Jooheon Rolls Out the Red Carpet in 2nd Mixtape Release
MONSTA X’s Jooheon is back with his next mixtape DWTD to prove the prowess of idol rappers in a hip-hop world where they are often looked down on. Unlike last release “Rhythm,” Jooheon goes with a concept directly opposite of the angry bad boy, showcasing his rapping ability while still presenting a cute image he’s so well-known for among Monbebes.
The Title: Red Carpet
I’ll admit that I was never that big of a fan of first release “Rhythm,” so I find the release of “Red Carpet” extremely refreshing. The song and aesthetics have distinct ZICO vibes and resemble the softer and warmer side of rapping seen in something like “She’s a Baby” or “I Am You, You Are Me.” I definitely feel like this style fits Jooheon’s personality a lot better and in addition the song also showcases his natural rapping talent perfectly.
There is a dual side to this cute and soft aesthetic though, as the video also expresses some mysterious and sexy vibes throughout. The beat becomes more sensual during the chorus to match this, as well. The contrast in theme and sound keeps the song feeling fresh, and is indeed a very strong release from MONSTA X’s resident rapper.
If you’re looking for the rap intensity found in first release “Rhythm,” you’ll find it in the B-sides of this album. The mini-album starts off with smooth “Should I Do,” a rhythmically simple track that puts emphasis on Jooheon’s rapping skills. The song also presents traditional Eastern sound along with modern popular beats, bringing a unique flavor to the whole track.
My personal favorite B-side is definitely “Kang Baekho,” the track in which Jooheon goes all the way off from the moment he begins rapping. If there was a diss track, it’d definitely be this one. The EDM elements of the melody interjected with the traditional rap beat bring a level of high-energy, and Jooheon switching to double time to rap mid-song is as breathtaking as it is unbelievable. If you’ve ever doubted Jooheon’s ability before, you won’t after listening to this track.
Killagramz is featured on the fourth track “Runway,” a song that definitely has a heavy House influence and sounds quite different from the other tracks. The track has a good hip-hop beat, but stands out less to me than other songs since it’s mostly about a beautiful girl. Nothing wrong with that, just not my favorite subject matter in a song, and I think the melody of the other tracks stand out better.
The album concludes with track “Manito,” which takes influence from the early days of Hip-Hop. His flow in this one is very consistent, along with the beat, giving a more chill vibe to the song as a whole. That makes the song a great choice to conclude the album. All in all, this is a great release from a talented idol rapper. Jooheon is known for being one of the idol rappers who can prove his ability even with the most critical of rappers, and this mini-album really continues to prove that. Whether or not you’re a fan of MONSTA X, if you’re a fan of great rapping you’ll enjoy this album.