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Red Velvet’s “Rookie” Music Video & Song Review


Who better to kickstart a relatively slow year opening than SM Entertainment’s’s resident pocket rockets Red Velvet? Most expected that they’d come back with one of their velvet concept tracks but new single “Rookie” is red through and through. A velvet track would have been comforting and suited the cold months but “Rookie” goes past that to be an infectious energy boost to anyway who come in its way. Red Velvet are well past rookies now, and their edge is proving to be the most distinctive of all the newer girl groups.

Song

That being said though “Rookie” is not an easy song to get into. Looking at the laundry list of producer’s names we can see a probable reason for this. The song introduces itself as being by The Colleagues, who are an American production team more used to hip hop and R&B than bubblegum pop. They’ve worked with artists like Lil’ Wayne and Gucci Mane, people who don’t shout Red Velvet. SM regulars Tay Jasper, Sara Forsberg, and more were on head to presumable help the transition though. So many different hands were on this song and I think it is thanks to this not despite it that “Rookie” could come through as a quality track.

The Colleagues’ hip hop has been filtered out in favour of funk to counter the chaos of a Red Velvet song. The drum beat is introduced as the driving force. It perfectly combines both worlds into something clear but potentially erratic. A rolling bassline comes in behind along with horns and guitars eventually which add the more grounding elements. We’re used to synth heavy tracks from Red Velvet so it’s great to hear something with the same energy but not synthetic. The horns especially create this unique vibe thanks to being so fun and spontaneous.


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The large number of producers may help cultivate the turbulent sound of Red Velvet, it would be nothing without their delivery. “Rookie” is their clear vocal highlight. It challenges the girls to swing wildly between their patented talk-singing and regular singing. The song’s structure is built around it. The verses are split into two distinct parts: Irene and Joy open up with cheeky introductions, getting us ready for the onslaught of ‘lookie lookies.’ Irene, Joy, and Yeri were made for this type of vocal play and “Rookie” really lets them shine. In the second part, Seulgi and Wendy start the actual singing and bring the details. They describe the rookie boy they are after and the effect he has on them. In a sense the almost nonsensical chorus is that effect in action. The childish repetition illustrates as Wendy sings “…Even the way I talk turns into ice when I’m front of you.”

The rapid transitions between vocals take less of a potential toll thanks to the song itself taking its time. It takes about a minute to reach the chorus from the beginning of the song. Usually this would be quite long but here it feels organic. Each new part is so filled with imaginative sounds so it never feels like you’re waiting for the chorus.

Music Video

As we’ve come to be accustomed to, with each new Red Velvet release the music video is decidedly psychedelic. “Rookie” expels the tighter, plot-like focus of “Russian Roulette” for something a bit more messy but just as weird. It takes aesthetic cues from Alice in Wonderland uses wardrobes and doors from The Lion, The Witch, The Wardrobe to transition between different sets. Like the song the girls can go through any door at any time, into a new exciting world. There’s a strange man made of flowers, Joy as a drug dealer, and a pull back to reveal the meta ending. Best of all is the long shot of Seulgi coming through the first door with a confused look, only to immediately find herself back in formation dancing to the chorus.


Also on KultScene: Red Velvet’s Conceptualization & Formidable Fashion

Overall Thoughts

The best thing about Red Velvet is the commitment to their concepts since debut without becoming stale. They have continually produced magnificent tracks with youthful vigour. “Rookie” especially, finds something exciting. It’s many parts are equally diverse and wonderful. To the fans who think it’s too childish, do you even know Red Velvet? This is Red Velvet at their most fervent red. It’s supposed to be wacky and hard to grasp. That’s why we love them.

What do you think of “Rookie”? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Intro to KNK

KNK

Five was once the magic number of K-pop boy bands, but it’s been quite some time since quintets were a thing in K-pop. Bigbang, B1A4, FTISLAND, and, after the departure Hyunseung, BEAST are some of the few popular active acts to have only five members nowadays. And now we have KNK, a new boy band from YNB Entertainment that is garnering a lot of attention.

KNK, or “Keunakeun” the word for great or might in Korean, come from a relatively small agency with a lot of exceptional talent. (If you haven’t heard Noel, Almeng, or Bestie, go listen to some of their songs right now.) After debuting in February as the first male idol group under YNB, KNK caught the attention of several KultScene staff members with their debut single “Knock,” which features a deceivingly ballad-like intro before quickly morphing into an aggressive, pounding dance-track. The b-side track of their first single album, “Angel Heart,” in contrast, is a ballad that has a J-pop soft vibe. Multifaceted musically and able to captivate with their dances, KNK is a must watch rookie of 2016.


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But maybe more so than their own songs, KNK caught my eye when I heard their version of TVXQ’s “Love in the Ice.” (The below video is their performance from their debut showcase. KNK has performed the song on multiple occasions.)

To understand why this was so exciting to discover that a rookie boy band could hold their own while performing “Love in the Ice” live, it must be understood that the song is legendary. KNK performing it, and managing to do it justice, shows that not only are these five rookies extremely skilled they’re also determined.

There’s no sticking to simple when it comes to KNK; they could have picked a much less strenuous song to perform at their debut showcase but instead they performed a song that every audience member, perhaps every person in South Korea, would recognize and would know if they missed up. That takes guts for rookies, but KNK managed to pull it off. Primary vocalists Yujin and Inseong carry the majority of the song, but that in itself is impressive considering the song was meant for five of K-pop’s most iconic vocalists.

KNK has also gained quite a following thanks to their frequent videos uploaded to YouTube or Naver’s V App. They’re about to release their first EP “Awake,” so here’s a perfect time to get introduced to KNK.


 

Jihun

Kim Jihun’s only 21 years old and the second youngest of the group, but he’s actually the leader of KNK. He’s the group’s main dancer and, like everyone but Heejun, Jihun performed as a backup dancer for Bestie prior to debuting. Before going to YNB Entertainment, Jihun was a trainee under Nega Network. (And he’s kind of a dork.)


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Youjin

KNK’s lead vocalist and oldest member (he’s 23), Kim Youjin has some of the most powerful vocals around. Before joining his current agency, Youjin trained with B.A.P’s members at TS Entertainment.

Seungjun

The group’s rapper and visual (that means they think he’s the best looking but the below video argues that), Park Seungjun trained with BTS and Got7 before moving to YNB. The tallest of the group, Seungjun was also voted the least stylish of the group and has a goofy side.

Inseong

The middle member when it comes to age, Jeong Inseong is one of the group’s main vocalists. He formerly trained at Big Hit Entertainment with the trainees who would end up being BTS and also trained at FNC Entertainment.

Heejun

The youngest member, or maknae, Oh Heejun was formerly an FNC Entertainment trainee who appeared on the company’s reality show “Cheongdam-dong 111” with Inseong. He was featured as a vocalist and guitarist in FNC’s Kokoma Band but now is one of KNK’s rappers.

What do you think of KNK? Are you excited to see where they take their career? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.