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K-Pop Beyond The Charts: Ven Teams Up With Paloalto To Create The Soulfully Atmospheric Rap Single '6' [AUDIO]

By Jesse Lent | November 16, 2015 06:13 PM EST

K-Pop Beyond The Charts is a weekly review column highlighting Korea's modern day musical innovators who have yet to find mainstream success.

As recently as 10 years ago, the concept of introspective rap was practically an oxymoron.

But with MCs like Kendrick Lamar and Drake willing to explore their own vulnerability making it to the top of the hip-hop game, the paradigm has inarguably shifted.

Technically speaking, the song "6," released Monday by Ven may be getting marketed as an R&B song, as it is the South Korean vocalist's single, with the only rapping coming from guest star Paloalto. Yet in both rhythmic feel and prominence in the mix, "6" is a rap track with some singing in it, no matter what the billing happens to be.

And that's a compliment.

The road to rap ballad success, particularly in a K-pop scene often known to forgo artistic expression in pursuit of safely sterilized perfection, is littered with songs that put too much emphasis on the latter of the two genres, with the resulting sound hardly something any true hip-hop head would be willing to sign off on.

But by keeping the sound rooted with a propulsive rap shuffle and including a sharply delivered flow from Paloalto that provides a satisfying counterpoint to the pathos of Ven's voice, the sound of "6" remains grounded in authenticity.

You would be hard-pressed to find two rap fans that define the line between rap and pop in exactly the same way. It's something everyone must decide for themselves.

But with the beautifully cascading layers of synthesizers and a drum sound that appears to dissolve into the scenery, music fans would be better served dispensing with the categorical analysis and just listening to the sounds that make "6" different from everything that has come before it.

There are certainly enough of those to make this song something worth listening to.

Listen to Ven's new single "6" featuring rapper Paloalto RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  6, Paloalto, Ven, korean rapper, korean rap, K-Pop, kpop, review, Reviews, K-Pop Beyond The Charts

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