Review: Mr. Gae

Mr. Gae

Gary of the hip hop duo LeeSsang rung in the New Year with the release of his solo debut mini album, “Mr. Gae.” This album has brought about a lot of the buzz for the rapper and variety star, earning him more than 1 million video views for each of his music videos, bans from major broadcast networks, and lots of controversy.

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“술 취한 밤의 노래 (Drunken Night Tune)” was my favorite from this album. The accordion introduction brought in this Parisian sound that I have never heard of Korean Hip Hop. Paired with Gary’s lazy rapping and Jung In’s jazz vocals this song had such a unique sound. As the song proceeds it slowly and flawlessly transforms into a tango song, and as we get even further into the song Jung In starts to scat over the music. Gary so flawlessly paired these very different styles of music to create something truly unique to himself, fresh to the genre, but still kept a nod to his identity as a member of LeeSsang by featuring Jung In.

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As I mentioned, this album was controversial for its sexually explicit nature that landed it a 19+ rating. I would like to talk about the graphic elements that are a bone of contention for fans. “조금 이따 샤워해 (Shower Later)” was so uncomfortable to watch that I couldn’t get through it after the first few seconds, but shockingly I didn’t find myself as outraged as I’d expect. The women in the video were no less dressed than female Kpop artists allow themselves to be in their MVs, obviously my prime examples being 4minute’s HyunA, Brown Eyed Girls’ Ga In, and even Girls’ Day. For that, I didn’t think that Gary’s video objectified the female form anymore than the women of Kpop do themselves. However, feeling like this makes me think I have a blatant double standard that comes from my years of listening and watching the American music scene, and I feel kind of guilty. I can’t think of how many times I’ve said, in writing, and to myself, that HyunA or Ga In are purely relying on their bodies to sell music, and get video views, but I see Gary’s MV and nothing. Then I listened to the album by itself, and I realized I love it. Every last song was beautiful, well written, and had its own identity despite it having a sexual subject matter, which is something that the music of Troublemaker, and HyunA lack big time.

I won’t deny that the video, and lyrics, are incredibly explicit, and suggestive, but when I listen to Gary’s music, I am blown away each time, and that’s all I’ve ever asked of artists, Korean or American, when they decided to go the sex route. Gary succeeded in creating an identity for himself not only stylistically and musically different from his identity as a member of LeeSsang, but also different from his identity as a member of the family program, Running Man.


XX몰라 (Zotto Mola): .75/1

조금 이따 샤워해 (Shower Later) ft. Crush: 1/1

술 취한 밤의 노래 (Drunken Night Tune) ft. 정인 (Jung In): 1/1

Mr. Gae ft. Juvie Train & 계범주 (Kye Bum Joo): .75/1

Final Score: 4.4/5

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What did you think of Gary’s album? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “Review: Mr. Gae

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