Song Review: Ballistik Boyz – Animal

Like many 2019 and 2020 debuts, Exile Tribe’s Ballistik Boyz haven’t really had a fair shake of it. Building your fan base is hard in the midst of a socially distanced pandemic, but the guys have continued to release material that paints them as the energetic, rough-and-tumble younger brothers to their Exile senior acts. Though they experiment every now and then, their music is usually rooted in hip-hop. But apart from their bombastic debut Tenhane (1000%), I always find myself enjoying their b-sides more than their singles.

This continues with Animal, whose b-side track Like Is A Party practically screams “summer single.” Animal opts for a trendier sound, cribbing from many of the sonic elements that make up much of today’s hip-hop, including the dreaded “skrrt.” You’ll often catch me railing against ill-placed trap breaks within K-pop and J-pop, but I can appreciate a trap-infused song that’s intentional about what it is. Animal doesn’t feel aimless. It sets itself up as a groovy mid-tempo hip-hop/r&b track and largely succeeds in this aim.

This is due to a strong hook at Animal’s core. The chorus isn’t particularly fancy, but it harnesses a delicious melodic sweep that matches the instrumental well. I could do without some of the affectations surrounding it, but this is an otherwise grade-A head-nodder. It helps that Ballistik Boyz have a surprisingly rich set of vocalists who bring a ton of personality to the track. I may not necessarily believe they’re “wild wild animals,” but they certainly know how to deliver a swaggering performance.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

3 thoughts on “Song Review: Ballistik Boyz – Animal

  1. Whoa I really enjoyed this.

    Ok sorry that this isn’t totally about the song but I’ve noticed that a lot of Exile groups only have 2 vocalists in the group and the rest focus on performance. It’s cool to see a group where it seemed like the vocals were distributed across the whole group.

    this is a fun trap r&b beat and I like all the performances. it’s cool.


  2. Life is a Party is amazing. This one isn’t bad either! I really like the layers of vocals in the chorus. In very outdated terms I would declare this a bop – it has a very headbopping quality to it.


  3. Okay song, but not here to talk about that.

    I finished The Mo’s whole discography (thanks Nick), and I just thought I should give some thoughts.

    City Hearts is great, but I feel it could be better. With a bit more polish, it would beat Night in the Zoo!

    I’m A Monster is great, it should have been part of a full album.

    Now I fully love Nostalgia Locomotive, who is the female vocalist?

    Now to my main thought, WHY did Nicklas Stenemo never release his album. Child, Perfect Day, and Take a Chance in Paris are all so, so, so, good, I loved them all! I think I liked them a bit more than even a large part of the group work! What happened, why did he never ever release the album?! Super confused and frustrated due to that.


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