Favorite Song: “We don’t talk together” - HEIZE
Would I truly be a SUGA ultimate stan if I wasn’t excited for another release of one of his productions? It’s only natural. However, it was extra exciting this time around knowing that one of his tracks would go to HEIZE, arguably the queen of K-R&B, and that the track even features highly respected rapper and producer Giriboy. I knew immediately that I was going to love this song just based on the lineup, but I was still blown away by how well SUGA’s production meshes together with HEIZE’s unique set of vocals. This is a perfect collaboration between big names in the industry you won’t want to miss out on.
Favorite Album: We Boom - NCT Dream
As someone who has been around since the debut days of “Chewing Gum,” it’s a little difficult for me to process the direction NCT Dream has begun to go with their music. After all, I still remember them as very small children with a bubblegum pop sound. I was pleasantly surprised by their latest album We Boom, which is nothing like what I’m used to, but in the best way. The album overall has a heavy modern hip-hop and R&B influence that is infectious, whether or not you’re a long term fan of the sub-unit. In a way, I feel like I’m watching the group grow up through the musical development in their albums.
Favorite Music Video: “Sunset” - KNK
I’m really showing my tenure with this month’s picks, but I digress. As a fan of KNK since their debut back in 2015, I’ve always kept an eye on their comebacks and, in general, enjoy them quite a bit. That being said, I was absolutely blown away by “Sunset” upon the first listen and view. It’s nothing like the KNK that I know, but that’s what makes it so great. The video is especially captivating, with a focus on neon lights and generally dark lighting to accentuate the choreography and beauty of the members. Definitely can’t forget Heejun having a dance solo shirtless, something we all definitely needed even if we didn’t know it. On a more serious note, it’s time to stop sleeping on this talent.
Favorite Performance: “RPM” - SF9 on MCOUNTDOWN
Okay, I’ll admit it, I wasn’t the biggest fan of “RPM” when SF9 first introduced it as their comeback. I always look forward to what SF9 has to bring to the table, since more often than not they wow me with their executions of concepts. But as time has gone on, I’ve become certifiably obsessed with this track and all of the music show performances for it. This particular MCOUNTDOWN performance left quite an impression on me, even without Rowoon present. The outfits for this era have been somewhat out-there, which continues with Inseong’s ensemble here. One thing I definitely can’t complain about is the fashion choice to put Taeyang in a crop top; that was a gift we all deserve for working so hard every day. Every performance of “RPM” is bound to capture your attention with its unique choreography and flawless execution.
Favorite Drama: Hotel Del Luna
It’s hard not to get hyped for any drama that boasts IU as its leading actress, as well as her co-star Yeo Jingoo. Hotel Del Luna is a perfect mix of mystery, horror, romance, and comedy. IU takes the role of Jang Manwol, the CEO of Hotel Del Luna, a position she’s held for over a thousand years. The position is said to be a curse, one that is assigned to a person who has committed a grave sin in their lifetime. This hotel, as you may have guessed, isn’t any ordinary hotel, but a location for dead souls to rest as they prepare for the afterlife. Yeo Jingoo’s character Chanseong gets wrapped up in this supernatural world due to a deal his father made with Manwol 20 years earlier, though he does his best to fight this fate even through the first few episodes. To date, only six episodes have aired, leaving a lot of questions on both the past and the future, and where the story will go next. There is no denying that there is something incredibly addicting about IU playing a heartless supernatural queen!
Favorite Special: Dreamcatcher Boy Group Dance Covers
A lot of girl groups meet prejudice for their choreographies, which always seem to be less complicated (or perceived that way) than boy groups. But make way, Dreamcatcher is here to prove that the ladies have the same amount of talent as the boys and can handle even the toughest choreographies! Performing a medley containing popular tracks by BTS, EXO, ATEEZ, MONSTA X, and NCT 127, the girls smoothly transition from one choreography to the next, showing off their power and talents. It’s refreshing to see a video showcasing what the girls are capable of, especially given the general criticisms girl groups face. This month, we’re excited to have a dose of girl power!