Am I really the first one to do this challenge? OKAY. Here is my 'Favorite Songs from my Favorite Artists" playlist challenge. This was really hard, and I'll admit there were a few casualties on the way (sorry, 2PM), but I hope you all enjoy it!
1. PRIMARY - "Happy Ending" featuring Gary of Leessang and Jinsul of Mad Soul Child: I remember when I first heard this song, I was completely blown away by hearing this very 'trip hop'-style vocalist from all the way in Korea. Jinsul's voice is seriously incredible. This was also my first time hearing Gary rap, and I think my favorite thing about the Amoeba Culture producer Primary is how good he is at sort of mixing and matching different K-Pop artists to create these magical songs.
2. BIGBANG - "Monster": This was actually the first single that came out after I became a fan of their music. (I've only been listening to K-Pop for around 2 years.) Coming from a very strong EDM background, I loved how boundary-pushing this song was. The production talent going on at YG is insane. Even this instrumental is good. What.
3. DYNAMIC DUO - "To Be.. (참고 살아)": Dynamic Duo does a lot of songs with features on them. For example, last album had artists like Hyorin from Sistar or Crush on them, but my favorite Dynamic Duo songs are when they actually do the vocal lines themselves. Gaeko's voice on this chorus always makes me want to sing along. His versatility is seriously underrated.
4. 2NE1 - "Good To You": I love dancing around to 2NE1's super confident hip-hop songs, but I think I am much more drawn to their ballads and slower songs. For a group that's so 'in your face', their ballads come off with a strongly contrasting vulnerability. I also love how they truly found a part for each member that really brings out their strengths. I also love that it ends with the rap verse G-Dragon wrote for CL. This song is so effortlessly cool.
5. SAN-E - "My Girlfriend's Mama (지영이 어머니)": I love how San-E has a really crazy and silly sense of humor, and how even if you don't really know much Korean or follow it at all, you can still pick up on all of that fun energy. This track is directed to his girlfriend's mom who can't STAND him no matter how hard he works to make her change her mind.
6. EPIK HIGH - "We Fight Ourselves" featuring Younha: Every single song on all of their albums is absolute magic, but I think this is my favorite song du jour when it comes to Epik High. I feel like whenever they choose to feature a singer on one of their songs, they're really wise with it. Needless to say, Younha adds such fragility to this track. It's really engaging.
7. BEENZINO / JAZZY FACT - "아까워": My hands-down favorite hip-hop group in the history of anything is The Pharcyde from the early 90s, and if I were to venture a guess, I would think that Beenzino is a huge fan of them too because whenever I listen to his music - whether it's solo or as a part of his original duo Jazzy Fact - I feel like there's a whole lot of throwback going on. This track, whose title translates to "That's a Shame", is perhaps the one I attach myself to the most.
8. ZION.T - "Two Melodies" featuring Crush: Between Crush and Zion.T, this song is performed ridiculously well. I remember when everyone freaked out the first time it was pointed out that Zion.T was actually younger than G-Dragon because Zion.T definitely has the stage presence and the talent of a veteran singer. I always know when he's on a track, I'm probably going to love it.
9 and 10. AILEE & SWINGS - "A Real Lady": HA! I found a way to fit 10 artists on here instead of just my usual 9! I love this song so much, and if you can find the English translation, I highly suggest it because it's a really positive song for young women. Ailee is a serious powerhouse that delivers each lyric with so much confidence. And Swings, well, he's just the coolest. I still haven't found a song by either of them that I don't like.