Raina wants to stop being in a ‘Loop’ in recent solo comeback

After School and Orange Caramel member Raina made her solo comeback with a new album ‘Loop.’ The title track features Aron of NU’EST and is a cute pop song that gives off coffee shop feels and vibes.

‘Loop’ is a cute song and it’s another collaboration that doesn’t stand out, but is one that I can find myself listening to for a few more times. After giving the rest of the album a listen, I also do enjoy b-side track ‘Treat You Better’ and do think that this track would have also made a good (if not better) title track.

Raina is and has been my bias since her debut in After School back in 2009 with ‘Because of You.’ She’s a great vocalist, has an adorable bubbly voice, and sings well. I’m glad that she’s gotten a solo comeback (although I do think an After School and/or Orange Caramel comeback would be more ideal at this point but we might never see them as a group again) after the success of her collaborations with San E.

Regardless, it’s nice to see at least someone from AS/OC still active musically. The chances of seeing AS/OC ever making a comeback as a group is slim to none and it’s such a shame because they were such a talented group with catchy music and versatile concepts every comeback (remember ‘Bang’ or ‘Because of You’?). I remember being there at AS’s debut and at first having my doubts and concern about the group but eventually warming up to them once they came back with ‘Diva.’ I’ve always enjoyed After School’s comeback whether that was sentimental and mature music like ‘Because of You’ to pop songs like ‘Bang’ or sexy concepts like ‘First Love.’ One thing about the group that I was not so fond of however was the graduation concept because I think it hurt the group more so than help them, but they (and Pledis) did manage to make the graduation system work a few times until the group just gradually died out.

It’s sad that all these girl groups who were different, strong, versatile, and stable (think 4Minute, 2NE1, and After School) are no longer a group or promoting. I would like to see more groups like them, but I’m not sure how much longer we’ll have to wait until another girl group like them comes by. I guess for now we’ll have to do with solo comebacks or the current girl groups we have right now.

Source: 1thek @ youtube, BEVJ Entertainment @ youtube

Boyfriend returns with ‘Star’ after a long hiatus

Ahh they’re finally back. It’s been a while since we’ve last seen K-pop boy group Boyfriend. The boy group finally made their comeback titled ‘Star’ just recently and it’s a decent one.

It’s unfortunate that Boyfriend’s been placed in the backburner by their company Starship Entertainment (home to groups like former group SISTAR and current groups like Monsta X & WSJN) just because they used to be really popular and had so much potential to be big. I’m glad that they finally have a comeback, but it’s been overdue for such a long time and with the debuts of new groups like Wanna One, right now is probably not the best time to give Boyfriend a comeback.

When Boyfriend first debuted – just like with NU’EST – people had their eyes on the boy group as a potential group that could possibly get big. I personally enjoyed their title tracks such as ‘Janus’ or ‘Obsession.’ Boyfriend has worked so hard to build a fanbase for themselves which has unfortunately all gone to waste after the long hiatus they were given. With so much competition right now (and always) in the K-Pop music industry, I’m afraid to say that I don’t see a bright future for Boyfriend especially with the unprofessional way that Starship Entertainment has been treating them. Bad promoting and marketing by their agency + long hiatus + tough competition does not make for good results. The timing for Boyfriend’s comeback couldn’t be any worse. It’s unfortunate because ‘Star’ isn’t that bad of a track and has the potential to be successful.

Maybe what Boyfriend might need at this point is to pull a NU’EST and appear on survival shows like Produce 101 (if there’s another season) to get themselves back on track and in the game (and as seen with NU’EST, this might be more in their favor than loss). I really hope they’ll be given another chance though because the boys are talented and had a good run going for them when they were being promoted properly by Starship.

Source: starshipTV @ youtube

WINNER returns with summer jams ‘Island’ and ‘LOVE ME LOVE ME’

Yes WINNER. I will love you if you want me to. You just gotta tell me and say so. Haha, jokes aside, WINNER is finally back with some new music and another comeback! This will be their second comeback this year after a return earlier this year as 4 members with ‘Really Really’ and ‘Fool.’

Just like they did with their last comeback, WINNER returns with 2 new songs: Love Me Love Me and Island. Through these 2 new tracks, one gets a better idea of the type of sound and concept that WINNER is going for and just further solidifies what kind of music they’re experimenting with.

After listening to both, my favorite one would have to be ‘Love Me Love Me.’ It kind of reminds me of a second ‘Really Really’ although the two songs don’t sound similar at all. ‘Island’ is just like your typical EDM track that you hear often in the U.S., meaning it’s good and catchy and fun to listen to, but nothing about it really stands out. In the MV’s for both songs, you kind of just see the boys hanging out and having fun and doing summer type of things. The MV and songs are fun, catchy, and enjoyable to listen to. I think this comeback will be yet another hit and success for the 4-member boy group.

As I stated in my most recent podcast, I think WINNER has so much potential to be even more popular than they are right now. Having returned as 4 members with new good music, they’re slowly finding their own sound that distinguishes them as a group and from other YG artists and groups that will definitely be of an advantage to them if they keep this up. I’m glad to see them come back again this year and I’m hoping YG won’t mess up with them because they’re doing so great. After a rough 3 years, please give the boys what they rightfully deserve: new music and fair treatment.

Source: WINNER @ youtube

JJ Project returns with a new MV and album ‘Verse 2’

The last time we saw GOT7’s Jinyoung and JB as a duo was in 2012 when they were promoting as sub-unit JJ Project prior to the debut of GOT7. The two managed to gain some fans and help increase anticipation for the upcoming group that they would both soon debut in. Fast forward 5 years later and the two have finally returned again as JJ Project with a new and refined concept as well as music.

The sub-unit released their new MV for title track ‘Tomorrow, Today’ as well as their new album ‘VERSE 2’ just recently. Compared to their debut track ‘Bounce’, ‘Tomorrow, Today’ as well as the entire album is far more mellow and less chaotic than ‘Bounce’ and I actually really enjoy this shift in music and sound. I was expecting something similar to ‘Bounce’, but this comeback was the total opposite which left me satisfied. My favorite track from the album would probably have to be ‘Coming Home’ although all the tracks are pretty solid (though I have to admit they also sound similar to one another). All in all, the members look more soft, casual, and calm and have matured in their music and concept as evident in the new music video and album.

I actually wasn’t too much of a big fan of JJ Project when they first came out. I knew who they were and gave their debut album a quick listen, but never really cared too much about them to be a fan. It wasn’t until they debuted in GOT7 that I became more interested in them as well as the rest of the GOT7 members. Unfortunately over the years my support and dedication for GOT7 has died down and now they’re merely just a group who I occasionally check out and listen to. It’s unfortunate that GOT7’s potential was wasted and their last few comebacks were not the strongest. I’m really liking the sound that JJ Project has returned with for this comeback so I’m hoping that GOT7 will also change their music and concept and return to their original roots that was what made me like them in the first place.

I wasn’t necessarily craving for a JJ Project comeback, but it’s nice to see the two members back again and doing what they originally started out as prior to GOT7.

Source: jypentertainment @ youtube, WKE Music @ youtube

Former BEAST member Jang Hyunseung wants to be your ‘Home’ in his first comeback single

Ahh, there are so many emotions running through me as I listen to this song. Former BEAST member Hyunseung – who is now a solo artist under CUBE – released his first single since leaving the group (who has now since rebranded as Highlight) titled ‘Home.’

‘Home’ is a soft, mellow, and breezy acoustic instrumental accompanied by Hyunseung’s heavenly voice. Although the song might sound like a typical break-up song, being the emotional and nostalgic person I am, you could also interpret the song as if Hyunseung is speaking to himself. He’s waiting for himself to return home; he wishes to return to the way that he was once and used to be. The track doesn’t contain much and have much going on, but maybe that’s what makes the song as good as it is. Sometimes simplicity is the best.

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I would be lying if I said that I didn’t get emotional while listening to this. I didn’t even know Hyunseung had released a new single so upon finding out, I quickly went to go search for the song on youtube. And before I even clicked on any of the videos provided, I got teary-eyed. As many of y’all who follow my blog know, I was a HUGE fan of BEAST/Highlight. I was there since their debut when they were 6 members and followed them and loved them and supported them like no other. They were truly the very first group that I followed and admired. I’ve been into K-Pop for many years now (almost a decade) and have come across many groups over the years, but none of them stood out to me as much as BEAST did when they were 6 members.

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When I found out that Hyunseung had left BEAST and BEAST would return as five members under new name Highlight, my heart was broken. I was sad. It hurt so freaking bad. I’ve never even seen them before in real life with my own eyes, but I just couldn’t believe that the one group I loved so much would break up. And this is something that I will always be sad over and it’s something that I will always reflect and think about. Why did Hyunseung leave BEAST? Why didn’t he stay with the other members and join them as Highlight? Why did he stay in CUBE while they left to make their own company and group? There are so many questions that I have that will unfortunately probably remain unanswered forever. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love Hyunseung as much as I love Highlight, because I still do. Even if they’ve gone their own ways and are now doing two different things under two different names, I will still love and support them separately like how I used to when they were still a group. Sometimes things happen and change in life and that’s okay.

Although I do miss the times and memories of BEAST, that doesn’t mean that it’s the end for the members. Highlight has returned and they genuinely seem a lot happier than they used to be when they were with CUBE while Hyunseung finally made a comeback and hopefully is also happy with where he is right now in life. Although BEAST no longer exists, I will never forget all the happiness, laughter, smiles, and tears that I shared with them and other fellow B2UTY’s. It was fun, amazing, and beautiful while it lasted and is something that I will hold dear to my heart forever. They will always remain my #1 bias group.

Source: my highlight @ youtube

#ListentoThis: punchnello – imwaitingrighthere

As I continue to listen to Korean hip-hop, I also discover more and more hidden gems along the way and have been trying to expand on the amount of artists that I listen to. Thankfully, this year’s SMTM introduced me to some of these new gems and now I’m a fan of punchnello who I discovered through the show.

After watching him on SMTM (and crying internally because he lost and got eliminated), I was a lot more curious about him so I checked him out on youtube and listened to a few more of his tracks. While they were all good, the one track that I absolutely fell in love with and cannot stop listening to is titled ‘imwaitingrighthere.’ From the very second Punchnello belt out his vocals and I heard him sing ‘baby’ I fell in love with both him and the song. It was just so beautiful; it was like ear candy heaven to my ears. Everything about this song is so beautiful, from the instrumental of the song to his mellow and soft voice. I’ve been listening to this song non-stop so I felt the need to share it with y’all so y’all can also enjoy it!

(another good song of his! highly recommend listening to it!)

I also did some research on punchnello since I’m slowly learning more about him and becoming a fan of his. He’s an artist under HIGHGRND (aka the side label that Tablo used to be CEO of) and is also in the crew Club Eskimo (alongside Dean and Zico among others). When I first saw him I thought he was older than me because he just looked more mature, but upon doing my research I actually find out that he’s younger than me by a year (I’m so shook). But moving on, although I don’t know too much about punchnello, I like his music and his rapping and he seems like a cool guy.

Although it’s unfortunate that punchnello got eliminated from SMTM he’s still active as a rapper so we’ll still get to see him from time to time. You can find more of his music on his official soundcloud account and support him there!

Source: dandelions music @ youtube

Korean hip-hop producers GroovyRoom are ‘Everywhere’ with their new EP

Producer duo GroovyRoom, who just recently signed onto Jay Park and Cha Cha Malone’s new hip-hop label H1GHR Music, released a new EP titled ‘Everywhere’ featuring everyone. Just kidding, but many artists and rappers did participate in the making of the album and all the tracks are pretty solid.

The album consists of 6 new tracks with artists like Jay Park, Sik-K, DOK2, Suran, Giriboy, pH-1, Masta Wu, and much more featured on the album. Although I thought all the tracks were pretty solid, my absolute and obvious favorite would have to be “어디쯤에” featuring Suran and pH-1. Suran is no doubt an amazing singer and pH-1’s verse is another highlight of the song, but I especially enjoyed the instrumental chorus. The song is groovy and fun and it just makes you want to sway and dance along to the song. But the title track to the EP is called ‘XINDOSHI’ and it features Sik-K, Masta Wu (had actually forgotten about him until this featuring LOL), Loopy, and Kim Hyo-eun from SMTM5. Funny thing is that out of all the songs the title track was actually my least favorite; I couldn’t even get through the whole song and I still haven’t been able to yet, but my favorite part would easily have to be Kim Hyo-eun’s rap with the beat change (skipped to his part).

GroovyRoom consists of two members (I think both were born in 1994 so they’re pretty young but have had some experience with producing for about 2 years now since 2015). Prior to this album, I thought I had never listened to any GroovyRoom tracks before (I actually didn’t even know who they were until recently with the news about them signing with H1GHR Music) but apparently they’ve produced a few tracks that I’ve listened to (many times) before including but not limiting to Gary’s ‘Get Some Air’ in his ‘2002’ album (I loved that song! I still do to this day). And then after watching an interview with them along with their new labelmates in H1GHR Music, I found out about them and I’m now interested in them and their music (doesn’t help that they’re both pretty cute too).

(okay i lied they’re both actually really pretty cute)

Give their new album a listen if you haven’t yet. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. They’re still pretty new in the industry and are just barely finally getting their names out there now that they’ve signed onto H1GHR Music. I think we can expect to see them around a lot more often now along with the other artists in H1GHR Music who Jay Park and Cha Cha has been promoting heavily the past few months. It’s great to see new names and talents in the Korean hip-hop industry, especially those who have been doing this for a while now but just didn’t necessarily have the push or best support system to back them up.

I’m excited to see what else GroovyRoom and H1GHR Music (as well as AOMG) has in store in the future. I can see H1GHR Music reaching the same levels of success as AOMG considering that the artists and producers in both labels are so talented. Anyways, back I go to listening to my favorite track on the album 🙂

Source: H1GHR MUSIC @ youtube, xmixandmatchx @ youtube, HIPHOPPLAYA @ youtube, Dingo FreeStyle @ youtube

Jay Park wants to ride on a yacht with you in his latest MV

Jay Park is back at it again with a new MV, a new catchy and feel-good song produced by the one and only Cha Cha, and new choreography featuring Prepix and 1MILLION. I never knew this song and MV was what I needed until it came out and now this has probably got to be my favorite release so far this summer.

Produced by Cha Cha, ‘Yacht’ is a cute and chill summer R&B release featuring rapper Sik-K who’s a part of Jay Park and Cha Cha’s new label H1GHR Music. Jay released the choreography or dance visual version of the song with choreography by dance group Prepix also featuring popular dancers from 1Million.

Any song by Cha Cha is an ultimate win for me not because I’m biased towards him so I like them automatically but rather because I enjoy most of his songs. I honestly come in not expecting much from AOMG artists, but overtime have come to really warming up to and enjoying their songs – especially the Cha Cha produced songs – because they’re so catchy and great and because Cha Cha’s tracks are so good. ‘Yacht’ is no exception, definitely building off of that catchiness and with Jay Park’s smooth vocals, the song just makes you wanna dance. It gives off such good vibes and it’s a song that’s especially fit for summer.

Jay released the ‘dance visual’ video of the song so I’m wondering if there’s another MV that he’s going to release. In the video, he teased fans through the subtitles by telling them to wait for the english version of the song to come out (typical Jay Park lol) so I’m thinking he might release another MV with the english version? If not, I’m fine with that too because the dance visual is really just what it says it is  – all visuals. The set is your basic normal kind of box set that you often see in SM MV’s, but with the many pretty backdrops and backgrounds, you fall in love with just how beautiful everything looks. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jay Park MV without girls so there are some girls in here as well as choreography. And just like he did with ‘All I Wanna Do’, 1Million is also back for another Jay Park collaboration. I’m kind of upset with all the different visuals that the MV did when 1Million appeared though because I wanted to see them but the moment they appear so many things are happening in the background and you couldn’t even see their faces and that made me a bit frustrated haha. Just give me my 1Million! I wanna see their faces!

While I like the MV, I had a hard time enjoying the choreography to the song. I don’t know – it was as if the choreography was for a totally different song because it felt like the two didn’t go together at all. Prior to the release of the full MV, he had released a teaser of the choreography to ‘Yacht’ and for some reason I had the hardest time following the choreo and enjoying it because it didn’t seem to match at all. It was if the dance moves had been created for another song and ‘Yacht’ just happened to be playing in the background of the video. This comes as a surprise and shock to me because the choreography to ‘All I Wanna Do’ and ‘Me Like Yuh’ was great and actually matched the songs so I’m feeling a bit puzzled and disappointed with the ‘Yacht’ dance choreography.

Despite the mismatch of the choreography in my opinion, I still enjoy the song and MV regardless and I’m hoping Jay has another MV release up his sleeves, possibly one that’s similar to his ‘My Last‘ MV where he and his AOMG buddies just hung out and had some fun (omg just imagine AOMG x H1GHR Music in the same MV. Now THAT would make for an awesome summer). All in all, ‘Yacht’ is another catchy release by Jay Park and it’ll be interesting to see what steps one of the current leaders in the Korean hip-hop industry takes next with his career.

Source: JAYPARKOFFICIAL @ youtube

Geeks blesses us all with a new comeback!

Summer is finally getting fun as there have been a ton of great new releases within this past week alone including but not limited to EXO, KARD, HOTSHOT, Akmu, Jay Park, and then now Korean hip-hop duo Geeks!

AHHHHHH I’M SCREAMING. AND CRYING. AND SCREAMING BECAUSE I ABSOLUTELY LOVE GEEKS. It’s been a while since their last release and I’ve been waiting forever for another comeback from them. They’ve been releasing singles here and there and features with other artists the past few years, but have finally returned as a duo again this year with a new album titled ‘Fireworks.’

The fangirl in me is crying because I’ve been a loyal fan of Geeks since…forever. It’s been so long now that I don’t even recall when I became a fan of theirs, but all I know is that I love their music and the members themselves. I love how Geeks doesn’t do outright hip-hop or rap music that is all in your face. Rather their music is mellow and chill and that’s what I absolutely love about their songs. I can still jam to their songs and not be annoyed by any jarring auto-tune or bad rapping skills because Geeks 1) makes amazing music 2) they can rap well.

Geeks became especially popular a few years back through songs like ‘Wash Away‘ featuring Ailee and their rendition of ‘Officially Missing You.’ Through songs like these, they were able to steadily get their name out there and then ventured off to do their own solo activities but were also still releasing songs out there as a duo here and there. I’m especially happy that they’ve returned with a new MV and album because I feel like it’s been forever since we’ve last seen them together even though it really hasn’t been. I remember watching member Lil’ Boi on SMTM4 (I swear, all my favorite contestants were on team AOMG I think it was meant to be) and just squealing because he was so cute but also so powerful at rapping. I haven’t been as caught up with Louie, but I did check out his stuff from time to time.

If you would like some song recommendations from Geeks, some of my favorite songs from them include ‘Is You‘ featuring Lena Park, ‘Sometimes‘ featuring Crush, ‘Divin‘, ‘Raining‘ featuring Park Soo Min, and ‘Siren‘ featuring Swings. But these are just some of my favorites, they have a lot more amazing music you should listen to!

As usual, give ‘Fireworks’ a listen if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it as Geeks always delivers with their music. They have never failed to disappoint me which explains why I’m such a huge fan of them even after all these years. They’re a great and talented hip-hop duo and I’m just glad that they’re finally back.

Source: KWorldNation@youtube, HYUK_MUMBLESTASH20 @ youtube, 420힙합 @ youtube, Soribada Music Channel @ youtube, 1theK @ youtube, WKE music @ youtube

KARD makes their official debut with ‘Hola Hola’!

“KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARD.” – says every KARD fan ever.

Co-ed group KARD consisting of female members Somin and Jiwoo and male members BM (aka Matthew) and J. Seph has finally made their official debut!

There are many reasons as to why KARD has become so successful and they continue to maintain that streak of success and good tracks with official debut song ‘Hola Hola.’ Filmed in different locations that KARD visited for their world tour, ‘Hola Hola’ is a fun summer song and even includes references to first pre-release track ‘Oh Nana.’ In addition to their fun tracks, another thing they’re known for is their choreography and they’ve usually had at least a point dance move for each of the songs they’ve released so far (that’s one of the ways they were able to get people’s attention). Their debut is no exception as KARD did release a video with their point choreography to the song. It looks fun, but a little bit more complicated than their prior dance moves but still fun nonetheless.

In addition to a MV to ‘Hola Hola’, KARD also released their first mini-album also titled ‘Hola Hola.’ Consisting of 6 tracks overall, the mini-album includes the 3 pre-debut releases ‘Oh Nana’, ‘Don’t Recall,’ and ‘Rumor’ as well as 3 new tracks including ‘Hola Hola.’

I think the thing about KARD that fascinates me (and everyone) is how they literally came out of no where and managed to achieve such great success especially overseas. The group first experimented with the public by releasing 3 pre-debut tracks over the course of the last few months to gauge and see what the general reaction would be and I was actually expecting new member additions to the group upon hearing that they were officially going to debut later (I thought KARD would be one of those groups where they start off as a small project with just a few members at first and then the rest of the members of the group would be revealed later on during the actual debut). When met with unexpected success and immense popularity overseas, KARD then capitalized on this success by venturing on a world tour to meet their international fans all over the world. I don’t think the company and members themselves expected to become this big. I’m glad that they’re getting their names out there just because it’s so rare to see co-ed groups nowadays in the K-pop industry and also because it’s rare for newer groups to become successful because of how over-saturated the K-pop industry is now. With that being said, out of the 4 title tracks KARD has released my favorite would probably have to be ‘Oh Nana’ followed by ‘Don’t Recall.’ I wasn’t feeling ‘Rumor’ as much even though I still do think it’s a good song and I still have to give ‘Hola Hola’ a few more listens to enjoy it.

I’m glad that KARD has been able to travel around the world to meet their fans and put on concerts as well as make good music (they’ve actually been confirmed for KCON LA this year!). I think they’ve been definitely appealing a lot more to their international fans so I’m curious to see how they’ll do domestically in Korea now that they’ve made their official debut. I’m just hoping their company DSP Media won’t mess them up like how they’ve done with their other groups and artists. KARD has been doing a good and stable job building a reputation and name for themselves. I hope they can keep doing that with their future releases.

Source: KARD @ youtube, 1theK @ youtube