I have been skimpy, I know, so lets get into this.
Epik High will be releasing a new album Tuesday, titled Shoebox. To entice the public the group released their single Born Hater, with a lot of help.
The song features: Epik High, Beenzino, Verbal Jint, and YG’s young stunners: Mino (of Winner), Bobby and B.I. (of the future group iKon). I will say I am only familiar with some of these people (Epik High I only know of Tablo like that)
Suffice to say this is a hefty list of people to talk about. So let’s just dive on in….after the break.
We are first met with Epik High’s music man, DJ Tukutz who does not rap, but sets up the beat for us. This being his creation musically I have to tip my hat off to him. It’s funky, murky, old school, and every bit of mean as fuck. This the type of beat where you asking someone to come read the fuck out of a nigga.
Tablo acts as our first rapper. I have to say I was feeling him. He did nicely. Great person to start the song. I do notice he seemed to straddle that line of going off and staying cool.
Beenzino comes in and still some thunder. He had the charisma, and his flow picked up for me. I really don’t have much to say for him. I like him, and I think he can rap. Plus he brought this energy while never going hype.
Verbal Jint sounds like he talks mad shit, and his flow is second to that. Some of it came off as him trying to cram as much in a verse as possible, but I read his verse and it was smart. In this song it seemed he was taking a more passive turn and maintaining his cool.
Mithra murky. He look murky. He looks like the Asian version of Black Twitter. Will say some ignant shit, but has no problem eating ass. Like I wonder if he listens to Trick Daddy at all. I am saying all this because his flow was enticingly destructive. It wasn’t fast, or overly complex, but I the moment he opened his mouth I just thought of some ignorant ass shit.
Mino is a the new kid on the block (as in he has debuted). He wasn’t a favorite for me, but he definitely came through. Nothing dragged, but at the same time, nothing really popped though.
Bobby need a lozenge. He did this thing that I was feeling in the beginning, where it was like he would ascend and then fall. It’s something stylistically that made me bop with him. He has a very aggressive nature to his style, and it worked here. However I feel like
B.I. is the other member of iKon (who has yet to debut), but instead of a verse, he provides what I consider as the chorus/hook. It separates the first three rappers from the last three rappers and ends the song. I don’t mind it, but his voice is grating. I am debating with myself whether it would have been a good idea to put his part at the beginning as well. To set the mood. But eh. It doesn’t feel/sound/look good overall. I do think if the part was better written, and with a better voice then yes. But with what we were given, eh.
The video was cool. Someone had pointed out the seven deadly sins angle.
Tukutz was envy
Tablo was pride/vanity
Bennzino was sloth
Verbal Jint was lust
Mithra was gluttony
Mino was wrath
Bobby was greed
B.I. was virtue (not a sin, but the opposite of the seven deadly sins is the seven heavenly virtues)
That’s smart and actually cleverly done. Even if that isn’t the case, the video was well done in my opinion, even with how it was shot (but that ties into the small space they are in so I was cool with it)
Born Hater is an address to the simples who ain’t got shit to do but hate. There it is. If I were to cut this in halfs I would say the first half was better than the second half. More experienced rappers with better word play. Also I liked the less aggressive handling of the music in the first half. Mino and Bobby are still young, but they follow the same path a lot of these young Korean Idol rappers go with that overly aggressive style. It gets tiring. That’s just a preference for me, but the more casual way Tablo (to an extent), Beenzino, and Verbal Jint handled it came off a lot more over it. They over the haters, they got shit to say, but they don’t have time to be in your face like they have something to prove.
Mithra is my favorite for all the reasons I listed. He just gives off very ignorant vibes. The fun ignorant. Like Migos, and Gucci ignorant.
Overall I think this was a good song, I didn’t hate anyone on the track, nor did I doubt the skillsets provided. I wasn’t even really worried about that until having to do this review. It’s a good track, and hopefully their album will be about every bit of shit as I would imagine it to be.
Epik High’s Shoebox will be released Tuesday, be sure to pick it up if you’re interested.