상상은 여권이 필요없는 여행이다
Swings, “Victorious 2 (Feat. Gray)”
I tend to dislike boastful lyrics, and while hip-hop tends to be saturated with the sentiment, there are several redeeming features of Swings’ latest release:
First, the dude admits to having been homophobic and misogynistic in the past, but has since come around. This is particularly significant because gays face a huge amount of discrimination in Korea, so for Swings to be openly supportive is demanding of respect in my book. Korea is also still largely a patriarchal society with a huge gender equality gap, so another +1 for Swings.
Second, Swings makes the distinction between violence and combative sports. As a wrestler and a mixed martial artist, +1
Third, wordplay. For me, this is the crux of my appreciation for hip-hop. A nice hook, catchy beats, etc. these are all useful tools and I will be pulled into a song because of them, but for me to truly respect a hip-hop artist, they have to approach rap like rhythmic poetry. It’s not enough for the end of the lines to rhyme; attention has to be paid to rhyme and assonance within the line as well. Also, make interesting complex rhythms with the words coming out of the mouth instead of a steady, constant beat (unless the steadiness serves as a function of meaning). Swings shows his skills with the former, particularly toward the second half of the song where he discusses wordplay. Yeah, you kinda need to be good at wordplay and show it when you’re boasting about how good at wordplay you are.
Also, the video is… AMAZING. One take, but really dynamic and a lot of different factors that had to be hit just right, like the cell phone and TVs with a synched pre-recording of Swings’ head… not to mention five different people, lighting, and props like the domino books. And the coloring was really washed out (or even black and white) except for a few items highlighted with varying colors. Both song and video are a great addition to Swings’ repertoire.