Though he was already popular, Zico has enjoyed even greater success this year thanks to his viral Any Song. Personally, I find the “TikTok challenge” nature of that track emblematic of everything wrong with pop music at the moment, but I’ll admit that it’s catchy (if annoying). In a somewhat similar situation, K-pop legend Rain has also had a 2020 resurgence thanks to his late-2017 track Gang becoming a meme. How perfectly representative of 2020 is this? Gang has become a hit because of how bad and cringy it is. The Korean charts are literally rewarding embarrassing musical choices! I guess that’s the natural legacy of meme/TikTok culture.
Anyway, Summer Hate brings together these two unlikely success-stories on a track that will likely appeal to trap fans and those who have enjoyed Zico’s solo music in the past. To say it’s not for me would be an understatement. I find everything about this song to be irritating, from its try-hard wittiness to its lifeless energy. It’s hard to believe that this is the guy who helped craft so many Block B classics. Summer Hate’s idea of a hook is a sing-song “I hate this summer daaaaaaay” refrain, repeated in a lifeless fashion without any hint of melodic invention.
After such a storied career, it’s painful to watch Rain be reduced to this kind of work. His husky tone is wasted on Summer Hate’s throwaway chorus. It just all feels so low-effort, which I assume is supposed to be its charm? I don’t know… give me an actual melody and a more diverse sound palette and I’ll be happy. In fact, get rid of everything here except for that opening brass flourish and this will become a summer I don’t have to hate.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!