ZICO Reigns as King of Duality with “Daredevil” and “Human”
With his last solo album release taking place in 2017, it’s certainly been a hot minute since we’ve gotten some new music from ZICO. After parting ways with Seven Seasons to open his new company KOZ Entertainment, ZICO has seemingly been busy building up his new venture. With only a single solo release in 2018 in “Soulmate” featuring IU, ZICO has left his fans waiting for more. But finally, on the last day of September, the renowned artist made his return with new mini-album Thinking Part 1.
Dual Title Releases: “Daredevil” and “Human”
ZICO has proven over time that he has a taste for…well…the peculiar. That classic fact is definitely displayed within “Daredevil,” though this wouldn’t be obvious through audio alone. Musically speaking, “Daredevil” has the light and breezy hip-hop sound that ZICO likes to feature in most of his title tracks, evident in songs along the likes of “Artist” or “Boys and Girls.” The bubbly melody leaves room for his higher-pitched type of rapping, spearheading focus onto that both for his own verses and the ones featuring Jvcki Wai and YUMDDA. The overall catchy beat remains stagnant through the song, even with the different cadences of rap that follow with each verse. It’s definitely the type of song that ZICO prefers to feature, and one that has surely shown him success in the past.
The videography for ZICO is where the really weird stuff happens more often than not. For “Daredevil,” there’s a heavy feature of animal creatures with extremely large heads, posing as his employees at a company. I personally wasn’t surprised to see such a random twist to a music video, but those unfamiliar with ZICO’s tastes may be taken aback by the straight-up weird use of animal suits. But there is no arguing that ZICO wouldn’t be our ZICO without some kind of bizarre twist.
ZICO shows his surprisingly more human side in “Human,” a much more mellow and emotionally heavy track that is the complete antithesis of “Daredevil.” The most obvious difference is that ZICO focuses on the use of vocals rather than rap, something he very rarely does in his solo releases. The soloist proves his emotional depth with this track, with impactful lyrics and a message of emotional relation to his listeners that isn’t often heard in his music. “Human” definitely leaves an impact unlike other ZICO releases, if only for its realness and relatability that’s a direct dichotomy from his usual M.O.
The videography, as well, is incredibly simple when put side-by-side with “Daredevil,” which places a heavy focus on otherworldly themes. “Human” is very straightforward, showing ZICO simply walking through different scenarios and encountering many different kinds of people in them. It’s the opposite of peculiar and flashy, and a perfect fit for the track itself. If nothing else, ZICO proves that he is able to master very different feelings in his music with this dual release.
Thinking Part 1 is a short mini-album, with only five songs featured. With two released as a dual title track, that leaves only three side tracks. Yet, who knew that these three tracks would be so drastically different even from the two opposite titles?
“Actually” marks the first B-side, coming after the album kick-off, “Daredevil.” “Actually” has very clear ‘70s R&B/disco vibes as the main melodic influences, with the groovy track accompanied by the first taste of ZICO’s singing voice. It’s unexpected, but that’s what makes it such a great track to bounce along to. The rhythm is constant and driving, with no pause that shifts the uplifting mood of the track.
With “Human” bringing a more sentimental note to the album, it’s a bit of a surprise when the track immediately leads into “Extreme,” a more classically hard rap track reminiscent of ZICO’s style in his early solo days. Personally, as a fan of the “harder” sound of ZICO, it’s a refreshing addition to the album that brings back a reminder of his ability to just straight-up go hard. He’s definitely been exploring many different musical avenues in his solo career lately, but it’s nice to hear him return to his hardcore roots.
The album concludes with the slower tempo “One-man Show,” featuring H1GHR MUSIC rapper Sik-K. “One-man Show” melds the heavier, more emotionally intense “Human” with the traditional rap in “Extreme,” resulting in a mellow melodic outcome with a comforting air to it. “One-man Show” is slow and chill while maintaining a fairly strong rap line both from ZICO and Sik-K, making for a lovely collaboration of the two polar opposite sounds.
ZICO proves his musical prowess once again with Thinking Part 1. With a track fit for just about everyone’s favorite taste, there’s no denying that he’s able to create something beautiful in many different forms. Denying ZICO’s talent as a musician is pretty much futile at this point, and ignoring his aptitude for music is doing nothing but robbing yourself of something spectacular. If you’re hesitant on checking out Thinking Part 1, I highly encourage taking a moment to listen all the way through. You won’t regret it.