With over 2,600 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2012
It’s hard to believe, but there once was a time where trap-influenced hip-hop didn’t bother me. In Korea, the genre’s prominence was really kick-started by performers like G-Dragon, who used it not as a trendy flourish but as a delivery method for his colorful persona. 2012’s One Of A Kind isn’t entirely trap, but its skeletal beats definitely point in that direction. It’s also one of my favorite songs of that year, and one of the most addictive hip-hop tracks that K-pop has to offer.
Driven by personality, One Of A Kind stands as an off-kilter rallying cry for individuality. Fittingly, its structure is all over the place, held in check by a ridiculously catchy sing-song hook even as it stretches toward more experimental territory. The corrugated electro thump that underlines the instrumental gives the song a sturdy backbone, which helps to anchor an incredibly light-on-its-feet flow from G-Dragon. His rap has rarely been this charismatic, tottering from verse to verse with a freewheeling energy that makes every line feel improvised even as it’s delivered with surgical precision. One Of A Kind uses empty space to its benefit, never feeling overstuffed. It’s not a loud song, but its mile-a-minute stream of ideas forces listeners to pay attention. This is the kind of hip-hop I love most. It’s confident without being combative, and holds a surprise around every corner.
Those yellow braids, on the other hand? No, thanks.