By: Hannah Waitt
moonROK Found and Editor-in-chief
This week’s album review is Beezino’s new EP, Up All Night. With his NYC concert coming up, we here at moonROK thought that it was an appropriate choice of review. Check out our review of Up All Night below to get ready for the Illionaire Concert in NYC!
1. Jackson Pollock D*ck
With an Elvis Costello-esque guitar driving the song and a beach-ready drumkit beat, “Jackson Pollick D*ck,” is a chill summer jam that is perfect for hanging poolside with your friends. For those unfamiliar with his work, Beenzino is no stranger to referencing visual artists in his work; in fact, his last single was titled “Dali, Van, Picasso.” The rapper’s allusion this time around is a bit more obscene. The first track on the album is absolutely about one thing: sex. Jackson Pollock was an American artist who was famous for splatter painting, so when Beenzino says, “In my bed let me paint you like how Jackson Pollock did,” well…you get the idea. The reference is a bit crude and quite cheeky, but the song itself is so catchy that it’s almost easy to ignore the lewd imagery of splatter painting. “Jackson Pollock D*ck” is a solid track with which to introduce listeners to the album and does a good job of reinforcing Beenzino’s unique sound that he has crafted for himself over the years.
2. How Do I Look?
If “Jackson Pollock D*ck” is for listening at the beach or poolside, “How Do I Look” is the song that you listen to on the way to the beach at full blast with the windows down. With a certain carefree air to it, “How Do I Look,” is smooth, fluid, and breezy; in short, it’s perfect for the summer. It’s also a song that inherently makes you feel good about yourself as you sing along to the lyrics, “How do I look? (always) Lookin’ fly (all day)” and the repeated line “Swag twenty-four-seven.” With Copacabana triangle accents and a clean, funky guitar riff plucking in the background, “How Do I Look,” has chill vibes that seamlessly carries the album along from “Jackson Pollock D*ck” and into “Crazy.”
“Crazy” is a much more hardcore tune than the first two songs on the album. With a hardcore beat that drops heavily along with the synth into the chorus, “Crazy” is difficult not to bob your head to. The song is similar in feel to Beenzino’s “Profile” featuring Dok2 and The Quiett from his last album 24:26. In fact, the beat used in this song – for me, anyways – is very much representative of Illionaire Records. “Crazy” makes Beenzino immediately identifiable as an Illionaire artist, which is a good thing. In the same way that Motown Records or Def Jam Recordings or any great record label does, Illionaire Records has established a roster of diverse artists that each create unique music, but maintain a link to a certain root sound that gives the label and its artists a team identity. On this EP, “Crazy” is that identifier.
4. Up All Night (feat. Mayson the Soul)
“Up All Night” is surprising in a lot of ways. First of all, the fact that the title song is for all effects and purposes the last song of the album is a bit strange – more often than not title songs come first (or second if there’s an introductory track) on the album. However, Beenzino pulls it off well; putting “Up All Night” as the last track on the EP builds the suspense as to what the title track will sound like after taking you through a diverse set of the first three songs on the album. The other thing that is surprising about “Up All Night” is the chorus. Unlike most rap/hip-hop songs, at the chorus the beat does not drop, but instead drops out. When Beenzino gets to the chorus you’re expecting for the 808 to blast, but instead, everything except for Beenzino’s voice and a piano drop out. From there, the chorus slowly crescendos into back into the verse. Beenzino seems to be doing things backwards from their usual order on this album, and I find it intriguing. I don’t think that “Up All Night” is the best song on the album, but it’s certainly the most anthem-like. With the vocal help of Mayson the Soul, the chorus is easy to sing along to and feels more like a lighters-in-the-air kind of song than the others on the EP.
5. I Don’t Have To Work
This track is just a dope beat. Literally, that’s all it is: a beat. Beenzino doesn’t rap on it at all, which is why (in my theory) it is cheekily titled, “I Don’t Have To Work.” It is not uncommon for rap and hip-hop artists to end their albums and EPs this way – it’s what you might call “exit music.” It’s an awesome track, but other than that, there really isn’t much to say about it since Beenzino doesn’t “work” on it. It’s a solid end to the album: with the crowd cheering in the back and it’s midtempo back-and-forth between a simple acoustic cowbell-driven beat and an electric synth beat accented by horns, the song almost feels like something you would hear while the credits are rolling after a movie.
Overall, this is a solid EP from Beenzino. 24:26 was a real breakout album for him, and those are always hard to follow up, but I think he did a good job with this EP. His style is consistent, his lyrics are great, and his songs are catchy. Up All Night is a strong EP from Beenzino and in the end helps to further solidify him as one of the best rappers in Korean hip-hop.
Tags: Beenzino Illionaire Records Review Up All Night