VIXX’s main rapper Ravi has released his second mixtape, just a little over a year after his first. The rapper showcases his unique tastes in musical production as he jumps from one genre to another not just between songs, but between rap verses as well.
The Music Video
When presented with the term “mixtape,” we often think of a more rap and hip-hop driven track list instead of K-Pop’s usual dance and EDM driven tracks. If there is one thing that is immediately apparent about Ravi’s “Nirvana,” it’s that this general rule doesn’t apply. The rapper takes a lot of inspiration from more than just the rap genre.
What is additionally unique about the music video itself is that it’s a combined production for “Nirvana” and “Alcohol,” another track on his mini-album. It’s not often that we see two songs mashed together in one video, and the artistic move is certainly surprising, if not confusing to begin with. “Nirvana” has such an EDM-influenced sound that switching to the more chill “Alcohol” makes for a weird mishmash of different musical styles in less than four minutes. Is this a bad thing? That’s up to the interpretation of the listener. It’s certainly a bold artistic move that catches attention if nothing else.
The surreal concept of the video itself holds a lot of potential creative meaning that can easily be interpreted differently by each individual case as is in stark contrast to Ravi’s last mixtape release, “Bomb.” He’s no longer going for the powerful and dangerous man concept, but instead a more generic concept that focuses on his lyrics as opposed to image.
Admittedly, at first listen “Nirvana” was somewhat off-putting, since I have certain expectations of the sound of a mixtape, but the song grows on you with more exposure. The addition of the vocals of Park Jimin is fantastic, if only brief in the chorus. There’s no question that Ravi is a talented rapper, and he does a better job of showing it off in this album with less focus on appearing as a tough guy and focusing more on his sound.
Ravi experiments with different sounds on each track of the album, going from slow and deliberate to fast and intense rap even just between verses. It can sometimes get a little dizzying to go back and forth as opposed to sticking to one solid sound for a song. He features artists such as Microdot and Sik-K on his tracks, which adds an element of professionalism to his work as well, since these artists are well respected in their realms of music.
Each track has more or less the same hip-hop backing track in varying speeds, a base that does well as Ravi switches between his musical styles throughout. Everyone can likely find their favorite sound in one of the tracks of this mini-album, with songs that cover upbeat EDM influences to chill R&B vibes. If “Nirvana” isn’t your cup of tea, there is surely another track to satisfy your tastes.