Weekly K-Pop Faves: March 20-27


Each week, KultScene’s staff introduces our favorite new songs from Korea that were released during the last few days. This week, we introduce songs by Dean, Lyn, KittiB, and Amber.

1. DEAN “what2do” (uploaded March 23)

Along with Crush and Jeff Bernat, DEAN released “what2do” back in January. Each vocalist added their signature R&B flair that made it an impossibly irresistible song. With that being said, without a doubt, DEAN is the best thing about that song. So now that he’s performing it solo, I can’t help but to stan it. Don’t get me wrong, the original version in awesome, but being DEAN biased, him singing the song by himself is a nice treat for this fangirl who melts with the sound of even his yawn.

— Alexis

Also on KultScene: Girl Crush: KittiB

2. Lyn “With You” (uploaded March 23)

The latest addition to the ever-expanding list of original soundtrack (OST) songs for the currently airing hit drama “Descendants of the Sun” is “With You” an exceptional one by skilled vocalist Lyn. Lyn’s voice is at times soft and at times powerful, but she never fails to bring meaning and emotion to every lyric she sings. The instrumentals in this track blend together perfectly to create this song which is full of yearning and passion, befitting of the romance in this drama.

— Anna

3. KittiB “Doin Good” (uploaded March 21)

“Who knew I’d have so much fun breaking prejudices”

Of the small bit of Unpretty Rapstar I watched, KittiB was someone who always stood out. Her small stature hid an impressive strength not just to her voice but to her presence too. “Doin Good” continues a strong run from her with tracks that not just please the ear but are a part of her identity. It’s her angry retort to an ex but has traces of self hatred as well, something that feels a lot more honest that most rappers. Especially compared to the feature of Verbal Jint which works sonically, but his brags about money are tired. The trap beat is good but I really love the autotuned vocals in the chorus. They’re as a sort of mocking nature to the way her voice connects with it. I also really like this trend of purple, pink, and blue lighting in music videos.

— Joe

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4. Amber “Borders” (March 24)

SM Entertainment’s STATION releases have been a bit overwhelming, but each song has been a gift. Last week’s addition was from Amber of f(x), who released an English-language self-composed track that is one of the most inspirational songs ever put out by a K-pop idol. “Borders” is all about achieving your goals and features Amber both as a singer and a rapper, giving her a chance to showcase her wide-range of talent. The song’s title hints to Amber’s background as a Taiwanese-American artist who moved to Korea to pursue her dream. The song is even more poignant given a message Amber wrote on the YouTube video of “Borders” that shows a new, self-aware element of K-pop: “I’ve been doing this job for a long time and right now I speak not as Amber of f(x) nor ‘celebrity’ Amber, but just Amber. Just plain, simple, human Amber. ‘Borders’ is more than a song; no glamorous concepts, no ‘trying to be cool.’”


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Girl Crush: KittiB

kittib korean rapper female unpretty rapstar 2

Like most fans abroad, the first time we heard about South Korean rapper KittiB was when she appeared on the second season of “Unpretty Rapstar.” If you watched the show, you’re aware it was met with criticism that both the contestants and the format of the show was subpar to its first installment. KittiB was one of the few rappers who was an actual underground rapper, with most contestants being either from idol groups or rookies. Alas, her journey was rocky and it took her literally the entire show to win a feature on the song; the last before the finals. To her credit though, “On the Edge” produced by YDG is probably one of the best, if not the best, song from the season.

However, after “On the Edge” and making it onto the semifinals, something sparked in KittiB’s head, for she woke up from her season-long slumber and began to slay. Her verses on the collaborative songs with the rest of the contestants were also fire. And let’s not forget about the masterpiece that is “Ronda Rousey Flow.” A trap anthem about shutting down bitches who try to put her down but don’t measure up (*cough*, Yubin, *cough*). Unfortunately, she didn’t win the show. She did, however, win the title of “baddest bitch,” because just like Yezi, they were the only two contestants who proved they’re the real deal and can back up their claims of greatness.

Also on KultScene: Fandom, Not Genre, K-Pop Surpasses The Limitations Of Music

Fast forward a few months, KittiB, who formerly released her music independently, is now signed to Brand New Music — home to rappers San E and Verbal Jint and singer Bumkey. She recently dropped her latest single, the first signed to the label, “Doin’ Good” and it’s a continuation of what we already know: KittiB slays. The track follows the trap trend, but doesn’t go into full-on stereotype. Verbal Jint, who’s featured, and KittiB mellow it down and keep the instrumentals simple to highlight the song’s message. The lyrics tell her story about being in an abusive relationship compellingly, declaring that even though she was broken down by the former lover, she’s now doing good. Unlike Yezi’s “Crazy Dog” which was ruined by San E’s participation, Verbal Jint complements KittiB’s flow and overall concept; he’s the yin to her yang.

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It takes a certain level of guts and confidence to put out songs like “Ronda Rousey Flow” — which owns all the bad comments directed at her, especially being fat shamed, and discredits them because her talent speaks louder than that — and “Doin’ Good” — which speaks candidly about a topic a lot of people feel ashamed of speaking out about. Not only is she hot (fuck the fat shamers, she’s actually just curvy), but her lyrics are never empty, yolo-swag, #turnup jams.

Her two last songs on “Unpretty Rapstar 2” plus her newest single earned her spot in Korean rap table with other great rappers of all genders. Let’s hope she now gets the attention and kudos she deserves. Other female rappers should watch their crowns for KittiB is well on her way to snatch it.

kittib ronda rousey flow gif korean rapper

via coma07 @ Tumblr

What do you think of KittiB’s latest song? 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.