It’s officially Autumn, or, to be more specific, it’s been Autumn for a little over a week. The sticky, sweaty heatwaves have now subsided, and in their place comes fear of a second lockdown. Morbidity aside though, the pre-Winter season is often a favourite amongst those who favour more of a chill aesthetic than anything else, so what better way to ring in the impending muggy November weather worthy of giving you the horribles than to share with you some of the finest Korean hip-hop tracks perfect for a laidback evening on the sofa? We hope you enjoy.
Crush – ‘Lay Your Head On Me’
A heartfelt acoustic ballad, “Lay Your Head On Me” is the perfect start to any Autumn playlist. Packed with emotion and layered with Crush‘s seamless falsetto and tight vocal control, this all-English collaboration with Garibay will have you feeling as snug as possible, rendering that blanket you were thinking of ordering on Amazon completely pointless. Great work, Crush.
Zion.T – ‘Eat’
Sometimes during such a busy, post-holiday season, things can get a bit too much. So much, in fact, that you may even find yourself forgetting to do the most simple tasks, i.e eating meals.
So, on the aptly titled “Eat,” Zion.T opts for an audible reminder to eat your breakfast and lunch despite your tiredness, and even eat his song like an apple. And, whilst the nutritional value of that second request is yet to be confirmed, chances are this softly melodious, breezy number is well worth the intake.
ELO, ZICO – ‘OSAKA’
Chances are, you didn’t have a holiday this year. If you did, congratulations, we hope you at least pretended to enjoy your staycation, or restricted trip abroad. If you didn’t, well then, no worries, for ELO and Zico are here to save the day with “OSAKA.”
A loving ode to the Japanese city, one that is “the place you and I dreamt of,” its a mid-tempo R&B track centred around stacatto string pads and the AOMG singer’s soulful, commanding vocals. Aided by a nice, melodious feature from Zico as he sing-raps his way through disappointment over not being able to order delivery, “OSAKA” is a more-than serviceable track which fits on any playlist seamlessly.
Jay Park – ‘Sexy 4 Eva’
In a world full of self-deprecation, a large bulk of us are almost permanently in need of a good pick-me-up. It could be through food, films or even something a bit more X-rated, but as we’re a music site, we’ll stick to that side of things. More specifically, Jay Park‘s self-appreciation song, “Sexy 4 Eva.”
Oozing confidences throughout the trap-inspired verses, Park fails to stumble as he discusses his sex symbol status, money-making and reputation, before the languid, repeating synths backup a catchy hook worthy of endless singalongs. It may not be made for you, or indeed anyone but the music mogul himself, but we could all do with feeling our own definition of sexy, so why not apply the song’s message to ourselves anyway?
Sam Kim – ‘SEATTLE’
A warm, piano-driven reflection on his hometown departure, Sam Kim is unabatingly vulnerable on “SEATTLE.” Navigating his way through the five-minute piece pensively, the young artist stretches his freeform vocals across a downcast, subtle melody only occasionally made slightly fuller with arpeggiated strings. It’s a tremendous piece of work and a warm reminder that, sometimes, home really is where the heart is.
GRAY – ‘TMI’
In Korea, the popular phrase TMI doesn’t quite mean what it does over here. Although technically it is the same initialism, the larger definition is to talk about things that nobody would ask for, but you still would care to let them know. So, in his track “TMI,” hit producer GRAY decides to take the ball and run with the term, displacing countless personal facts in a simplistic, accessible track. From discussing bad eyesight to the fact he no longer clubs, everything is on show across the rhythm guitar and skeletal percussion-led verses, before an extended chorus continues the congruent vibe.
It may be a little bit too colourful and playful for some, but “TMI” is undoubtedly a smartly-made mood-raiser fitting for the milder months.
Jay Park, Golden, pH-1 – ‘Afternoon’
Upping the ante a bit now, “Afternoon” is the recently released single from everybody’s favourite Jay Park, as well as the Voice Korea winner Golden, and popular rapper pH-1, taken from the H1GHR MUSIC compilation album.
Comprising of a subtle, glossy breakbeat, supple synths and handclapped percussion straight out of bygone eras, the three artist rap and sing their way through heartfelt confessions, before a fast-paced, energy-filled chorus kicks in, decreeing the significant other will be loved in the “morning, evening and even in the afternoon.” Who said romance is dead, eh?
MELOH – ‘Love of My Life’
MELOH has one of the better voices in the Korean hip-hop scene, so it was wonderful to see him really lean into his talents on “Love of My Life,” a sincere, frank acknowledgement that the person he loves is the person he wishes to spend his life with. “I love you there’s nothing more to say,” the singer states, trickling through understated, atmospheric synths, pads and a falsetto-delivered chorus. It’s a fuzzy type of song perfect for those taken, wishfully in love, or indeed single but wishing for an excellently forthright bit of music to spend their autumn with, so why not give it a try?
Sik-K, Gaeko – ‘Ring Ring’
As laidback as it gets, Sik-K‘s simmering hit “Ring Ring” is a near-flawless piece of audible relaxation. Syringed with an integral, leisurely guitar melody and slow-moving harmonies, both artists delivery cruise through the runtime, imploring their love interest to take notice of them with raspy, unhurried verses and a subtly pleading chorus.
Plaintive and smooth, “Ring Ring” is a perfect option for those looking for something a bit more methodically paced, but without any hints of grounded, reflective emotion.
JINBO the SuperFreak, Joe Wonsun, Zion.T – ‘Run’
Jazzy at heart, “Run” is a tremendously full piece of music, ditching modern fanfare for a vibrant, colourful seasonal offering. Piano chords, blasts of brass and punctuated strings guide the verses along smoothly, before a delayed chorus affords a copious amount of soothing life to the song. Visceral in its memory-evoking emotion, “Run” is a track that will play on the mind, heart and soul well past an initial listen.
And that’s the list! We hope you enjoyed. Feel free to leave any more suggestions in the comments, and stay safe during the current COVID spike.