Song Review: Uhm Jung Hwa – Hop In (ft. Hwasa & DPR Live)

Fresh off her stint with Refund Sisters, K-pop legend Uhm Jung Hwa has returned. And, she’s brought ‘sister’ Hwasa along for the ride. These two divas pair with rapper DPR Live for the retro-leaning Hop In (호피무늬). Last time Jung Hwa released a solo music video was all the way back in December of 2017, when she impressed with the mature and beguiling Ending Credit. Hop In opts for a trendier groove, while simultaneously looking back at some of the 90’s sounds of her heyday.

Hwasa opens the track with a slow burn introduction. This is an odd choice, and makes Hop In feel more like a Hwasa (or Mamamoo) single. But given both acts’ current popularity, I can see why Jung Hwa wanted to immediately grab attention from a younger generation of listeners. From here, the song reveals itself as a New Jack Swing hybrid, borrowing equally from the past and present. I love this instrumental. It’s got a gritty texture, and that insistent snare gives it a head-nodding consistency.

DPR Live tethers his verse to this same beat, which is incredibly refreshing. It’s so nice to hear a rap break that compliments the track rather than force a tempo change that upends the groove. More idol groups would be wise to vary their flow like this. Unfortunately, Hop In’s hook is less endearing. It’s pretty one-note, and lacks the punch I’d expect given the exciting instrumental. Jung Hwa and Hwasa make a formidable pairing, but they’re just not given enough to do. Hop In’s pre-chorus is infinitely stronger, pulsing with the kind of drive and attitude these ladies so naturally exude.

 Hooks 7
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8


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