A few days ago, BAE173’s debut single Crush On U came on random shuffle. I forgot what a jam that song is. But more than anything, it made me marvel at how much the group’s sound has changed since 2020. With member Nam Dohyun now in charge of production, the guys have moved sharply into hip-hop. Dohyun’s songwriting affectations aren’t really for me, but that’s a subjective issue. I’m more curious what the other guys think. These new songs center him and the three other rappers while leaving little for everyone else to do. Is this what they signed up for?
This is me speculating on aspects I have no direct knowledge of, so please take it as a point of honest curiosity rather than any kind of judgment. Songs like DaSH would make great Nam Dohyun solos. But for a multi-faceted idol group, they feel a little restrictive. In K-pop’s post-NCT universe, this sound is hardly unique. And in the grand scheme of idol hip-hop tracks, DaSH comes equipped with a strong beat that keeps the energy up. But, the song feels a little aimless. Apart from a predictably vocal-centric pre-chorus, most of the voices are slathered with effects. This works better in some places than others.
There’s an obvious humor in shouting “I don’t give a what!” while dancing in perfect formation within an expensive, effects-heavy music video. I mean, you guys clearly give a “what”… and a who, when and where. Or, at least your agency does. But more than that, this chorus feels like a placeholder. It’s not delivering anything but empty braggadocio. Braggadocio can be fun, but DaSH needs a more inventive structure or hooky performance to fully seize attention.