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K-Pop Double Take: Supreme Team's E-Sens Continues To Amaze From Behind Bars On 'The Anecdote' [AUDIO]

By Jeff Tobias | February 15, 2016 01:27 PM EST


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

E-Sens hasn't had an easy life.

After experiencing mainstream success with the South Korean hip-hop duo, Supreme Team, the rapper has faced difficulties with the law since 2011, frequently finding himself on the wrong side of his country's infamously draconian marijuana laws.

On the single "The Anecdote," released on Aug. 27, E-Sens turns his pain into a cathartic performance for both him and his fans alike.

The month before "The Anecdote" was released, E-Sens was sentenced to a year and a half of jail time by the Seoul Western District Court. Emerging shortly thereafter on an album release bearing the same name, the song reportedly made E-Sens the first Korean rapper to release an album while in jail. In doing so, he joins the ranks of American rappers like Gucci Mane, Slick Rick and Tupac, who didn't let their incarcerated status stop them from dropping tracks.

On "The Anecdote," E-Sens displays a real knack for telling a compelling story. With the personal stakes higher than they've ever been, the MC makes family the focus of his lyrical tapestry.

While many pop songs focus on the simple pleasures of life partying, dancing or falling in love, E-Sens uses the airspace to tell his story of loss. In the opening verse, he talks about how his father left his life at an early age. Whether his father died or abandoned him isn't addressed, perhaps intentionally so.

Like the classic master Slick Rick, E-Sens tells his story in a clear, concise way, with plenty of swagger for good measure. Like Tupac, the storytelling takes on an intimate air due to the quiet intensity of the delivery.

"The Anecdote" places E-Sens among his contemporaries who have struggled with familial crises. Eminem and Tyler, the Creator have discussed similar problems. But, to his credit, E-Sens proceeds with far less anger, focusing instead on shame, confusion and mourning.

Hip-hop, with its complex string of ever-flowing rhymes, is an ideal vehicle for these sorts of narrative ideas. It's easy for the listener to feel for E-Sens, even if they haven't experienced the same circumstances.

The musical backing is suitably haunting, but never threatens to take the listener's attention away from the focus of the story at hand.

While the downtempo beat and loping loops certainly provide a solid canvas for the story of "The Anecdote," in this case, the words are what matters. And by investing himself fully and opening up his personal history, E-Sens ensures that his words matter a great deal.

Listen to the E-Sens song "The Anecdote" RIGHT HERE 


Jeff Tobias is a composer, musician and writer currently living in Brooklyn, New York. As of late, he has been studying arcane systems of tuning and working on his jump shot.  

Tagged :  E-SENS, Supreme Team, The Anecdote, K-Pop Double-Take, kpop, K-Pop, review, Reviews


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