Tl; dr: Borrowing from the eternal words of one Ms. Lizzo, MRSHLL is 100 percent THAT BITCH!
You know I couldn’t very well celebrate the Gayest Month™ without showing my deep love and affection for Marshall Bang. Stylized as MRSHLL, the Korean-American singer made a big splash last year when he announced his plans to debut in Korea, making him the country’s first openly gay artist to debut. While he did feature on a few songs, it wasn’t until Auntie Yoon Mirae and Uncle Tiger JK adopted him into the Feel Ghood Family that his recognition skyrocketed. Eventually Holland, Korea’s first openly gay idol (yes, the distinction must be made) would make his solo debut, with the highly anticipated music video for “Neverland.” However, MRSHLL was steadily creating music, nurturing his craft and being guided by veritable legends.
Thus his debut album “Breathe.” Released June 5, 2018, the album explores themes of romance, intimacy and, yes, sexuality. He’s unapologetic in his songwriting, creating music that’s both powerful and just damn good.
On the heels of that release, we were gifted the music video for lead single “Come Over.” The song is a sensual midtempo dance track, the music simple yet perfect for the soulful bite of MRSHLL’s tone. The MV itself is simplistic — what appears to be a home movie of the man in a world of his creation. There are trees, various pop-art posters, artifacts from before the turn of the century. At the center of it all, MRSHLL sits, a man on his throne singing his heart out to someone he desperately wants to share his company.
In a clever bit of seductive narrative, he drops the first verse and chorus of Michael Jackson classic “P.Y.T.” before the final few moments of “Come Over” ease their way back in. It’s fitting, both the blending of songs and the personal touches of the video. MRSHLL has proven himself to be bold, brazen, unafraid to express the more flirtatious side of himself as easily as he exposes some of his vulnerabilities.
Though one doesn’t want to get too wrapped up in the man’s sexuality, there’s no denying that he’s pushing so many boundaries, testing the openness of his viewing public. The video is understated, but with his brash sensibilities, he makes one thing exceptionally clear: He’s here. He’s queer. And, dammit, he’s here to stay. With a voice like his, no one would ever doubt him.
(Paper Mag, YouTube, NBC News.)