Song Review: Zico – Summer Hate (ft. Rain)

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.

 Hooks 5
 Production 6
 Longevity 6
 Bias 5

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


11 thoughts on “Song Review: Zico – Summer Hate (ft. Rain)

  1. You know, I was almost pleasantly surprised with this one – the verses are a bit of a toe-tapper, thanks to a relatively lively beat. Then the chorus came along and suctioned any rhythm or momentum out of the track, and my cursor was no longer hovering over the “Add to Library” button.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. summer hate isn’t for me either, but I really liked ‘cartoon’ in zico’s EP, its a fun gospel-infused song (albeit a bit too repetitive) with interesting production, a fun take on trap

    maybe worth checking out!!


    • I beg to differ. This song is about HATING summer, not loving summer. And I feel the melody, lyrics and that tik tok dance that you are not a big fan of perfectly matches that. If you want a more happy typical summery kind of melody, I understand why you wouldn’t like this song but remember, this song is not about liking summer btw (reiterating so that you know).


        • Oh, he definitely got his point across. Personally, I don’t find it a very appealing thing to write about, but to each his own. However, this song could’ve been written about anything and I still wouldn’t have enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I just hate this style of music.


  3. I wonder why so many k hip-hop fans have so much respect for Zico while depreciating almost every other idol rappers. Yes he is one of the best but I don’t think he is more skilled than the others top idol rappers. And his music isn’t even hip-hop.

    Well considering the state of the k hip-hop scene I’m not really surprised that he is popular there but I don’t know what makes him more “legitimate”.


  4. But if we consider that Rain has been the mentor of the deadliest talent show in the whole TV history (I cannot name another format that completely ruined the career of *every single contestant* like The Uni+ did) and that one of his greatest hits has been ridiculously improved by a rookie group’s cover, well: maybe being featured in a Zico’s title track cannot be that bad.


  5. I thought this was a decent, chill song. And supposedly this song have Rain featuring…….where is it exactly? I felt like i only heard zico singing? Dude have one of the most distinctive tone in the industry and somehow zico completely erased that character?


  6. I really should hate this song. Really … should …. hate …. OK, I will make do with a “don’t love it”.
    Actually, I think the song itself is okay-ish, but I think it would have been better performed and produced in other hands for another group because it would take the Zico-ness out of it. You know how some Prince songs sound better with someone else not Prince performing it? (for one example, Chaka Khan “Feel for You”, perfect for Chaka less so for Prince himself.) This one, if there were multiple members performing it, it would have automatically broken up the monotony of the verses. It could almost be “Shine”-style sleeper hit material.


  7. I do find it funny that Zico chose Rain to sing the chorus that includes lyrics that translate to something like ‘I want to hide from the sun’. ‘How to run from the sun’ is still one of my favorite songs of all time!


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