Thursday, March 4, 2010

We're going international!

Yep, right to the motherland--Korea.

Korea's an interesting place for me because my heritage is rooted there. Not many people know, but there's an almost eerie, parallel past to what certain Africans experienced in the early days of the United States' history. Not in the sense of specifics as it was "yellow on yellow" crime, but the Japanese-Korean struggle is something that is very much along the lines of enslavement and cultural erasement.

These kinds of issues can be further discussed privately or on a college campus, so what I want to focus on specifically is Korean Hip-Hop. The Korean Hip-Hop scene has exploded since the early nineties and a lot of great MC's have emerged from the industry boom. Artists like 3534, Seotaiji, Tiger JK of Drunken Tiger, Jinusean, 1Tym, and DJ Doc, have all pioneered Hip-Hop's integration into Korean pop music. Those early industry leaders spawned what I would tag the "new generation" of Korean MC's. At the forefront of this "new generation" you would have the The Quiett, Tablo of Epik High, Dynamic Duo, Verbal Jint, Palo Alto, and many others.

However, one artist in particular intrigued me--a gentleman known as The Quiett.

I was hipped to The Quiett in 2007 while I was vacationing in Korea. I was on a personal journey to find a record store that had wax so I could craft new beats...and I have to say, trying to find records in Korea was like mining for gold--near impossible. The records that I did find were mostly turds, so after a day of searching I got fed up and wandered into a tiny little CD store that was about to close. I still remember that day, the weather was terrible...I was soaked from the rain...and bummed out that I didn't have any music to bring back with me to California. I walked up to the register, and in my terrible Korean I asked..."Do you have any good Hip-Hop? Not like hip-pop, but...that boom-bap stuff." The guy at the register looked at me so confused, and thinking about it...if someone asked me that I would have just said "eh, I don't know."

Anyway, the gentleman at the register was kind enough to direct me to The Quiett's Music (2006 Re-issue). I checked it out on the listening station and I was blown away.

Did Korea just really bring that boom-bap?! This record had everything I love about underground Hip-Hop back home...scratching, hard thumping drums, face lit up with a huge smile. It hit me. Though it took me a while to understand what he was saying (the rapid fire delivery was faster than any Korean I was used to), I could relate to the music.

Recently, I was exited to hear about his upcoming 4th album (man, has it really been that long?), Quiet Storm: a Night Record. With production from heavyweights Jake One, Slakah the Beatchild, Kev Brown, and DJ Mitsu...The Quiett is poised to once again create some facemelting, true Hip-Hop. Check it out.

The Quiett - Quiet Storm: a Night Record

01 Welcome To The Show
02 Never Q.U.I.T.T.
03 Be My Luv
04 Stars (feat. Verbal Jint & Swings)
05 Lonely One
06 Q's Way (feat. 샛별)
07 Game Theory
08 Airplane Music (feat. Basick, Rimi, Beenzino, Fana & San E)
09 시간이 왔나봐 (feat. Dead'P)
10 Old Records
11 Love/Hate (feat. Jinbo)
12 Shine 'Em
13 Be My Luv Remix (feat. B-Free, 'NUCK'넋업샨, Paloalto & junggigo)

Releases: 3.11.10