iKON is YG Entertainment‘s newest boy group, formed through a series of survival shows that saw them debuting one year after their peers Winner. The guys may have only recorded one full album so far, but with YG’s singles-oriented release schedule, they have just enough title tracks for a top ten countdown. iKON is currently one of the most hip-hop heavy idol groups in k-pop, but there’s more to their music than party-starting hype tracks. Here’s their best work.
10. Bling Bling (2017)
Trumpeted by a thunderous brass riff, Bling Bling’s hip-hop braggadocio is dated but fun. It’s definitely a case of attitude over melody, but iKON just about pulls it off. (full review)
9. #WYD (2016)
The group’s only 2016 release, #WYD takes a mellower, jazzy approach that trades in-your-face hooks for a languid springtime appeal. (full review)
8. Rhythm Ta (2015)
The first single to establish the group’s more hip-hop driven side, Rhythm Ta throws back to the bright sing-along rap of the early 00’s.
7. B-Day (2017)
Attempting a Fantastic Baby level dance anthem, B-Day injects guitar and a driving stomp to craft a ridiculous brew of juvenile hooks and pop propulsion. (full review)
6. Anthem (2015)
Technically a B.I. and Bobby sub-unit track, though the rest of the group features in the video. Of all the group’s attempts to “go hard,” Anthem’s slick beat and addictive hook feel the most effortless.
5. Apology (2015)
Every YG group gets at least one ballad in this somber hip-hop style, but Apology is one of the stronger examples. You can thank the reliable songwriting of Teddy and Kush for that, supplying iKON with their most melodic, emotive single.
4. Dumb & Dumber (2015)
iKON have often been compared to a young Bigbang, and their youthful energy is on full display here. Dumb & Dumber is giddy fun from start to finish, melding an exhilarating dance floor stomp to a rambunctious chorus. (full review)
3. What’s Wrong? (2015)
Taking cues from label mate G-Dragon’s anthemic Crooked, What’s Wrong surges on guitar-fueled rock power. Smartly, it strips the group of gimmicks to focus fully on its rousing, sing-along melody. (full review)
2. My Type (2015)
Not the most bombastic of debuts, but My Type is among the group’s most enduring material. Its gentle, late summer lull spotlights iKON’s hip-hop side without ever seeming over-the-top or try-hard. It does a better job spotlighting the group’s playful appeal than any other song in their catalog.
1. Airplane (2015)
Airplane is not one of iKON’s highest performing or iconic singles, but it feels like their most credible piece of work. The synth-sprinkled mid-tempo beat is paired perfectly with a gorgeous, plaintive chorus that takes full advantage of the group’s vocal line. Rather than scream and shout to draw attention to itself, Airplane impresses with its restraint and timeless pop melody.