[Review] Wooseok & Kuanlin a bit mismatched as a duo on “I’m A Star”

Cube Entertainment has a history of successful sub-units. Both Trouble Maker and Triple H brought together artists from different groups and gave them bold material to forge new avenues in their careers. Wooseok and Kuanlin is the latest in the agency’s sub-unit history, pairing Pentagon’s (very tall) rapper and Wanna One’s (very popular) youngest for a funky hip-hop track.

It’s only been just over a month since Wanna One disbanded, but we’ve already seen a host of solo debuts from its members. None has been very exciting, and unfortunately “I’m A Star” follows this pattern. To be fair, I’m not the target audience here, as I’m not a huge fan of hip-hop tracks without a vocalist. GD & TOP made it work years ago, but the combination of two idol rappers more often than not results in the kind of song that doesn’t resonate with me. “I’m A Star” is fun, but its lackadaisical hook and straightforward production prevent it from becoming memorable.

Both Wooseok and Kuanlin have a lot of charisma, but I’m not sure that they were the best choice for a sub-unit. Their tones are too similar, and there’s a reason most idol groups employ both a high and low tone rapper: it prevents things from growing monotonous. “I’m A Star” could do with a shake-up, whether that be in the form of a guest vocalist or a dynamic verse that breaks up the flow. Instead, the track bops along exactly how you’d expect — perfect for head-nodding if little else. The blasts of brass during the chorus are a nice, retro touch, but not enough to help “I’m A Star” stand out. That laid-back vibe may be the point, but I was hoping for something with a little more impact.

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