K-Pop Beyond The Charts is an occasional review column highlighting Korea’s modern day musical innovators who have yet to find mainstream success.
There are few songs on the Korean pop charts, or any chart for that matter, that could get a party going as quickly as “Up In This Club” the new song by vocalist Joe Rhee and featuring rapper Keebomb.
Talk about burning down the house! With a contemporary hip-hop sound that manages to be both hot and cold at the same time, “Up In This Club,” scheduled for official release on Thursday, is the perfect springboard for Keebomb’s laidback rhymes and Rhee’s razor sharp piercing melodies.
The duo manages to pull all the positive qualities of modern hip-hop, Diplo’s modular bass tones in the upper register, Kanye’s cinematic swells and the polyrhythmic micromanagement Timband and Missy Elliott pioneered that still dominates mainstream rap.
There is also an inviting quality to “Up In This Club” that many of their hip-hop contemporaries both at home and across the Pacific are often lacking.
In this age of digital cacophony, endless pitch correction and product music video tie-ins, so much modern day rap is unlistenable.
In terms of influences, Joe Rhee and Keebomb seem to be working with the same raw material as Iggy Azalea or any other mainstream hip-hop act.
Yet, somehow in their hands it comes across as less cynical and, despite the fact that in terms of miles they are just as far from the South Bronx as the Australian bombshell, more authentic somehow.
As a result, it’s also more inviting.
These are clearly two artists with their ear to the ground, and who know hip-hop well enough to know exactly what the right sound is in this moment.
Hopefully, enough listeners share their same interest in discovering the hot sound of the moment, because this is it! Check out “Up In This Club,” the new song by Joe Rhee featuring Keebomb RIGHT HERE