BewhY’s Second Act: Musicial “Adaptation”
It’s been two long years since we’ve received new music from the Show Me The Money 5 champion BewhY, with quite a gap in even singles during that time. After winning a number of awards for his work on The Blind Star and well-known collaboration “Puzzle” with C Jamm, the artist has gone all but silent in the industry for an extended period of time. News of his latest album The Movie Star wasn’t even widely spread in the media; that fact is a shame, because BewhY may have dropped the greatest K-Hip-Hop album of the year.
From Blind Star to Movie Star
I’ll admit, I wasn’t the biggest fan of BewhY’s first album release. There were a couple tracks on the album that caught my attention, but as a whole I wasn’t particularly impressed. Only after seeing him perform in person did I really begin to take an interest in the rapper, unable to ignore his talent for performance and musical production. There are plenty of K-Rappers around with great production skills, but BewhY definitely has a more experimental style that is both unique and intriguing—nothing showcases this better than The Movie Star.
The album begins in a way that is completely unexpected. With “Adaptation” beginning as a soft and relaxing tone set by orchestral instruments that sound like they came straight out of a Disney movie, the complete 180 that occurs at about the 30 second mark is extremely baffling, yet completely addicting. BewhY immediately dives into his intense rapping style in double time, accompanied by a smooth, addicting beat that grows darker and darker as his verse continues. The addition of dramatic and sharp string lines and an autotuned verse add to the tension of the song that builds until the end. It’s nothing short of completely brilliant, even if the two musical elements seem to be at complete odds with each other. It’s a bold move that sets the tone for the rest of the album, clueing the listener that they’re about to journey into a musically diverse land to which they may have never ventured before. Not going to lie, I was completely obsessed with “Adaptation” after just the first listen.
The intensity then kicks up, flowing into “WON,” a perfect example of the eclectic sound that BewhY often releases. “WON” may seem off-putting at first listen, especially with the harsh horn motif that continues in unpredictable timing throughout the song but what gives this song its charm is definitely the shift from BewhY’s usual rap tone to a more melodious, vocal tone as he ramps up his pace to double- time once again. The track reminds me a lot of “Gucci Bank,” something that takes time to get accustomed to but ultimately ends up on your playlist.
“WON” flows perfectly into the next track, “I did it,” with BewhY beginning to add on lyrics to the track toward the end of “WON.” Rather than the overbearing harsh horns in “WON,” the melody in “I did it” is traded for the more grinding strings crescendo theme used throughout the song. A modern, driving beat is added on top of that, giving the song a steadier flow as BewhY continues his relentless rapping. This track further solidifies that he is able to blend complete polar opposite musical elements to make a cohesive piece. “I did it” also features a verse from the extremely popular R&B artist Crush, who receives a much lighter melody to accompany his verse. This proves to be a great collaboration, as Crush’s smooth vocals completely compliment BewhY’s otherwise gritty rapping tone.
Things switch up at the arrival of “The Mainland,” breaking up the otherwise fast-paced tempo of the beginning of the album. The track features a more classic hip-hop beat accompanied by a string orchestra, with the addition of heavier bass elements overlayed to make for an ultra catchy beat that allows for a perfect execution of BewhY’s flawless flow. Simba Zawadi chimes in on the final verse, with his notable melody accompanied by a piano line that otherwise wasn’t present before.
A sharp ending is picked up by the intro for “The Greatest,” which quickly shifts into a more traditional 90s hip-hop beat. The high-paced tempo pushes the song forward, especially as BewhY begins rapping in half-time against that tempo for added flavor. Verbal Jint can be heard on this track, adding his traditional flavor onto the melody that sounds a lot like something the rapper would release himself. “The Greatest” only lasts for about two and a half minutes, coming to an abrupt end as it transitions into the album’s smoother halfway mark, “Leading Actor.” Syncopated strings fill this minute-and-a-half track, overlayed by a flowing R&B beat that brings a lighter feel to the album.
BewhY’s signature blaring horns return in the opening for “Rose,” a track that has a more common hip-hop beat that can be heard in just about any hip-hop release. SONAMOO’s Sumin is the only female featured on the album, with her light vocals bringing a new and refreshing flavor to the tracklist. She mirrors BewhY’s lyrics in the first verse, highlighting the difference between their musical style and accentuating the contrast in a beautiful way.
“CHALLAN” yet again takes things in a different direction, with the feature of a screeching guitar used as a melodic element throughout the track. Some unexpected uses of sliding horn melodic pieces and other high pitched sounds keep the listener on their toes throughout the song, with the dissonance in the track giving off a certain feeling of anxiety. This song is probably quite overwhelming for most listeners, especially those unfamiliar with BewhY’s somewhat erratic style.
“Transcend” begins in a way that the title might suggest—epic and dramatic, before dropping to a completely different feel in a light acoustic melody. The use of epic horns can be heard throughout the track, but for the most part, “Transcend” remains the most relaxing and chill song on the album, which comes as a surprise when it features fellow rapper C Jamm. The switch in style is a welcome one after so many particularly intense songs beforehand.
“DAMM GUT,” the final track with a featured artist (in this case, Khundi Panda), adds yet another surprising musical dimension to the album, with the beginning of the song sounding like an old-time movie soundtrack before delving quickly into a modern and intense EDM beat. “DAMM GUT” will probably have your head spinning at the huge contrast in musical elements melding together, even if you’ve gotten used to BewhY’s general usage of that motif earlier in the album.
Think we’re done with erratic musical influences? Think again! “GOTTASADAE” start with an epic church chorus reminiscent of middle age religious chants before adding a modern hip-hop beat on top of it. Jarring is probably the only word that can describe the emotion that comes to mind when processing this track, but as time goes on it becomes particularly catchy in a way only BewhY tracks can. Concluding the album is the track “Protagonist,” which begins softer than its previous counterpart “GOTTASADAE” and slowly builds in intensity, finishing up the album on a strong note.
BewhY has proven through this album that he is capable of creating music vastly different from the mainstream, combining together different themes that would not ususally work in theory. As a musician, the contrasts that he melds together are incredibly interesting and even somewhat addicting. That ability is something seldom seen in the music industry as a whole, and continues to prove BewhY’s musical talents.