Review: Where You At?

After a month at the 3rd Kpop Writers’ Workshop, some very helpful critiques, and a revision I have reviewed Louie of Geeks’ single album “Where You At?” I hope you enjoy!

Where You At

Hip Hop duo, Geeks made their debut back in 2011 with singleOfficially Missing You.” With a slow start, thanks to 2 years of lackluster releases, the duo struggled to really make an impression on the industry. however, after the release of their amazing first full album, Backpack,” in 2013, and the success of its title song, Wash Away featuring vocal power house Ailee, Geeks earned a spot in the mainstream spotlight. And, with a new, larger audience, the members have begun to venture out and pursue solo activities.

Now, after releasing a beautiful single in December, member Louie has returned in 2014 to continue his solo career with single album, “Where You At.” Louie has a very memorable style of rapping that’s relaxed almost lazy. When promoting with Geeks, his rap style is present but, as I suspect, in an effort to be more mainstream, and to reflect his label’s name, Kingpin, both men draw on more excitable and intense styles. With album “Where You At?,”Louie both uncaps the sound he has only barely revealed, and holds right to his roosts as a member of Geeks.

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While he succeeded in creating a distinct sound for himself with 이 시간에  (Are You Up?), in December, for “Twilight,” Louie snaps back to all things Geeks. The song burst open with Louie shouting, ‘It’s the mother f**cking twilight,’ three times to a loud, and cluttered instrumental. Its aggressive opening, and tone is an instant reminder of Geeks’ Siren.” Now, this doesn’t mean that it’s a bad song. It’s biggest fault is that it doesn’t do its job. It is reasonable for Louie to want to keep listeners interested by sticking to something they’re familiar with, but as I’ve said time and time again, the main point of a solo career, for someone from a group, is to create a new image unique to them, and “Twilight” does not do that at all for Louie.

While, “Twilight” gave me a sense of déjà vu, “Where You At?,” stopped me in my tracks. Louie slows it down and enters a territory he’s never explored before neither solo nor with his partner in crime, Lil’ Boi. He takes a more personal route, and raps about how he got to where he is as an artist. His distinctly nasal way of rapping that is always present during his promotions with Geeks is, amazingly, nowhere to be heard on this song, which alone does a lot to create a new sound for himself as a soloist. The combination of the unexpected, the story, and true originality made this song the obvious, and perfect choice for the promotional song of this album, and I’m truly disappointed that it wasn’t.

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This album strictly delights our ears, but doesn’t allow for much visual stimulation, and in true Geeks fashion, Louie overlooked the importance of this element. In my opinion, Hip Hop is a very visual genre, and like Pop music, the success and acceptance of an artist is hindered when that fact is ignored. With “Twilight,” just screaming out a rap doesn’t allow for me, the listener, to be inspired by the song. It was too cluttered, and Louie is seemingly struggling to be something he’s not, tough and hard as rappers typically are. However, with “Where You At?” he was able to break away from the mold created from being a member of Geeks. In addition, the fact that I can’t help but mention, and remember Geeks at almost every corner of this album, says that Louie has failed to accomplish what he needed with his solo debut.

Overall, the album struggles to find a solid identity, and while Louie was strong in some areas, he showed that he has much growing to do before he has ‘mastered’ his genre, and his individual style.

Scores:

Where You At? ft. Young Luffy: 1/1

Twilight ft. Boy Wonder: .5/1

Final Score: 3.75/5

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