B-Sides Special: Hidden Gems of 2017
2017 was truly a year of amazing musical releases in the K-Pop industry, but as always, many of these fantastic releases slip through the cracks and end up overshadowed by bigger releases. For the final installment of B-sides this year, we’re going to venture through time back to a few of these amazing, yet overlooked, tracks.
“Cave Me In” - Tablo, Gallant, & Eric Nam
Long before the Western K-Pop collab hype was a thing, Epik High’s Tablo and Eric Nam produced a song with western R&B artist Gallant at the beginning of the year. Gallant may not be as big of a name as Steve Aoki or Desiigner, but there’s no question that he’s an incredibly talented vocalist who represents the best of the R&B genre. Anything Tablo is involved in is guaranteed to be a masterpiece (no argument on this, I’m dead set on it), and Eric Nam’s velvety vocal sound alongside Tablo’s smooth rapping and Gallant’s sweet voice produces the perfect R&B chill track that certainly deserves more than the six million views on YouTube it’s accumulated thus far.
“Don’t Recall” - KARD
The second release of KARD’s pre-debut project, “Don’t Recall” is still easily the best release of the group to date. The song certainly solidified the group’s place in the spotlight, racking up 36.5 million views so far. The beat of the track is unbelievably addicting, and the dueling verses of the boys and girls fits along with the music so perfectly that I can’t help but still blast this song on repeat nearly a year later. KARD was a risky project on DSP Media’s part, but it’s clearly working for them to this point.
“A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone” - BTS
2017 was arguably the year of BTS, and as a loyal stan, I’ve naturally chosen them as part of this list. “A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone” is a short track that ends the album of the You Never Walk Alone repackage, but it still leaves a lasting impact on the listener despite that fact. The message in this song is truly so beautiful and so relatable, with an important reminder that you’re never going through troubles alone. BTS’s ability to relate to their listeners and their struggles is what has gotten them as far as they are today, and “A Supplementary Story: You Never Walk Alone” encompasses this theme completely in less than three minutes.
“Anck Su Namum” - YEZI
There is nothing better in this world than a female rapper taking charge of her femininity in a music industry full of ridiculous standards for women. FIESTAR’s YEZI is an incredibly talented rapper who doesn’t quite fit into the mold of your typical K-Pop idol, and she’s not afraid to show it. With “Anck Su Namum”, YEZI is loud and unapologetic about who she is, a message that is desperately needed this day and age. It’s just a bonus that she spits absolute fire as she conveys this sentiment.
“Try My Luck” - Jongup
And last but not least, we have B.A.P’s Jongup with his solo track “Try My Luck.” Fans got a taste of the song and choreography firsthand during B.A.P’s American tour, which incidentally was the first time my own ears and eyes were graced with this masterpiece. B.A.P certainly has a loyal following, but still struggles to get exposure outside of that. Jongup shows off all his talents in this solo, with some stunning choreography to accompany the downright sexy lyrics. He even raps in this track, encompassing the three elements that make up any K-Pop group in this one boy. Babyz will be the first ones to tell you this boy doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, and it’s reflected in the lack of attention on this gorgeous solo. Also let me just say, without a doubt, sexiest song of 2017 award goes to “Try My Luck.”