B-Sides: Intense Songs for Emotional Release
Life can be rather difficult sometimes, and during those times, I’ve personally found that when it’s difficult to put a label on certain strong emotions, music does the job of labelling them and allowing them to be released without, you know, actually going bananas on people in real life. We’re faced every now and then with some really intense situations, and this week we have a couple of songs to fit that mood.
지니까 Because - KARD
KARD’s latest album release You & Me has a much more intense and darker sound than their first album, and “지니까 Because” perfectly showcases this. As the song begins, J.Seph can be heard taking a deep, angered breath before absolutely destroying his rap with an intensity that is sure to elicit goosebumps with how genuinely emotional it is. Even without looking at the English translations, the pure anger that comes across in both BM’s and J.Seph’s verses is easily heard in their tone. BM’s line “You put me through hell / No I don’t wish you well” at the end of his verse is especially impactful, as it’s an emotion we’ve all felt but rarely express openly in confrontation. The raw power behind the melody, lyrics, and delivery is intensely cathartic, especially if those emotions are not only familiar, but fresh.
쓸애기 - Pocket Girls
Pocket Girls's most recent release on the surface is significantly less dark than “지니까 Because,” yet still accomplishes the same level of emotional relief, in a way. The song’s English title is “Oppa is Trash,” a theme we don’t often see from girl groups that instead focus on love songs. Even with limited Korean knowledge, the hook to the chorus “오빠는 애기야,” roughly translated to “Oppa is a baby,” is easily recognizable. “Oppa is Trash” is the perfect song to feed into angry feelings, especially about a stupid boy, and frankly it is as inspiring as it is useful since the theme of the song is rarely found in girl group discography.
Cypher pt. 2 - BTS
The “Cypher” series by BTS is notorious, having gained most of its notoriety with the release of “BTS Cypher pt. 3: Killer.” There’s no doubt that the BTS rap line oozes power in their raps, and although I am a fan of every “Cypher” release thus far, “BTS Cypher pt. 2” still holds the most ferocity. The song is recognized as an indirect response to criticisms from rapper B-Free, who made comments to RM and Suga on a radio show that essentially stated that the two were not real rappers because they were idols. Suga’s verse is basically acknowledged as a direct middle finger to the accusations. The amount of strength that pours into your veins after listening to this song isn’t even quantifiable, as the song ends with Suga’s ruthless laugh and shout that will be guaranteed to make you want to fistfight 10 men at once.
Cut It Out - 4Minute
4Minute has provided a lot of quality music in their time, but “Cut It Out” was definitely overshadowed by the mega title track “Crazy.” “Cut It Out” is a high energy and intense song that focuses on the rapping of HyunA, Jiyoon, and Sohyun, the three delivering a strong message with fierce determination. The song is all about rising above criticisms of your life choices with unabashed confidence, a theme that is definitely needed more from our girls. “Cut It Out” provides a powerful message of self confidence that everyone needs to hear on more difficult days.
Life - Jay Park
“Life” is one of Jay Park’s more vigorous tracks, with a relentless stream of rap verses from himself and featured artists Paloalto, Gaeko, and DJ Wegun. The song is seemingly endless in the way it flows, as it appears that there is no break to the powerful message of not being told how to live life. The track is definitely more hardcore rap driven, which isn’t a favorite sound to those who prefer K-Pop to K-Hip-Hop, but there’s no doubt that the song is one of Jay Park’s stronger ones and will make you feel intensely driven, just like the nearly five minutes of pure fervency in the song.