Earlier this month, San E dropped his new album featuring his new talented rappers under his exclusive label FameUs. The album which goes by the same name is already proving to be a success in Korea's hip hop scene.
The visual album medley is definitely refreshing as it captivates viewers with its overall simplicity. The purpose of the video is to not only showcase the music but also express each rapper's individual talent and overall appearance.
The album consists of seven tracks - opening with "Made in Foreign." The other tracks featured on the album are "Eternal," "Puppy Love," "Morally Guilty," "How You Feeling," "Fiesta,"
"Made in Foreign" offers a familiar sound in the rap scene but with enjoyably different lyrics. eerday's rap flow, however, BE'O really shines the most because of his higher-pitched vocals blending with the instrumental. BE'O's vocals also create a great transition into "Eternal."
"Eternal" is another great track - but it depends on who is listening. The tone seems a little less hip-hop and more upbeat trap-rap. This song's instrumental really has a more fun synthetic sound that makes Malkey standout prior to before. "Eternal" also incorporates a few nicely added English lyrics making it a vibe for international listeners. Although the rapper's manifest a more rugged complex, the song still maintains a party-vibe atmosphere and will give you some energy with every listen.
"Puppy Love" is the total 160 degree the album needs as it establishes a more playful air. Again, San E steps in more as the hype man and leaves room for BE'O to take the stage. I appreciate San E doing this because long-time loving K-Pop fans know just how talented this man already is! San E gives a chance for rapper BE'O to really showcase his skills as he harmonizes his tender voice to the gentle R&B melody. Fans in Korea enjoy this song for its overall charming appeal and anyone can agree to that upon first listen.
"Morally Guilty" is quite the earworm and attention-grabbing track because it showcases errday's experienced vocal talent. The mystifying synthetic intro of "Morally Guilty" captivates you and takes you on a journey from start to finish. The vocal blending of San E, BE'O and eerday humming "Oh Teacher," completely sends a shiver down my spine. Out of all the tracks, it is one of those rap songs that break the mold, offer great lyrical meaning and introduces something a little more foreign-sounding not only in the album but in the rap scene in general. Errday's rough and grunge style goes hand and hand with the track's melody and wordplay.
"How You Feeling" is simple but enjoyable none the less. The song is the main podium for Malkey and San E's assistance produces a strength to the track and album. Malkey glides over the melody with is effortless flow while San E amps things up with a rap that is a little more different than his usual style. It shows that San E is still experimenting with sound and trying new things too. "How You Feeling" is refreshing and a good listen for fans of San E as he sings the most here.
"Fiesta" - the chill track that you can keep on repeat and relax too. It is another track meant to showcase the artist's abilities to switch between sound and styles. However, eerday seems to be rapping at a pitch higher than before so I question the comfortable presentation of singing this live or often due to the change. Despite that, the song includes a masterful congregation of each artist's vocals alongside the twang and pull of electric guitars against a typical and simple rap instrumental. "Fiesta" lives up to its name as it is one big party of each member's own persona and voice.
Last but not least we end with "Tour Bus," another song which includes a blend of each rapper's voice. Sadly, I can't see many others being a major fan of this song. It sounds more like noise more than anything from the beginning. It isn't a pity the gang ends on this song though, due to its redemption with BE'O's rapping. BE'O is new but really pulled things together on this album alongside seniors. "Tour Bus" seems to be a song that is only meant for the stage as it just generates hype, makes others want to scream along with them, and continue on with the party vibe - so the song serves its purpose in that sense. Otherwise, it isn't a must-have on my playlist.
In the end, the 'FameUs' album is a strong start. It excellently showcased the member's different talents and left you wanting more. The songs absolutely embodied the meaning of Korea's trending rap scene which may leave foreign listeners either intrigued or disinterested at times.
Despite lacking flashy, high-quality MVs, the concept can be felt easily so a generous grade can be given. The tracklisting emphasizes the image they are going for - fresh new rappers with individual sounds. Despite there being some hit or miss tracks (like any album) the entirety of it is like an adventure of music variety and really is a medley of Korea's rap trends. Production will only be lower than the rest simply for the lack of visual promotion and some songs having a grainy sound from time to time during the promo video.