Let me tell you, the month of July was filthy with tracks from artists that just need more attention. Of course, I could say that about every month. Honestly, Korean artists, especially those completely under the radar, continue to break the mold musically. Here are the tracks from July that made a deep impression.
Honorable Mention Metaphaurus Raps — Control
Released June 9
Okay, to be fair, the song itself was released before June 2019. However, the MV for “CONTROL” had such an intense impact on me I couldn’t start this list without giving it a shout out. Metaphaurus Raps is without a doubt one of the most explosive MCs I’ve had the pleasure of hearing in the past few years. His penmanship and his aggressive flow hearken back to hip hop long since forgotten in the annals of time. The likes of Chuck D, Eminem at his most transcendent, notes of Black Thought. Not so much in tone, but intention he’s got that kind of power.
So … Please do yourself a favor and give him a listen. Starting with this absolute fire!
01 B JYUN– MY_DEAR_MELODY
Released July 1
B JYUN. is an artist that should be on everybody’s radar. His voice is smooth as silk, and the producers he works with know how to wrap a lot of sensual smokiness around what could be considered generic break beats. July’s release of “MY_DEAR_MELODY” was a magical surprise for me. B JYUN. is slowly becoming more of a force in the R&B world. Songs like this are the reason why.
02 uju — Even Though a City Full of Ugly People
Released July 13
What can I say? I love me some old-school K-pop. uju‘s sound throws me all the way back to the glistening days of the then-fledgling sub-genre. Hints of groups like S.E.S, Baby V.O.X, and 1TYM, uju has taken the concept of early bubblegum pop and infused it with throaty vocals and live instrumentation. Really just a fun piece of pop music that I can 100 percent get behind!
03 Yeo Journey — Blame Game
Released July 22
Yeo Journey is a WHOLE MOOD AND A HALF! The darkness in his music, his off-kilter vocal style and his fearlessness as far as visuals are really what made me fall so quickly in love with this track. As much as I love me a bit of old-school pop fluff, something about artists who like to flirt with the dark side speaks to me on a fundamental level. This track is every bit of fire I expect when I’m looking for something outside what makes the biggest waves in the mainstream market. Keep your eyes on Yeo Journey. He’s going to cause a scene in South Korea, trust!
04 Kim Oki — You Know What
Released July 24
I’ve been so enamored of Kim Oki since the first time I heard him. Quite frankly South Korea isn’t overflowing with an abundance of jazz saxophonists who make their mark as solo artists. Even rarer are jazz artists who break the mold and create music that’s as experimental as it is transcendent. Truly, when he creates something it transports you to a completely different realm. “You Know What” has the effect of both soothing you and making you feel uncontrollably moody.
05 Doomsday (feat. Junoflo) — FREE99
Released July 25
Okay, I get it. It’s kind of ridiculous to have the same artist on the list two months in a row. Listen! Don’t judge me, okay. Juno just has this knack for finding his way in my universe even when I’m not looking for him. He’s come such a long way from his humble origins as a Cali boy looking to find his footing in South Korea’s saturated hip-hop scene. His glow-up, the amount of work he’s done to own that power is just amazing. With “FREE99,” he definitely had something to say, and he said it with his entire chest!
Those were my picks for last month. What tracks from July did I miss? Let me know in the comments!