Okay, we’re going to switch things up a bit today – just this one time. R&B phenom Crush and Red Velvet’s Joy have released a single together, and like all the high-profile duets this month, it’s climbed straight to the top five of the charts. People clearly love Crush and Joy, I get that. I like them, too. And presumably, people like this song.
I don’t like this song. I hate almost everything about it, but that’s a given. These kind of go-nowhere trap ditties have never appealed to me. We’ve been through this before, so many times. I find the lethargic vocal delivery to be uninspiring. I find the tinny, skeletal percussion to be grating (though I do like the synth surrounding it). I find the melody to be so slight that it’s almost nonexistent. But most of all, I find the energy to be completely inert.
Yet, this kind of music obviously impresses a large swath of fans. To me, this is a complete mystery. So, in the spirit of learning and growing, I ask for your help. If you love Mayday (or songs of its nature), please tell me why. What about this style appeals to you? Has it always appealed to you, or have you grown to like it over time? And specifically for those fans of trap music: what about the genre do you like?
I promise not to be argumentative – I’m genuinely curious. Other than trap, I don’t think there’s ever been a music genre I’ve detested across the board. Maybe I’m just missing some redeeming qualities? Enlighten me, please!
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!
Oooooooof, Joy has a good instinct in picking collaboration projects to have some good numbers but the few seconds she sings in it is even worse than the rest of the song.
For me: I like to listen to songs like this before sleeping, because they…
– don’t distract me (the instrumental and melody feel like background noise).
– don’t sound as dramatic and sad as many ballads.
– fit my sluggish mood.
With that being said: It’s very unlikely that I will look up one of these songs throughout the day. They don’t make me happy. They don’t make me sad. It feels like a waste of time, that I could have used with better music.
(Dean ‘Instagram’ is actually my go to song, when I’m unable to sleep)
I liked the chorus, I think Crush sounded nice and had some nice flows throughout. It was nice, though I don’t think I’ll ever return to it. For me breezy tracks have never been my thing, and I usually listen to dance tracks for a better mood. Yesterday I wasn’t feeling so good, so I listened to the rapping in Nct 127’s Punch, its very memorable and a little hilarious. The flow is very interesting and I liked when Jaehyun said that this track was a straight bang. Those moments I enjoy because there’s some personality injected into the lines. This track doesn’t have those moments and by the end I won’t have anything to remember the performers for. If I compare this to Zico’s Anysong, a track which isn’t perfect, but I enjoyed a lot more because Zico put more effort and had a memorable message which was conveyed greatly through his music video. In adittion IU put out Eight, a song that I can clearly remember due to IU’s amazing vocals and the catchy post-chorus. For me personally I enjoy trap from time to time. I thought the trap in TXT’s CYSM, NCT 127’s Punch, and Kick. In those tracks trap was great but in Myday there isn’t much going on and the trap here is difficult to listen to. Another song with anoying trap was Cravity’s BATR, if you ask me to mimick that instrumental today I wouldn’t remember a thing. If you asked me to mimick the instrumental to a track like Wonderland I would easily remember that because it had a variety of things going on that weren’t overshadowed by the trap but were better because of it.
Myday by Crush
This is a chil background music, This is the kind of I have in my study playlist because they are easy to listen to and not very distracting
I get this, and know many people who prefer to have a playlist of background music. I guess that’s never been my thing, even when I was back in school studying.
Cheer up Nick! You know what else got released this week? THIS!
THIS showed up on my youtube feed this morning! And because of your blog, I know something (very small) about this.
Oh, you KNOW I’ve already got this on my queue to watch!
One of the only positives about this whole pandemic is that it’s ushered in an era where Japanese agencies are finally throwing all their weird stuff on youtube. This was part of my viewing last night:
Sano (center) just kills me with his dumb, manic energy. And the background image choices? Um…
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that was like…. the greatest Zoom concert i have ever been invited to.
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yes, please, thank you, arigato gozaimasu!
And then from 18:00 to end, they are just all talking over each other, nattering away. Sheesh, my zoom calls are no where near as fun.
I’m glad you can appreciate the stupidity of this video like I did. I died when the cows appeared.
It’s all about being in the right mood for this kind of music I guess. I love a good upbeat dance track more than anything, but I can get into songs like these as well if I’m feeling in the mood for it, and especially if I enjoy the vocal tone of the performer (which in Crush’s case, I do).
It does have to have a certain level of catchiness and melody though or there’s just nothing to latch on to. But since vocal tone is important to me, I could listen to someone like DEAN sing just about anything for hours.
The above can apply to any style of R&B though, and I definitely prefer more interesting production than trap. If there are other, more idiosyncratic elements mixed in it helps a lot.
This track is okay and I’ll listen to it occasionally but Crush releases like Cereal, Outside, and Woo-Ah will get many more plays from me for for their more memorable aspects.
Think Mariah Carey and her ground breaking (perhaps even genre making) early 90s rapper collaborations. It’s arguably a cultural thing for Hip Hop and R&B, often shoved together demographically, coming together in more natural ways and the presence of it in k-music is likely a hold over from the korean transposing of Hip Hop and R&B culture in general. But in general it’s taking the opposites and putting them together in a way that feels groovy & chill. Finding a way to marry the two tastes for more mass appeal.
I would reccommend artists like Saay who tread this line more artfully; ‘Overzone (extended)’ in particular might be something you like or perhaps ZGZG? Ultimately it comes to taste and as a black person who grew up listening to the mixture it feels comforting and nostalgic to me in the way that a lot of kpop can make me feel nostalgic for the pop scene of the early 2000s too.
Now, this is not the song in particular to go to bat for (it doesn’t sound awful but it isn’t rocking my world LOL) but perhaps with the perspective we’ll bring in the comments you’ll be able to look at the genre with fresh eyes. Even if it ends up not being your taste still maybe understanding why it works for people will help you get it as a genre more.
See, I LOVE 90’s Mariah Carey. I think it’s really just the trap thing that kills me. I just hate the sound of it, and I feel like it doesn’t allow for any melodic development or sense of dynamics. I’d be much happier if K-pop went further down the smooth 90’s r&b pop (which is what I grew up on, too).
Ok yeah, I definitely think people use the tropes of trap to rest on their laurels but that isn’t a uniquely trap problem. Trap can be used in interesting ways but it not being your style means that it has to be truly exceptional for it to be something you like vs. something that is more of a sweet spot/favored by you perhaps having an easier time of being liked. It’s your bias showing 😉
True. I would give way more leeway to other genres (rock, synthpop, dance, etc) even with a subpar song, but I also just think they’re inherently more interesting and allow for more sonic diversity.
But again… bias 🙂
It really depends on the mood that I’m in. These days I feel lonely and sad and so I find myself seeking lo-fi, city pop, 80s/90s Korean ballads a lot more than upbeat stuff.
You made a previous comment about this where you said what better way to lift spirits up during uncertain times than an upbeat dance track. Well, that’s not for everyone. Some people want to seek sympathy, they want to listen to music that emulates their emotions and feelings.
To put this into context, let’s say ur feeling down because something bad happened. Two friends come along your way each presenting u different ways to make you feel better. One friend cries with u, says how that sucks, and that everything’s gonna be OK. The other friend takes u by the hand, tells u to stop blubbering like a baby, and takes u to an amusement park.
Music can be so many things to a person. It can be used when feeling sad, drinking coffee, while breathing in the crisp air of early morning, etc… Some people tend to prefer lyrical poignancy and relevancy over other things. I’ve got the entire discography of Epik High downloaded, the messages they send through their songs really helped me during my teens and even now.
I’m curious abt your musical tastes. Does your mood affect the type of music you listen to?
As for the trap question, I think people like to feel cool and swag. Some of my friends listen to it. Maybe it’s a generational difference thing. Idk.
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I love this comment! Very well-reasoned. And yep, I think I’m just different. I’m definitely in the camp of “distract me with fun dance track,” but I’m also a pretty even-keeled person so my mood doesn’t fluctuate much. Because of this, I don’t think mood really drives the kind of music I listen to. I have a feeling I’m in the minority when it comes to this.
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I love Joy and Crush but such a high profile team deserved a better song. Why would I “vibe” with this kind of music when I could vibe with, you know, music I actually enjoy? I don’t need this. I don’t think Joy’s voice is for this type of song, either. Come on, they could’ve done so much better.
But the artists are happy and it’s successful so I guess I’m happy for them, too.
It is toppinh charts because it a good song to casually listen to and thats just what the song is trying to be. Simple, straightforward with fun lyrics. Why do people release tracks like these you ask??? Because not everyone enjoys Stray Kidz and NCT shouting Kick Punch boom in their ears like you do. This is a song for the GP. This is also the type of music Crush releases. Give it a 5 but I don’t understand your rage at people having a different taste than yours.
Can we call it “rage” when Nick is trying to understand why people are enjoying it by creating a discussion with them ?
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Nothing wrong with raging against music machine star power cash grab. I can use “4 walls” as quarantine background music and as a genuine pop song. This is not.
Oh boy, I’ve thinking about just how trap has managed to take hold of all genres across the board and there are quite a few reasons. I wanted added some Gen Z context here. Okay, yeah, I agree trap is trending cause it’s cool and hip but it runs slightly deeper. (Also I’m more familiar with the American pop sphere, so examples cited might be American).
Majority of its appeal comes from its ‘vibey’ and ‘moody’ aesthetic as many people already pointed out. As a gen Z (? and knowing from people who LOVE this music, the ‘moody’ aesthetic is like comfort food to the mind. Already, with the cutthroat competition, and the current world situation not improving things either, at least for these people, prefer to wallow and brood, the sort of ‘doomer’ mentality. Trap, inherently as a genre, taps into this mood with the slow bpm, ominous beats and dark subject matter. The lethargic vocals appeal to the apathetic mind-set, slow bpm appealing to the constantly tired physicality as the stress piles down and crashes under. The drug-hazed autotune serves a purpose, a production equivalent of that numb feeling as you take those pills to suppress the depth of the darker emotions. Dark subject matter was the defining theme of trap around 2014-2015 but tbh, lyrical content hardly matters now. I’ve seen this trend lasting over the American charts for a while now, even noticed the evolution of trap music (shockingly). Trap has evolved into ‘emo rap’, ‘drill’ etc…. (it’s very hard to classify). The ‘dark concept’ of the current kpop landscape kinda stems from here (epically the emo and SoundCloud rap scene) although I can’t comment completely as I’m still relatively a casual kpop fan.
The moodiness of trap has also resulted in the chill background music crowds, which is already mentioned by a comment. The relatively static groove and lo-fi aesthetic is great for studies/sleep and the boom from streaming platforms has allowed the ‘mood music’ to thrive even more. I’m pretty certain it would’ve happened for any style of music to thrive longer had it come out during the streaming boom, trap sustained at the right time and now its reaping the fruits…and adding to the earlier context, majority of the listeners/fans come from the gen Z naturally it would have to be more popular? Listening habits have also changed significantly, passive listening has become the norm and you can just churn out anything, people won’t scrutinize the quality anyway. Trap is mood music.
Adding to the points, trap is easy to produce. Anyone with a bit of production basics, software and equipment can make music. This DIY approach appeals to the younger crowd to stand out since it feels ‘rawer’ and more personal. (Eg. Juice WRLD, XXXtentacion).
Even despite the darkness, trap can be surprising fun. I don’t know many kpop examples but in America, it’s Playboi Carti and Ski Mask. The sing-songy vocals (easy to vibe) and the triplet flows are darn catchy. Ties in the infectious and memeable nature. (case in point, Pentagon’s Shine).
I’m not salty about anyone’s diatribes with trap. Hell, it’s not my favourite hip-hop or mood music, but I just wanted to highlight the fascination for the youth for the genre and its appeal. I have a lot of trap songs love but it’ll take a while to explain.
I have a lot more to add (especially the emo-trap which majority of bgs seem to incorporate) but I some papers to write. Maybe someday, if there’s another angsty boy group comeback….
Sorry for the long post…I tried my best to articulate and this may be the first time I’ve tried to write in an analytical manner (maybe it’s more of a stream of consicous writing…idk)
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Thank you for this! I don’t know if it was your intention, but I found this both fascinating and utterly depressing.
I think a lot of this really is generational. I guess I’m technically a millennial (though much closer to gen x), so I grew up with a very different music experience. “Mood” music wasn’t a thing, and of course streaming didn’t exist (hell, the internet hardly existed!). It’s crazy how much has changed. In some ways, pop music has become more approachable, but I fear it’s also become more of a disposable commodity — consumed as background noise.
God, I swore to myself I would never be the person who always went on about “the good old days” as I got older, but I guess some things can’t be helped.
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Thanks for the kind words. Goal achieved….
My intention was to just to bring out the emotional appeal, even though it’s ugly in reality. About the generation gap, I’m a older gen Z and even I don’t get certain trends (ugh, those cringey shrill vocals with trap in many girl groups).
I would really love to expand more on streaming. I even have some stats to quote but I’ll wait for a more relevant post.
(PS. The above comment is my first comment ever here. I guess I’ll lurk around here and comment sometimes. This site is a haven for critical conversation unlike the other kpop review sites. Thanks for being the pilot of this flight!)
This song in particular is one thing: music to play when you’re bored and don’t want to be anything else. It elicits exactly zero emotional or physical response, positive or negative, and is therefore perfect when you want to feel blah. I believe in polite terms, people would refer to this as “chill,” which is essentially being pleasantly bored.
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Hmm, honestly the reason I enjoy this song is because it matches perfectly with my current emotions during the lockdown that a lot of us are under. I relate very well to the lyrics , even the dreariness and the lack of energy emitted from the song. I guess the song comforts me and that’s why I like it. I’ve never been a huge fan of trap but this song just resonates with me. Sorry, I’m not at all well-versed in the technical speech of music yet but its basically the mood? of the song that attracts me. I feel like if not under the current circumstances, I wouldn’t have liked it as much.