Singles’ Round-Up: ‘Just Friends’ by Max Pope

‘Just Friends’ is the first single from Max Pope’s upcoming EP, In Limbo. A fusion of jazz/pop/funk/soul, Max Pope’s sound feels fresh and interesting, with a beautifully subtle groove in all of his work. He is easily comparable with Tom Misch, but I’d say Max holds a distinct sound himself. The guitar and bass melodies in this track carry divine funk and marry perfectly with a simple but wonderfully smooth beat, producing a song perfect to walk down the street to. Max is also a super talented lyricist, with this track focusing on anxiety around change and feeling like you have a lack of control over relationships. Continue reading Singles’ Round-Up: ‘Just Friends’ by Max Pope

Introduction to K-pop

How does K-pop work? Let’s get the basics down first.

K-pop stars, referred to as idols, are singers, dancers, and/or rappers. They may be part of a group, or a soloist (though sometimes, an idol in a group may release a solo, whilst continuing to promote and be a part of their group!) They’re also skilled at variety, as a big part of their job when promoting their music is to go on variety programs, such as Weekly Idol or Hello Counsellor. In fact, an idol’s personality is a crucial aspect of their career, as the genre greatly depends on an idol’s persona to attract and maintain a loyal fanbase (which then gets its own specific name. That’s why you’ll hear BTS fans be referred to as Army).  Continue reading Introduction to K-pop

Singles’ Round-Up

‘Family and Loyalty’ by Gang Starr (feat. J. Cole)

In their first project in sixteen years, classic rap duo Gang Starr (featuring J. Cole) harken back to the golden age of hip-hop with a single reminiscent of their seminal album, Moment of Truth. DJ Premier constructs a jazzy, boom-bap beat around an unreleased verse from Guru, who tragically passed away in 2010. The beat perfectly suits Guru’s flow, with the gentle pianos underscoring his smooth voice. The lyrics are unsubtle, with ideas of the longevity of friendship and classic rap at the forefront, which is juxtaposed with comparisons to the modern genre that is moving away from conscious rap. Cole’s feature serves to hand over the baton to the next generation of conscious rap, and whilst his flow sounds clumsy at times, his message is no less important and relevant. This is a well-constructed single that reinforces the value of old school rap to the rest of the genre. Continue reading Singles’ Round-Up