3 MIN READ
On July 30, 2021, BewhY released his latest EP titled ‘032 Funk’, which caught many people by surprise, considering the drastic change of style from his amazing last albums ‘The Movie Star’ and ‘The Blind Star’, which featured heavier and darker songs laced with devout lyrics. This new album recalls the funk comeback initiated by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak this year in America.
‘032 Funk’ starts with the song “Pack it Up” featuring UNE. The track begins with a lofi type beat that was produced by Gray before gradually building up to a full funk vibe. “Pack it Up” is an invitation to travel, full of excitement, which is quite fitting when you board on the ‘032 Funk’ airlines. The track contains lovely imagery such as “passport with holes like a honeycomb”. UNE’s featuring is a nice addition to the track with her vocals blending in seamlessly with the lofi landscape that makes you feel like you are flying in a cloudy sky.
Following the opening track, BewhY transitions to “Incheon Airport Freestyle” with a groovy beginning. The song automatically brings you in with a satisfying and catchy opening beat comprising of a nice guitar beat, some funky keyboard melodies and some modulated voice effects. BewhY delivers an energetic flow that is really upbeat and enjoyable, doubling the track’s feel-good energy, before adding some vocals on the chorus. It clearly feels like BewhY had a lot of fun making this track, even humouring in the lyrics the fact that Loco and Heize were supposed to feature on it, but couldn’t, due to a schedule conflict. “Incheon Airport Freestyle” beautifully describes every stage of a departure for the airport. BewhY’s storytelling abilities bring out the beauty and fun of travel mundanities, which can only make the listeners excited for their next trip.
“Standout” featuring Dok2 offers some satisfying contrasts between BewhY’s staccato rap style and Dok2’s smoother flow which balance each other out. The song is an ode to BewhY’s partner on top of some groovy guitar beats and funky keyboard bits.
The album’s lead single “Celebration” is incredibly upbeat, instantly lifting your mood. The opening trumpets added to BewhY’s enthusiastic rap, his catchy vocals and the repetition of “celebration” is a winning combo. The trumpets themselves should get an MVP title for this track, as they bring the energy to the sky instantly. This track oddly makes me think of the French duo Daft Punk at times. In sum, “Celebration” will most definitely be on my heavy rotation this summer.
Following the lead single is “Perfect Thumbnail” featuring MINO and Dynamic Duo, where the album’s recurring iconic guitar beat make a comeback once again. This track, much like the other songs of the EP, is a high energy one, with every artist feeding off one another. They all add their own vibe and energy to the song, bringing it to another level. Choiza and Gaeko’s chorus lower the tone of the song while still keeping the groove, giving the listener a break of the energy charge of BewhY and MINO’s flow and allowing them to come back in force after the chorus. MINO’s flow is really interesting as it goes from rapping to singing seamlessly, really bringing a unique sound to the song.
Finally, ‘032 Funk’ closes with “Vivian Girl”, another ode to BewhY’s wife. The song starts off with a calculated awkward superposition of flow, beat and melody that gradually straightens out after a few seconds, in typical BewhY manner. The song quite probably references the brand Vivienne Westwood with allusions like “She has a UFO spaceship logo on her shoulder” and “Vivian knee socks”. He goes on to create a parallel between the spaceship logo and how she takes him higher and sends him away like when on a spaceship. This song is not my favourite but it nicely brings the high levels of energy and intensity down for the last track, which is much needed after such an intense ride.
‘032 Funk’ is a perfect example of how lovely it can be to see an artist having fun while exploring new musical avenues. BewhY introduced a new style that has very rarely (if ever) been seen on the Korean hiphop scene. This EP is like an 18 minute and 25 seconds serotonin boost, full of feel-good tunes, as if Bewhy had a big celebration before leaving off to military service. We can only wish him to keep this energy through his whole military service and in the meantime, we shall listen to this EP on loop while waiting for his return.