Song Review: Pentagon (Yuto, Kino, Wooseok) – Cerberus

Pentagon - CerberusMilitary enlistment has always been part of K-pop’s boy group narrative, but in past generations these enlistments often occurred after a group had already reached their commercial peak (or ended their contract). This newer generation tends to have a slower, steadier rise in fan base, meaning that some members enlist just as their group is gaining steam. It’s interesting to see how agencies handle this. Larger group configurations certainly help.

One way to get around the enlistment dilemma is to create sub-units. There’s no telling if Pentagon’s Yuto, Kino and Wooseok will forge a lasting unit, but they’ve teamed up for special hip-hop single Cerberus. The track is a nice departure from most of Pentagon’s group work, though it’s more of a curiosity than a chart-conquering smash.

Cerberus’s bass-heavy beat echoes my favorite tracks from the group’s last album, pounding with a gritty groove that will sound great when played as loud as your speakers can handle. I could do without the whistling samples, but the entire track is a playground of competing sound effects. This chaotic energy matches the trio’s performance, which often has an unhinged character. There’s not much of a hook to be found, but I don’t think that’s the point. Cerberus is all about intensity. And while it may not be the kind of song I find myself reaching for often, I can’t fault its ability to get the listener’s pulse racing. At the very least, it’s one of the strangest unit tracks to come out of a mainstream idol group in a while.

 Hooks 7
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.75

22 thoughts on “Song Review: Pentagon (Yuto, Kino, Wooseok) – Cerberus

  1. The first thing I thought when I listened to this song was that they sound like they’re saying “Yeah, we are care bears.”

    I’m not that into most hip hop, so most of this goes over my head. The song sounds interesting even if I’m not into it, aside from that odd hook haha.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. From the teasers I thought I would hate this so I was pleasantly surprised that it’s just a batsh*t energetic hiphop something that is quite fun for what it is. The production is super fun and weird. Agree with this review though my personal rating would be a bit higher, probably an 8.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Damn it, you tricked me into listening to a Japanese track, and it’s a freaking banger! NOOOOOOOOOO!

      (I do not actually have anything against Japanese tracks, just that following the Korea music scene basically takes up all the free time I currently wish to spend on music at this time in my life.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So here is the thing, “Cerberus” in Greek starts with a kappa not a sigma, so yeah it is technically “Kerberus”.

    I like this song more than a should. The deliberate shagginess to it. Here is a song that throws a kitchen sink of sounds into it, and somehow it works. Layers of different timbre raps all playing off each other. The songcraft probably follows a strict 4/4 with 4 or 8 measures to the line, but all those inserted sounds and ad libs make it sound more abstract with mixed meter.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I don’t know if I’ll be listening to this song a lot. It’s a short,fun, and weird listen. However, the lack of a hook (that repeats) is both part of the appeal but also something that I would need so I could think of the song when I’m not listening to it. I think the “watch out” and “woo woo woo” parts were both pretty catchy and I wouldn’t have minded them getting expanded on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is where proper remixes come in handy. in my limited experience, I haven’t seen too many Kpop groups take advantage of doing that.


  5. Wow, this is, an unexpected score. I honestly thought it would be lower due to the lack of a hook!
    And you’re right, the song doesn’t have a hook, which is probably the main reason why I can’t embrace “Cerberus” fully even though Pentagon is one of my all time favourite kpop groups (and the catalyst for me getting into kpop). Then again, hip-hop is a music genre I’m not too familiar with.

    I love the cute allusion when Kino says “When us “mayonnaise” are gathered” which Yuto, Kino and Wooseok called themselves that in a variety content episode last year. It was a mission they had to do as the maknae line:

    Pentagon has done hip-hop songs before (i.e. “Lost Paradise”) but for team Mayonnaise to dip their toes deep into the gritty, cool music territory, I definitely admire them for that.

    So, after seeing the more positive reactions to this song, I went into the song again through a new lens; a new perspective.
    I think this is a song that I can appreciate for the unit’s ambition and innovation So even if this isn’t a song I would go out of my way to listen to like a lot of the group’s other songs, I’m glad that I could appreciate this song a lot more.

    Liked by 1 person

      • In the video I embedded into my reply (I embedded with the time stamp too but I don’t it works. My bad.), it a variety episode where Pentagon’s maknae line (Yuto, Kino and Wooseok) were going to chant their team name and then proceed with the variety content.

        Basically one of the members (Wooseok) misheard the other (Yuto) shouting “maknaes” for “mayonnaise” during the team chant. Right after Kino thought it sounded like a good team so the trio just went along with the team name “mayonnaise” for the rest of this video whenever they do the chant with the whistle. It’s really cute!

        7:44 – 8:05 of the video if you want to witness the mayonnaise origin story yourself hehe

        Ah I forgot to add this but even one of the goodies that comes along with buying the physical copy of “Cerberus” has the members being represented as mayonnaise bottles for the keyring:

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I want to like this, but from the perspective of a semi-serious hip-hop fan, I think the guys overreached. I love PENTAGON, but they don’t have a particularly strong rap line, and I think a hookless track like this calls for more developed flows to really shine.


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