Like the vast majority of people in the West, I won’t profess to be any sort of expert in hip hop coming from the East, specifically the movements in Japan and South Korea. To be honest, I hadn’t even considered that there might be a reasonable scene in that part of the world, but that all changed with “It G Ma” by Keith Ape amongst others. This track was amazing, and Korean Keith Ape and Japanese Kohh were standouts to me. So, being the fan of the genre that I am, I dug further and man, these guys have some hard music. Now let me say, that if you feel like someone has to speak your language to feel their music, that’s fair enough but I am not one of these people. I love music from all parts of the world so that wasn’t a barrier to me. So, in the case of much of the music I was hearing, I was looking at the translations of the lyrics and the sounds of the flow and the beats.
Expect more reviews of rappers from this part of the world to come, because oh my lord. I had never heard from Agust D before, so I had absolutely no idea what I was walking into. What it turned out to be was this trap flavoured banger, with a gritty, relentless delivery. This bumps! Admittedly, Agust does not look like the stereotypical trap rapper we are used to in the West, and for me that makes it even more amazing. The 23 year old hails from Daegu, South Korea and is also known as Suga as part of K-Pop band BTS. They recently became the first Korean act to group to make it onto the Official UK Album Charts, as well as debuting at number 26 on the Billboard 200 with 16k in the first week. To put that in perspective, US Rapper Tyga’s The Gold Album only sold 2.2k first week and even hip hop mainstay, Gucci Mane only sold 20k on his latest release, Woptober. There is nothing about this that makes it any weaker than the American/Canadian/British equivalents and I would recommend the hell out of both this song and his self-titled debut mixtape (which is available on Soundcloud). Just to demonstrate how out of touch we are with what’s hot on this side of the planet, the two most played tracks off of this tape have 1.9m and 1.2m plays respectively. Major numbers. The video for my favourite song (but most certainly not the only one worth listening to) off of this mixtape can be found below.