K-Pop Double Take is a weekly review column highlighting recent releases that have yet to receive the attention we feel they deserve.
Anyone who's ever seen hip-hop performed live knows the refrain.
"Wave your hands in the air," yell MCs of varying levels of quality. "Wave it like you just don't care."
The command has always seemed strange, as it seems like such a strong physical endorsement of a song should be confined to the ones that earn it on merit alone, without the listener needing to be ordered around.
Bumping "Beer In My Backpack" the standout cut from the 11-song album "Made In '98" released on Nov. 25 by South Korean rapper illinit, out of even somewhat decent speakers and you may find your own arm hovering above your head almost beyond your own control.
With a simple three-chord loop setting the stage for some fresh and creative rhyming, "Beer In My Backpack" proves how much illinit can do with just a little--the kind of innovation that has always been a defining characteristic of the genre.
When he released the first single from "Made In '98," the psychedelic jazz-infused "Just Like" featuring Nucksal, it was already clear that illinit was an artist with a unique vision. The rest of the album only cemented the rapper's eclectic musical tastes as well as his restless pursuit of sounds that do not mimic any one specific thing from the mountain of material that has come before him.
Because of his clear comfort within his own skin, illinit is able to make some pretty far out sounds sound palatable. And while he is clearly influenced by seminal acts like Native Tongues groups De La Soul and Black Sheep, when he rhymes in Korean, he is not, as many of his contemporaries, attempting to sound like an American.
illinit is instead arriving at the much more rare conclusion of a flow that is rooted in his own language but still respectful of rap's legacy.
Listen to the song "Beer In My Backpack" from South Korean rapper's latest release "Made In '98" RIGHT HERE