Interview // The RAPTURE
Interview // The RAPTURE
Interview // BEST COAST (#2)
Interview // BEST COAST (#2)
Gratuitous Burger Post
Gratuitous Burger Post
Diplo Gets His Vogue On
Diplo Gets His Vogue On
Beyoncé - 4
We swear this isn't an ironic listening. We love Beyoncé and 4. OK, we might unironically skip straight to track 5, 'Party', produced by Kanye West and with rap by Andre3000, because we ain't no stay-home-mums that need all those ballads about being broken hearted and finding the right person. But, after that, the album turns into a beautiful compilation of classic r'n'b, soul and a bit of sweat-inducing booty tracks - not too many though - that sound surprisingly courageous considering the actual state of pop music. And for that, we bow down and hail Queen B. P.S. Get the deluxe version, for those extra couple of amazing tracks.
Bassike
The name of this label has been interpreted in many ways; from 'bass-seekey' to 'base-ike', but the correct way describes exactly what this label is about: BASIC. Bassike delivers easily breezily cut staples with an interesting little twist that keeps them from being your run of the mill. For those that live in climates like that of Australia (where Bassike hails from) or Brazil, you'll know how easy it is to make fashion faux pas when the weather gets hot and the prospect of wearing anything but a bathing suit becomes slightly unappealing; Bassike is all and everything you need.
Game of Thrones
Before watching HBO's Game of Thrones, I assumed the series would tend a bit more towards the blood-dripping Danish movie Valhalla Rising rather than fairy-tale stories a lá 'Lord of the Rings'; and for that I didn't really like the series at the beginning. But slowly, I found myself submitting to tales of bad kings, midget juggernauts, savage warriors and... dragons. And that happened probably because there aren't exactly good guys and bad guys here, like there are in Tolkien stories - and that is, of course, a simplification of his work. Another reason I relented to this series is because of the intriguing political backstage element that leads to the ever-happening dance of thrones. Oh, and did I mention the gratuitous nekkid-ness?
The Norfolk // Sydney, Australia
Of the slew of new spots having opened up in Sydney in the last six months, The Norfolk on Cleveland St in Surry Hills has been one fated with success. Owned by some of the same kids that have brought The Flinders back to life (and currently, it's incredibly quick onset of 'The Norms'), you'll undoubtedly find The Norfolk rammed with all kinds, vying for a bite, a beer and a spot in the garden out back. The aim of the game is to cultivate Aussie pub culture at it's best; and it's doing a pretty decent job so far - if only you could get a table!
Super Sad True Love Story
Super Sad True Love Story is the third book from the writer of the best selling Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart. Incidentally, I read him name dropped in Flavorpill's Ultimate Hipster Reading list and in the same sentence as James Franco (they're buds, apaprently) just before I finished his latest offering. Don't let any of that put you off, or take away any of the sad scary brilliance of Super Sad True Love Story; written from the perspective of one 39 year old Lenny Abramov, son of Russian immigrants and in love with the impossibly cute and cruel Eunice Park. A satire that cuts to the bone, Super Sad True Love Story is exactly it's title. And it's good.
HIYA // GD & Top
gd_and_top
HIYA // G-Dragon and T.O.P.

 

From time to time, I feel the urge to go chasing some new guilty pleasure on the kpop’s TOP 10. There I found colorful pop groups like The Wonder Girls, Miss A and 2NE1, with that old school pop sound (think Spice Girls and early Britney), good choreography and all the wigs you can imagine (although the colours don’t seem to have that many variety). As much fun as they are, you can see that they are really a local phenomenon. But none of them are GD & TOP, a duo that have impressive songs and ever better looks. But who the fuck are GD & TOP, Wikipedia?

 

Choi Seung-hyun is T.O.P and Kwon Ji-Yong is G-Dragon; both South Korean musicians. The first is also an actor and the latter a music producer. They both got really famous by joining the all-male pop group Big Bang, but felt that they could do more as rappers on their own; so they asked permission from the CEO of their label (awww) who allowed them to go solo for a while.

 

GD&TOP the debut album was released on 24th of December in Korea and in Japan just this February, and although waiting to explore more of their rap side, is very multifaceted. R’n’B, discopop, cheesy electronics soaked in autotune...there's a bit of everything – even bad (like, really bad) music.

 

gd and top

 

The debut single, ‘High High’, is a club anthem that would make any one of the Jersey Shore cast pump their fist to the sky - and you can see in the chorus the kind of incentive behind that move. The track, self-described as “G.H.E.T.T.O E.L.E.C.T.R.O”, sounds like something that Will.I.Am would produce to buy himself another mansion. It’s not a great start, but definitely shows they can become the next Far East Movement, which is, at least, trending.

 

In the video, the duo opt for the nightclub theme that allows them to show how incredibly stylish they are. TOP is a really tall and handsome with a love for casual suits and blazers. He's rocking a bleached 'do that looks better than Mark Ronson’s (sorry buddy, but expensive as it obviously was, it really didn’t work that well for you). GD has an afro shaped into a pouf (forealz) and is more of a shiney jacket type of man. In the video he even wears Fanny and Jessy, which makes him even cooler.

 

GD & TOP - High High

 

Now, next single ‘Oh Yeah!’ has grown on me a lot lately. Remember when Calvin Harris roped Dizzee Rascal into that summer smash hit? This is quite similar, but even bigger. Featuring Park Bom, the lead vocal on 2NE1, in a moment that puts Fergie to shame with her “I gotta feeling”-shit. Unfortunately, this song doesn’t have an official video, but there is a TV presentation that will do just as well because it features all the girls from 2NE1 plus dance choreography. 

 

GD & TOP - Oh Yeah!

 

And now ladies and gentleman, the song that introduced me to the duo: the brilliant ‘Knocked OuT’. Produced by Diplo (let’s accept once and for all that Wesley is omniscient), the song talks about how cool they are, how jealous people try and get close to them and how they adore to pop bubbles – which is the reason this hip hop instrumental has lots of bubble sounds. But before we go to the actual song, let’s see what Diplo has to say about it.

"I went to Seoul to DJ last year for the first time… I don’t even remember how I met any of the Kpop crew, but someone got in touch with someone… I was a super fan of 2NE1, those girls are killing it. People don’t know that Kpop sort of runs all of Asia and now Japan is the main market for these artists, but every one of these guys have proper Korean and English skills. My beat was for some kids in this Kpop crew from one of the biggest groups, BIG BANG. They are sort like NKOTB/JAY-Z/Miley Cyrus and Justin Beiber all mixed into one act. GD and TOP are the main rappers that go in for verse 3 in every Big Bang song. YOU can tell from GD and TOP that they are rapper-rappers, not phonies. They have crazy flow, they wear tiny pants on top of tanks talking about Swag... These are my favorite new rappers! I didn’t realize they were a big deal. I sent a beat over a couple months back and then [it became a] youtube hit and got a mil views in 2 weeks. Kinda swag! The styling is sooooo much better then US rap, it’s really sad. Anyway, I’m moving to Korea now.”*

And he finished his post with the instrumental version of the song, which you can download below.

 

Flash Content
- [mp3]

 

When Diplo started talking about them singing about swag on top of tanks, he meant it literally. As you can see from the video for ‘Knocked Out’, which is really quite simple and minimal yet, because of the fashion, toy art and scenery pieces, is also really luxurious. Basically, if I had a band today and it wasn’t a sorrowful indie one I would dream of having a video like this.

 

GD & TOP - Knock Out

 

And when we thought that they wouldn’t release another video, they hit us with this completely different facet in ‘Baby Good Night’. For a start, this song features a girl speaking in a sexy french voice. And then there's this R’n’B style that reminds me of a lot of the Justin Timberlake’s encounters with Timbaland – falsettos, big drums, acoustic guitars and electric pianos included. The film shows them late night at home wearing awesome robes and pajamas, drinking champagne and missing their girlfriends (I still don't get what the snake is doing in the bed, so I’m assuming it has some meaning in Korean). You can’t get any classier than that, honestly.

 

GD & TOP - Baby Good Night

 

We might finally be done with the videos, but there are still two more amazing songs on the album. ‘Intro’, is the best intro a pop album could ever get, featuring sample of "It's Yours to Have" by Freda Payne, and ‘Don't Go Home’, as well as ‘Make It with You’ by Bread. All very sunny pieces of disco/funk hip hop.

 

Flash Content
- [mp3]

 

gd and top

 

Now some final considerations on GD & TOP. It’s so funny how they put English words in the final of their verses and even sing in Korean with a misleading English accent (which makes me really confused, as I’m not a native and don’t know all the words in the language). And as Diplo said, the Occident doesnt have hip hop icons as sylish as these two here.

 

But anyway, with lyrics like:

I may like toys more than girls

but laugh at me

and you’ll get hurt

 

and

 

My long eyelashes are born from natural freedom

different from disgusting smoky makeup

 

 - makes them much cooler than any of the clothes they are wearing.

 

Anyway, as you can see, we're pretty obsessed with these two lately (so much that they just got the biggest text I'm ever written here on the blog), but I really believe we're going to hear big things about them.

 

And how can you not love a duo who uses a symbol of a hand with two fingers up resembling a Playboy bunny?

 

gd and top

 

*sorry, Wesley. I had to edit your text to make more sense.**

 

**Ed: and it still doesn't make all that much sense!

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