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Review: South Korean Rapper Hwaji Succeeds With A Sweeter Sound On 'Gypsy Girl' From His New Album 'Zissou' [AUDIO]

By Jesse Lent | February 11, 2016 07:59 PM EST

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The bulk of the material on the 13-song LP "Zissou," released Feb. 2 by Korean underground hip-hop artist Hwaji, could be considered experimental, at least by Western standards.

But it is when this gifted MC strips down his sound to a few simple, soulful (albeit more straight-ahead) elements on the track "Gypsy Girl" that he produces the album's greatest highlight.

Recalling traces of master rap producers like J Dilla, Pete Rock, Ali Shaheed Muhammad or anyone else who made magic with electric piano loops, "Gypsy Girl" sets a tone that's easy to get lost in. You may find yourself reaching for the replay button to keep the feeling going.

Anchored by this atmospheric groove, Hwaji also cuts loose with his best rhyming on the whole "Zissou" album, dropping lyrical rhymes and driving home the hook.

Though Hwaji's latest offering has no shortage of interesting moments both in terms of production and rapping, only "Gypsy Girl" hits you in that more sentimental place, transporting you to that special time of night when if you are lucky enough to have someone you care about by your side, you get the urge to pull them closer.

The sound has a definite '90s hip-hop feel, while also retaining the more noir-ish vibe of modern hip-hop giants like Kendrick Lamar and Drake. It also seems more likely to be the cut anointed as a hot beat among American hip-hop fans on the whole album.

Though no true music fan could fault Hwagi for pushing the limits of his sound and the genre, he seems to shine as an artist when he has more solid musical ground to stand on.

And besides, a dope beat is a dope beat.

Listen to the song 'Gypsy Girl' from the new release "Zissou" by Korean underground rapper Hwaji RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  Hwaji, Zissou, korean rapper, korean rap, review, Reviews, K-Pop, kpop

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