It’s been over three years since iKON’s Bobby released his first solo album. I remember being hesitant about it before listening, but dual title tracks I Love You and Runaway totally convinced me otherwise – particularly the former. They brought a versatility that we hadn’t really heard from iKON’s music to that point, and fused his rap to a few knockout melodic hooks. I wish I could say the same about new single U Mad (야 우냐).
This is one of my least favorite iterations of K-rap. Its noisy production and performance feel like being part of a shouting match for three minutes, attempting to engage with someone who refuses to dial it down and have an actual conversation. To be fair, nuance is certainly not the goal when it comes to this confrontational track. U Mad is the sound of Bobby “going off,” as excited fans might say. To me, it’s like a jackhammer to the head, beating and grinding through shrapnel with a clattering, thudding arrangement. In this way, the song is aptly named. I wasn’t mad before listening to this, but I kind of want to punch a wall now. I don’t enjoy this feeling, but I have to give kudos to U Mad for delivering on its intent.
The thing is, Bobby is a really dynamic rapper. Strip away the obnoxious production (including that irritating flutelike whistle hidden in the background) and you might have a track worth listening to. As it stands, I can barely get through this. Not all songs are for all people, and U Mad is decidedly not for me.