Listening to XXX‘s ‘Kyomi‘, it comes across pretty aggressive from the first track, “Liquor.” Hip-hop has a lot of different levels, and as you dive deeper you come to realize that the artists in the genre are seeking their own unique voice. For their part, XXX members Kim Ximya and FRNK definitely have a unique style and presentation. As ‘Kyomi’ is their first release, they go straight for the throat and grab your attention whether you like it or not.
Each track features a distinct instrumental, and this is definitely an EP where you don’t confuse songs. “우물정자” is the only song that doesn’t carry the 19+ age restriction, but the beat is a favorite of mine, as the alternating melodies along with syncopated drum beat gets stuck in your head pretty quickly. With the song’s structure, it seems like it would be difficult to find the beat, but “우물정자” does a great job of keeping the beat recognizable even when the samples go into bizarre territory. If bad language is a problem, “교미” will probably be an issue for you. Along with the Korean verses, there’s a healthy amount of English cursing. The verse flow moves over the instrumentals at a good pace, slowing down or speeding up the rhythms as seen fit.
“Too High” might be the most melodic song on the release, with a pulsing over-arching melody that forms the structure. It’s impressive how the instrumentals, which could be considered noise, flow together and keep the energy of every song moving. It’s definitely not an easy EP to get into at first, and it takes a couple of listens to really find the elements that catch your ear. ‘Kyomi’ does have an overarching flow, as each song supports the tone and Kim Ximya makes his presence known over FRNK’s beats.
XXX isn’t the pop-ready hip-hop that one normally hears out of South Korea. It’s hip-hop that’s following its own path and not caring whether if you enjoy it or not, and because of that, they can definitely find their audience. ‘Kiyomi’ is a strong, even polarizing, release, but shows artists can make music without worrying about acceptance.
“Flight Attendant” Song