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K-Pop Double-Take: Korean Rapper Outsider Goes Head To Head With Twista On 'Star Warz' [VIDEO]

By John Chiaverina | January 22, 2015 07:23 PM EST


K-Pop Double-Take is a periodic column highlighting recent releases that have yet to receive the attention we feel they deserve.

It's a battle of East versus West on "Star Warz," the new fast-rapping, tongue-twisting collaboration between legendary American rapper Twista and South Korea's resident wordsmith Outsider.

Fueled by a cinematic backing track, "Star Warz" is a dramatic showdown between two of the best fast rappers in the world.

A Seoul-native, Outsider (whose real name is Shin Ok Cheol) is a 31-year-old rapper best known for his speed-rapping ability. Signed to ASSA Communication, Outsider is allegedly able to rap a staggering 21 syllables per second.

American rapper Twista almost needs no introduction.

Over the past three decades, he has established himself as the preeminent American fast rapper. In 1992 Twista earned the title of fastest rapper in the world, according to Guinness World Records. He is also known for his hit singles, including "Wetter" and "Slow Jamz," the latter track a collaboration with Kanye West.

"Star Warz" is driven by a cinematic string-laden melody that recalls early-2000's Just Blaze productions for New York rappers like Cam'ron and Jay-Z. The drums, however, plod in a halftime style that feels more akin to contemporary dubstep than New York City boom bap rap.

The rapping on "Star Warz" bounces between languages, with Outsider and Twista both spitting in their native tongues. This makes for an interesting musical syntax wherein the words matter less than the highly rhythmic way in which they are presented. Both rapper's rhymes roll off in a rapid-fire clip that is both thrilling and hard to keep up with, no matter what language you speak.

This is part of the fun. "Star Warz" invites obessive repeated listens and trips to online lyric databases to decode the track's highly dense lyrics.

Intercut through all the fast rapping is an auto-tuned chorus that keeps the track firmly in the pop zone. In the middle of the song, an unexpected guitar solo comes out of nowhere and lifts "Star Warz" into an even more epic place, bringing to mind the uplifting heroics of 80s hair metal.

The accompanying video for "Star Warz" is set partially in a MMA ring and features UFC figther Choi Doo Ho, furthering the idea that this meeting of the minds is more of a battle than a collaboration. If it is a battle, however, then it is one in the most positive sense. "Star Warz" sees two rappers representing their home turf and trying to do right by their city.

Watch the video for Outsider and Twista's collaboration "Star Warz" RIGHT HERE

John Chiaverina is a musician and journalist living in New York City. He has performed in over 18 countries, including two tours of South Korea, under the name Juiceboxxx.

Tagged :  Twista, Outsider, Star Warz


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