It’s Monday again so its time for the LAST ROUND of #MMMPlaylist!
For the last ten weeks I’ve shared songs of various genres and languages that I feel deserved more love. Now we have reached the end and nothing has changed! The last six songs are tracks I love in general that should be known on a wider scale from old to brand new.
Join us for the LAST round of #MMMPlaylist!
(In no particular order)
Yubin-Lady (JYP Entertainment)
Lady is a new song by Kim Yubin, formerly of The Wonder Girls. We at Jinjja Cha have a lot of love for The Wonder Girls, and we’ve been lucky enough to be blessed with talented members who give us nothing but gems. Sunmi is out here slaying with her Gashina era solo stuff, Yenny is killing it as HA:TFELT (more on that later) and here we have rapper of the group Yubin, giving us 80s Japanese City Pop with her debut Korean single, Lady. There’s so much about this song I love: the soft vocals, the video, and the 80s synth pop sound Yubin already experimented with on The Wonder Girl’s 2015 album, Reboot.
Lyrically this song follows similar themes explored on Reboot, as it’s about a woman trying to get a man to show his feelings more instead of withholding them from her. The phrase, ‘Show me your heart’, is constantly repeated throughout the song and sounds like the background singers are almost pleading. I really like the balance of sultry and desperation in the lyrics too. Very 80s, VERY JYP too. Peep the translation here and don’t forget to look out for her album City Woman.
Check out the song and check out the awesome 80s Tokyo styled video!
BTS…this damn group. They’ve gone from strength to strength to become one of the biggest boybands in THE WORLD and I still feel like the Wings album is incredibly underrated and overlooked beyond the lead single, Blood, Sweat, Tears.
Begin is a song about the deep friendship Jungkook has with his fellow band members and he sings about the struggles they had coming up in the industry and as brothers in general. What we get is a silky R&B track with dance influences, with the strangest electronic sound in the background that I can’t get over. Lyrically and sonically this song is perfect and deserves more love. You make me begin…
Park Ji Yoon-Coming Of Age Ceremony (JYP Nation)
Let’s go back all the way to the year 2000. KPOP was really coming into itself and artists were exploring musical themes that would cause a ruckus. One of those people was Park Ji Yoon who at the age of 22 in Korea released, Coming Of Age Ceremony AKA Sung in Shik.
Coming Of Age Ceremony was written by Park Jin-Young himself (JYP…) and is explicitly about a woman telling a man that she’s no longer a girl anymore. This song is definitely not underrated as it went on to become one of the biggest KPOP songs of all time. However, it’s definitely underrated on an international scale, and as Jinjja Cha is a podcast from an international perspective, it’s only right that I share songs that were part of my teen years growing up as a KPOP fan in the early 00s.
The song itself typically early 00s sounding pop with Max Martin influences and Eastern instrumentation (if you were a fan of Timbaland and Missy at the time, you heard a lot of this back then). Just hearing the intro takes me right back to 2002 when the song was two years old but still was very popular. The version on the playlist however is more Amy Lee from Evanescence than Britney Spears. This version was recently recorded for a 20th Anniversary concert Park Ji Yoon recently did that is available on Spotify. I included this version to show that after all these years, Park Ji Yoon actually CAN sing and was more than just a sexy gimmick dreamt up by JYP.
Millic & Fanxychild -Paradise (HIGHGRND)
Millic is a DJ and Producer from a collective called HIGHGRND. In 2017 he collaborated with a team of the best and brightest producers, singers and rappers from Korea aka: Fanxychild.
This group consists of: Zico, Penomeco, Crush, Dean, Millic, and Staytuned and they came together to give us the underrated gem that is Paradise. Not only is the music video wild and wonderful but lyrically, every artist delivers with surrealist bars about living in a waking dream-state.
This song means a lot to me because I’m a fan of literally every artist featured on this track, so to see them come together to form this supergroup is just…wow. I need more music from Fanxychild that is as boundary pushing as this!
HA:TFELT-Pluhmm (Amoeba Culture)
Yenny aka Ye-Eun now known as HA:FELT has been delivering gems since her Wonder Girls days. Now the group is officially over, HA:FELT has been able to dive more into the musical sound she had been trying to make for years. Ironically, just like Yubin and Sunmi, HA:FELT’s music doesn’t sound like a huge departure from The Wonder Girl’s original sound, which was constantly evolving. This particular song Pluhmm could’ve easily been on the single to Why So Lonely? after the song Beautiful You. Lyrically this song is definitely a bit more grown up and matches similar themes to Gashina and Lady by Sunmi and Yubin. Our Wonder Girls have officially grown up and are singing about sex and desire. I freaking love this song and I’m very interested to hear the other album cuts. This song can be found on the single, Deine, you should also check out its predecessor MEINE.
DJ Doc-Run To You (Buda Musique)
Let’s jump in the time machine back to 2000 when DJ DOC was tearing up the charts with Run To You. In order to understand how Korea developed such an affinity for Hip-Hop in various forms, we have to go back to the 90s when pioneers like Seo Taiji & Boys, and DJ Doc: Kim Chang-yeol, Lee Ha-neul and Jung Jae-yong were all over the charts making housewives clutch pearls and driving the kids crazy. There wasn’t a sudden a jump from Seo Taeji to artists like Zico etc. In fact, Korea went through the same ‘cheesy’ rap era that we experienced in the West. The only difference is that we lived through that era in the 80s and they had it in the 90s. DJ DOC are still one of my fav fun Hip-Hop influenced groups to listen to, especially on retro Kpop nights.
It’s because of the success of these three men that we even have hip-hop has a mainstay in KPOP songs as they took the sound and made it more palatable for Korean audiences and they’re still loved for it to this day. Their song, ‘I’m A Guy Like This’ is still my jam and I love to shout the adlibs at the Norebang, in the street, in my shower…whenever it comes on. Put some respect on DJ DOC’s name and read this article for more information about who they were and learn about their impact on Korean music.
Question: What’s YOUR favourite song from the #MMMplaylist?