As a group with relatively little fanfare in the Korean music world, Loen Tree’s male K-pop quintet HISTORY has shown off its talent time and time again. The group’s latest release, the May mini-album “Beyond The History,” showcased their talent once again, and particularly highlighted the skill of the group’s youngest member, Jang Yi Jeong.
Jang gained fame prior to joining HISTORY as a contestant on “Birth Of A Great Star 2”. Although he didn’t win the competition, Jang’s powerful vocals and likeable personality led to him gaining a spot in HISTORY. In the group, Jang was not only the youngest member, but also the center vocalist of a group filled with talent.
After HISTORY’s debut, Jang’s highest profile solo work was being featured on IU’s “Friday.” The soft ballad about going on a date was extremely popular in South Korea, but it’s Jang’s latest work that is the most exciting.
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The latest album gave Jang another chance to shine; he wrote the group’s title track, “Just Might Die” and released his own solo song, “1CENTURY.” While many K-pop idols nowadays are known for their compositional skills, it’s rare that a rookie group would go with a title song written by a member unless they had absolute confidence in the song. Jang spoke about the responsibility that went along with it in an interview with Loen’s 1theK YouTube channel, where he admitted that he felt the pressure from the members to make a good song. The result was “Just Might Die.”
Not only did Jang have a role in every aspect of “Just Might Die,” including directing the recording, he also was involved in the songs “Ghost” and “1Century” on the same album.
Yes, a rap song. Just like “Just Might Die,” Jang also wrote “1Century.” HISTORY has other members who rap, but Jang Yi Jeong’s debut as a rapper is one of the best rap songs we’ve heard from a Korean idol that wasn’t originally an underground rapper. The emotion is there, the different rap styles; it’s all there. Jang isn’t as talented as people who make their careers as rappers, such as San-E or Mad Clown, but there’s no doubt that there is basic, raw skill there.
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Matching his singing skills with his composing talent and newly revealed aptitude for rap shows how well rounded Jang Yi Jeong is not as a general K-pop but as a musician in general. It is honestly confounding when thinking about how one of the most promising talents in the Korean music world is going unrecognized.
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