BY ANDREW KIM
Welcome to July!
The speed at which June beat me up and flew off should be considered a federal crime. (Trust, I will be pressing charges…) I hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend, whether you chose to celebrate or not. The summer is hitting its midway point and if anyone needs any motivation to get up off their bed, listen to my words: NOW IS THE TIME! Time is precious and the summer is already flying by. Make sure to enjoy the beautiful weather before it’s gone and to be safe when going outside. If you end up getting the ‘rona by going out unarmed, don’t say you weren’t warned!
Enjoying the sun safely,
EP, released July 1st
Korean rapper ZICO welcomes the second month of summer with a vibrant new extended play titled Random Box. After the explosive success of his January 2020 sensation “Any Song,” ZICO had raised the bar of what it means to be a contemporary rapper in South Korea. Earlier this year, he had started the brand new label KOZ Entertainment after retiring from his leader position in the K-Pop boy group Block-B and the transition was rocky, to say the least. Through KOZ, he released the label’s first major release and his double album Thinking in late 2019 and the reception was lukewarm, with the project doing significantly less than any of his previous endeavors. As a fan of ZICO, even I was disappointed as the mediocre project and was definitely worried that the risk he took leaving his previous label was about to start a career decline.
However, this all changed with “Any Song.” The song was colorful, witty, and most importantly relatable, everything the Korean public wanted for a perfect hit song. Through “Any Song,” Korea saw its most popular dance phenomenon in recent years on the popular video-sharing platform. Both high-stature celebrities and ordinary citizens were filming their own dance trials of the “Any Song” challenge and the song became the nation’s must-hear anthem for the first-half of 2020.
With this new EP, ZICO gathered all of the key ingredients found in “Any Song” and sprinkled it into a six-song collection. My highlight from this EP is most definitely the title track, “Summer Rain” featuring none other than R&B legend RAIN. The song boasts an earworm hook rivaling “Any Song” and adds a unique hint of reggae to create a lively summer jam. I am transported to a warm, sandy beach every time I listen to this EP, so make sure to do yourself a favor and check this new EP out!
“Ego Death (feat. Kanye West, FKA twigs, & Skrillex)“
Ty Dolla $ign
Single, released July 1st
In preparation for his next studio album Dream House, R&B chameleon Ty Dolla $ign has released its first single “Ego Death” featuring an all-star cast of Kanye West, FKA twigs, and Skrillex. From music piracy platforms to streaming services, this star-studded collaboration has finally received a proper release and I couldn’t be more excited. I had found the full leak of this track on a Kanye Reddit board earlier this March and couldn’t believe that Ty was able to get all of these elite musicians, who are elites in their own respective genres, onto one track.
While Ty and Kanye didn’t disappoint during their representative part in the song, it’s FKA twigs that stole the show for me. As she’s known to dabble in her idiosyncratic plain of experimental R&B and avant-garde pop, her presence on an electronic house beat was mind-melting at first listen. With that said, everyone featured on “Ego Death” definitely pulled their weight and no matter who you came to listen to on this track, you’ll be greeted with a stellar introduction to the rest of the stellar artists. If you are a fan of any of the artists on this collaboration, make sure to give “Ego Death” a listen!