It’s fun to occasionally switch up the usual and take on something new and so you get me for Musical Monday and SaraG for this week’s Khottie. This past week has been filled with two Monsta X shows and releases from two groups that are at the top of my list. I was originally planning to write about SF9’s comeback, it’s great (they look amazing) and you should totally go watch it multiple times but in the end I decided I would rather write about iKON. For those of you not aware, iKON is my bias group. I’m not really sure how that happened but at this point, it’s been over a year and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
What I have discovered is that iKON is a group that causes strong feelings in fans and non-fans alike. Under YG, the group was originally conceived as the follow-up to BigBang and is based around the rap pair of B.I. and Bobby. iKON was formed as the result of not one, but two reality shows. They lost out to Winner at the end of WIN: Who Is Next and went through Mix & Match which added an additional member to the original six. Both shows were brutal and you can see how it has shaped the group and their relationships with each other and their fans. All the members (B.I., Jinhwan, Yunhyeong, Bobby, Donghyuk, Junhoe and Chanwoo) are incredibly talented in their own way and the newer music is starting to better reflect the diversity in the group. Their early stuff was mainly B.I. and Bobby rapping, supported in the background by the five vocalists. This new release, New Kids: Continue, produced by B.I., continues to highlight the group’s transition away from their original sounds as they find their own space in this very crowded field. The lead song is Killing Me, a bittersweet yet upbeat track and overall I love the song and have listened multiple times. It has all the pieces, an addictive beat, great styling and choreography that highlights their dancing skills. One of the main complaints about iKON has always been the line distribution. With this song, you can tell that B.I. is learning how to better incorporate the vocalists but it still heavily features the two rappers. Each member clearly has their own section but they are separate sections. I wish iKON would start to play around with layering the vocals as each has a unique voice that could do so well when paired. The chorus is a little heavy on the autotune but the choreography fits the music perfectly. I would encourage you to watch the dance practice, as I just learned today that Donghyuk (DK) was very involved in creating it and it is deceptively complex. My favorite part though is Chanwoo’s solo section where the melody changes up by going down. Who knew he had such a perfect lower pitched voice and it’s beautifully breathy. Kudo’s to B.I. for doing a great job at fitting the vocal parts to the right voices. For a group that is under YG it’s amazing that they have had two releases in six months so whether you stan iKON or just don’t care but want to make me happy, please go watch the music video and listen to the rest of the album.