Yoon Mi Rae has just released the English version of “JamCome On Baby“, a song I previously reviewed and enjoyed quite a bit. Unfortunately, like a lot of songs that attempt this, it really didn’t live up to the original.
Not even the much celebrated Queen Of Korean Hip Hop could avoid the issues of adapting an original into another language. This is not just in regards to converting a song into English, either. If you’ve ever seen what any Japanese speaker thinks about K-pop’s take on their biggest hits in Japanese, it’s almost always that it’s a let down because of butchered pronunciation, awkward lyrics, and strange phrasing.
However, what surprised me here is that this could have been easily avoided because a lot of the issues people typically have with these adaptations, much having to do with language, are non-existent in this case. Tasha is a native English speaker. She sounds perfectly comfortable here. The English lyrics sound natural and current. Pronunciation is not even remotely questionable.
My main qualm with the English version is with the second verse. Deciding to change the verse from the melodic flow she showcased on the original to the her more traditional flow also subsequently changed the pace and energy of the track as a whole. The verse she uses in the English version just doesn’t connect as well, and almost feels a bit dated with the more current dreamy R&B sound that she’s going for on this song. Tasha’s flow is probably one of her bigger strengths because it is so grounded in the influence from old school hip-hop, but it just didn’t work here. Especially considering it is so obviously referencing Lauryn Hill stylistically, specifically from her track “Lost Ones.”
Maybe none of this would have mattered to me had I never heard the original first, but unfortunately, I did and as a result it made me think that this English version was a bit redundant to release. At least I now know why the music video choices were what they were. It’s a lot easier to release a music video for the same song in another language when you don’t need to edit much of the original to make it work.
“JamCome On Baby” (English Version)
‘JamCome On Baby’