KPop Collaborations: The Next Musical Destination

ASZ News

A collaboration is the blending of talents and skills to bring forth new life.  When contrasting melodic, raw, and gritty movements of rhythm meet, we experience a revolution of sound. Music was created to follow that path of growth.  When an artist allows their egos to be pushed aside to work collaboratively with another artist, the world is meant to move to a higher level of understanding.

In the past, there have been several collaborations between international and KPop artists.  Who can forget Rain and Christina Aguilera in the Pepsi soda commercial? Se7en and Lil' Kim with the song, I Like Them Girls. Other groups have worked together, such as, Wonder Girls and Akon song Like Money, which charted on Billboards Hot 100.  Recently, some very high profile musicians from polarizing genres have expressed a desire to create a mingling of music with KPop. Whenever an international fan of KPop hears about one of these pairings, we have a moment of excitement.  Finally, someone validating our affection for Korean popular music.  Eric Nam and Timberland's collaboration seemed very rushed and felt artificial, but Eric Nam, Tablo, and Gallant's joint piece was a great blend of each of their talents. Eric's smooth, Americanized vocals harmonized well with Gallant, and the addition of Tablo's unique gruff husky rhymes rounded out the umami flavor of the single. Giddy thoughts ran through our minds when we see that Pharrell and G-DRAGON put their brilliance on digitally mastered designer music. These artists are the future of music as they create a fusion genre. We applaud you.

The flipside of these mash-ups is the overwhelming popularity of a niche subculture. We KPop fans fear too much overexposure. Overly hyped monstrosities have flooded the musical world with horrible effects. You can look at other forms of artistic media and see the effects of mass exposure. The MAMA’s gave a prime example with the controversy between Wiz Kalifa and Taeyeon. Hip-hop reality meets a KPop princess fairytale, and the nightmare began. The fragile strands holding some of our much-loved artists up lost some of the fairy dust. We saw with the lackluster viewing of the MAMA’s that collaboration was not what was wanted. 

Both artists are not as active and popular as they once were, but this collaboration was a chance to bring their skills to the forefront.  Now they are trending, not for the music they created, but for the international beef they had on Twitter. This time an artist featuring another artist didn’t work out. If we let this be the example of KPop and international artist body of work, we will not experience the next level of music. 

Hip-hop's poet laureate (Wale) and KPop's Lyrical boy wonder, Rap Monster, just dropped a fantastic single, Change. This cipher was everything I thought it would be. They matched in style, flow, and intelligence. This is what collaboration is meant to foster. You can feel the chemistry popping off the screen and we are better for it.  The world is indeed going to change, and to quote lyrics from this thought provoking song, "Lyricist in all cultures are rare so when they come together we need to stand up and pay attention."

I am waiting to be amazed as a fan. I want to catch feelings from the sensations elicited by unique music that doesn’t remind me of anything, but raw emotion. Give me my wow and you will have my ear for life. Hey, Marvin Gay said it the best, “Let’s Get Together.”