Song Review: Bobby (iKON) – U Mad

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.

 Hooks 5
 Production 4
 Longevity 5
 Bias 4


26 thoughts on “Song Review: Bobby (iKON) – U Mad

  1. I will rank it 3, just bc, i ranked Lee Jin Hyuk’s Bedlam with a 4, unless like the reviewed one Bedlam doesn’t take itself too seriously. Fun fact Bedlam made it to the Top 20 best Kpop songs of 2020 for Billboard


      • Billboard is very weird. As is any other online pop magazine or youtuber that relies on click bait. They never give a bad review – they just don’t review it. The commentary style articles are either totally bland and happy clappy, or cooler-than-thou posturing by the author (“Moon” for example). The top charts are a game to play of how many points with what formula an artist can accrue.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think you’ve just summarised why this blog is sort of an oasis for me. Genuine and concrete reviews, with genuine discussion (it helps that they’re also very well-written). And who is Moon?

          Liked by 3 people

          • Rolling Stone did a top 75 list of best boy band songs of all time! First I do have to say that kpop was pretty well represented. However, in addition to some groups whom I would never consider to be a boy band (the Osmonds as a boy band? interesting.), they ranked at #5 a BTS b-side called “Moon”.

            of ALL time!

            beating out a whole swath of much better know songs, like say Jackson5 “ABC”.
            Nick pitched a small fit.



            • Haha, my question is hilarious in hindsight. Interesting list! On Moon..firstly, what a strange choice.. and so high up. Moreover, the argumentation..’heroes’ who ‘didn’t compromise their sound or their ideas’ .. ‘all they had to be was themselves’.. I don’t know. Moon I’m sure is not the most representative of BTS’s identity and ideas. More importantly, none of that is actually an argument for Moon being a great song.

              It reads like ‘BTS is amazing and deserve a top 5 spot: here is a random song of theirs’.


                • I’ve actually had a playlist of his songs in my library for the better part of last year. For some reason, I just neglected to check the credits to M!LK’s album and didn’t realize he did Winding Road too. It kind of blew my mind, and only reinforced my love for his music.


              • It has occurred to me that the Beach Boys are nowhere on the list. If they consider the Osmonds and the Bay City Rollers and the BeeGees to be boy bands, then where the hell are the Beach Boys. There are a dozen and a half reasons why “Good Vibrations” should be in the top 10.


            • Thank you for posting this Mymagoogle, now I can rant lol.

              I think there is a problem in western publications covering K-Pop. For many of them, K-Pop is this new thing which just arose, and now suddenly has a massive fandom. In a way, they see the instant 2015 BTS breakout, missing their 2014 growth, To many of them, BTS and BLACKPINK are the big trendsetters, and K-Pop is in its golden age, ready to fade soon. They forget H.O.T, Shinhwa, Seo Taiji, Cho Young-Pil, Add4, or even the Kim Sisters (who had a degree of fame in the west).

              Also, to them, K-Pop fans are linked to Stan twitter. Stan is a reference to an Eminem song about an obsessed fan, and in many ways, some K-Pop fans glorify this culture. Western publications have seen these fans at their worst, and don’t want to get on their wrong side, but they don’t research into the deep-ends of K-Pop. Moon was probably selected to pacify the more extremist MOST:7 era fans. I will give Rolling Stone credit, The Chaser, Sherlock, Mirotic, and Fantastic Baby all came on the list, though at lower spots. If you ask me, they probably just went on a popular K-Pop site (perhaps even this one), and saw these songs were acclaimed and posted them. For J-Pop, they even goofed up the current amount of members in Kat-Tun. In fact, I don’t think they properly researched Asian music before beginning the rankings.

              For the end of 2020 lists, I think some research was done, though not too much. A google search for great K-Pop songs 2020 won’t instantly give you ACE’s Favorite Boys, as groups like ACE rise through internet word of mouth, not streams or views. Plus, songs are selected from newer fandoms, to not turn away potential viewers. I just started my blog last August, and trust me, my viewers don’t always like the same genres as me. Thus, there is a temptation to write about popular stuff more. Eventually I beat that want, and actually the views went up afterward, but I digress. Bedlam was probably picked to appeal to Produce fans, or maybe the publication author genuinely likes it. I find it a more forgivable decision than Moon at 5, because an end of year list does not need to intake legacy or influence into its writing. Even if the writer really loved Moon, they should have put it below more influential songs (read: anything by the Jackson 5, and lots of other stuff).

              Now I am not part of a major publication, so I do not know the inside-outs, so I could be missing something. But from a reader perspective, this is what I get. I am not against the publications, in fact, I love several reviews by Rolling Stone (America, they get pretty off in other countries, but that is a rant for another day), but they should stick to stuff they know, or learn new stuff.

              Sorry for the rant.

              Liked by 1 person

            • That is such a bizarre choice, speaking as an ARMY. It’s like they tried so hard to please everyone that they ended up pleasing no one. Except for maybe a very small contingent of hardcore Jin stans, who I’m sure are still making threads about how underappreciated “Moon” is nonetheless. If the category is “boy band” songs… “Moon” isn’t even a boy band song, it’s a solo song. I can only assume some tortured unpaid intern looked at what was trending on Twitter and based the entry off of that.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. No, Bobby, I’ m not mad.. just disappointed.

    That’ s what I would say, but given the title I was not expecting the song to be to my taste. It really is a bit of an ear assault, but I think that’s intentional.


  3. This is not my style. The only way I would like this if it were wrapped up in a scene with actors kicking the shit out of a malfunctioning office printer. ‘


  4. honestly think youre being a little too harsh on this review, is this really worse than anything stray kids released in the past year? like i genuinely think this deserves more credit, its hard to dispute bobby’s charisma as a rapper and like someone previously commented, you cant help but admire how abrasive and polarizing it is.

    as the saying goes, “WHY YOU MAD SON?”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay okay. Disheartened, but not mad.

    The opening and first verse wasn’t for me, but the PRECHORUS did pump me up a bit. I was not a huge fan of the chorus.

    However, the second verse was absolutely enthralling to me. Bobby just have so much charisma to it and the background was a lot quieter so I could appreciate the sheer rap skill he has. Second half of the song FAR better than the first.

    Overall, not something I’ll go out of my way to listen to- but hey. I can vibe with it.


    • Honestly, while reading the lyrics, he sounds like a bully.

      For these type of posturing songs, I always do this weird thing where I close my eyes and weep, And say in a whiny, trembling voice “WHY U SHOUT AT ME” and I snicker to myself quietly.

      I 100% recommend it, if anyone is feeling bored!😀


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