intensity as a sunrise and sunset burns. The song is also I.M’s first English track.
On his release, I.M said that he is “grateful to show a different music taste and thankful for the fans that made this collaboration happen”.
Whereas a typical Monsta X title track is immediately intense and ‘in-your-face’, Horizon starts off slow and eerie. Then, the bass kicks in. From that point onwards, the rhythm doesn’t change much, only fading into autotune in the pre-chorus before transitioning back into the same, simple rhythm from earlier. And honestly, it doesn’t need more than that.
The song itself contains more singing than rapping, which is a style that both Monsta X rappers are now leaning towards in their solo work, and as a low-toned rapper, it is both soothing and melodic to listen to. Even the auto-tune in the pre-chorus is tight and necessary, adding to the ethereal atmosphere created by the rapper.
As the song progresses, Elhae’s feature is embedded into the track. There’s a smooth and natural transition that continues for the next minute before I.M ends the song. Although I.M is undoubtedly one of the best rappers in Kpop right now, he’s not the most skilful singer. The autotune does mask this a bit, but Elhae’s feature, in particular, brings that much-needed R&B sound. Overall, I would say it’s a well-crafted song.

If the song is simple, dark, and ethereal, then the music video reflects it perfectly. We follow the rapper in different abandoned places – a building, an alleyway, and somewhere near an ocean – but he doesn’t do much. Well, that is, other than showing off his jawline. And it works.

Unlike Fly With Me, this music video illustrates a darker side of the rapper, using more fluorescent lights instead of the natural lighting we see when he’s near the ocean. Furthermore, in the darker shots, there seem to be manga-like transitions that add to the eeriness of the song. In a way, it is hypnotic.

The only downside, personally, is that I would have liked to see Elhae with I.M. But that is as a Monbebe who wants to see the increasing evidence of the group’s success. I actually think the way in which the production team included his feature was pretty decent, and instead of showing success, it added to the hypnotic element of the video.

I.M’s mixtape, which is accompanied by Scent, is available to buy on iTunes. Alternatively, you can listen to it on Spotify and Soundcloud.

What are your thoughts on this mixtape?


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