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Editor's Pick: Yang Dong Geun Shows The Classy Side Of Korean Rap In The Retro-Jazzy 'JAJAJA' Featuring Dynamic Duo, Crush [VIDEO]

By Jesse Lent | March 12, 2014 03:38 PM EDT


There are a lot of varying opinions about what makes a perfect hip-hop track.

For me, it's all about an artist and their producer finding that amazing balance that both gets a party started and relaxes your mind at the same time.

The golden age of this zen-like style of hip-hop is of course the 1990s, where artists from Tribe Called Quest to Rampage made jams that just felt good and never left you feeling like someone just ruffed up your eardrums.

One artist who kept the 1990s ethic going was the late great J-Dilla, who died in 2006. On tracks like his 2006 masterpiece "So Far To Go," Dilla seemed to crack the beat open to find the precious fruit inside, like it was a coconut.

It is with this same tastefully adventurous spirit that the new Yang Dong Geun track "JAJAJA," featuring Crush and the rap group Dynamic Duo, springs from.

The tune is danceable and upbeat, but there is something else; an almost Miles Davis-kind of cool is at play that was the trademark of nearly all the great 1990s hip-hop (particularly in the New York City rap of that era).

It is exciting to see this classic sound returning in Korean hip-hop.

While the rest of the world turns it's attention to South Korea to see what the next new blockbuster K-pop sound will be, there is a definitive moment for the country's hip-hop artists to offer an alternative to the kind of vibe to what is being peddled elsewhere.

Though Yang Dong Geun is predominantly known in Korea as an actor, he is as good an ambassador as anyone in the so-called K-hip-hop movement.

He and his group of collaborators deliver relaxed powerful performances that sound live and unforced.

Through that beautiful retro beat on top and the end result is an addictive one.

Check out the music video for the new Yang Dong Geun single "JAJAJA," featuring Dynamic Duo and Crush, released on Feb. 28 RIGHT HERE


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