EUN JI WON – 'G1'
1. HOW WE DO
2. I’M ON FIRE (Feat. Blue.D)
5. HOOLIGAN (Feat. MINO of WINNER)
6. GET READY
Eun Ji Won is making a solo comeback, his first in 4 years. He's just dropped his newest album, 'G1,' a play on his name. The on-again, off-again Sechskies singer has 9 new tracks for you to enjoy, and includes guest stars such as Blue.D, and Mino of Winner. This is his 6th studio album, and his first LP in 10 years.
"HOW WE DO" fronts the album, and it's R&B with some hip-hop elements. Ji Won doesn't have the best flow, but it's serviceable. I like this one. It's pretty good R&B all by itself, and the raps aren't half-bad. The title track is "I’M ON FIRE." I like how this one starts with Blue.D's vocals. I like this one better than the first track too. The raps are better here, and sometimes he even sounds like Tiger JK. It's still fun, even if it contains the only word K-pop knows how to rhyme with "fire." (e.g., "higher"). The chorus isn't the only thing on repeat, the pre-chorus fits nicely in that category as well. The sad thing is that Blue.D barely has a line here, and it would be nice to hear more from her. "SEXY" has a vaguely Latin beat. I don't think that was an accident, either, thanks to some of the horns in the first verse. There's a lot more rapping here, which is a good thing. Korean hip hop is near and dear to my heart, and there's a fair amount of here.
"WORTHLESS" is a song co-composed by B.I and Millennium. Because this is YG, a scandal has to exist somewhere. It's also a ballad, and not as good as some of the other ones we've heard. But then again, I'm not into K-pop for the slower stuff. Starting loud and never letting up, we have "HOOLIGAN." A lot of this one is Mino and Ji Won rapping together. The song's half-over before we get individual parts. I was hoping for that since I was grooving to Mino's raps before he joined Winner (look up "Born Hater" by Epik High and you'll hear more of him). "HOOLIGAN" is a fun song, though, don't get me wrong. "GET READY" takes advantage of the tropical house beat, which apparently is here to stay. It would be an ordinary pop tune, except for the husky voice powering the song. The chorus sounds absolutely awesome.
On "TIPSY" he channels Tablo. He sounds a lot like him, at least in the beginning. I like the flute in the background, and it makes this song pretty easy on the ears. It's a little more playful than some of the other tracks. Maybe it's an island beat, but it's solid. Funny, he doesn't sound tipsy while he's singing it. "HATE" starts out with "I hate myself." And that theme continues through the rest of the song, which is a slow-burn R&B tune. It's fun to hear him go through the reasons why. It's not the best song, but it's not the worst, either. "SAME" ends the album on a high note. This particular tune is straight-ahead pop. But it's nicely done. It was the right song at the right time because it's more hopeful than the rest of the LP. And it's a real bop.
This album is the answer to the question, "But I thought you were a rapper?" Yeah, with Sechskies, he was pop. But this whole album is laced with his unique brand of alt-hip-hop. It's great how he can switch gears and sing and spit out raps a split second later. I love how it sounds, and how it makes you feel listening to it.
Eun Ji Won splits the difference between thug and cowboy in the video for "I'm On Fire."
The MV is almost unintentionally hilarious, with the rapper donning gold chains and singing against a fence that's... wait for it... on fire (get it?). The other half of the time he's out in a faux desert with a cowboy hat, a biker leather vest, and a bandana. We go from "yo" to "yee-haw" in 10 seconds. And the effect is visible.
I think Garth Brooks is gonna sue somebody...
I have to give props where they're due, though. As much as I snickered through most of it, they knew exactly what they were doing. If this guy weren't from a land that has neither cowboys nor hoods then it would be pretty convincing. There are even cacti in the background. The mood lighting plus hamming it up in front of the camera actually makes the scenes look pretty good overall.
I poke fun, but I'm joking, and it doesn't make the MV bad at all. He still gives plenty of attitude as both rapper and cowpoke, and as I said it's fairly convincing either way. It looks cool, and the song is awesome.
MV SCORE: 8.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0