It’s quickly approaching summer…that means we still have a few weeks of possible snow in the forecast here in the great state of Colorado, but it also means we’re starting to get summer songs. I love summer songs, especially summer hip-hop songs. Remember last year when I posted all about wanting to build the perfect summer playlist? Yeah, it’s still underdeveloped. But I’m trying, and that’s what’s important. Right? Right?
One group that I stumbled on last year that really struck my fancy right out of the gate was TREI. Totally summer playlist worthy. They’re a duo formed from the crew TRiNiTiOPUS on Banana Culture, made up of Jaejun (formerly known as Maru from C-Clown and participant on Mixnine) and Changhyun (aka Golden Boi). The two have a total of one song, Up, that I can find on iTunes, but they actually debuted in 2017 with a solid following on Soundcloud and YouTube. They are pretty well-known producers in their own right with quite a few songs and MVs.
Their debut track was Fame, from Mix-Tape ‘3,’ so named because it contained only three short songs. Despite the length, it had a pretty decent reception and I think folks have been looking forward to a more complete album. Any day now…or maybe that’s just me.
Both members are talented rappers with smooth, R&B vocals, but they aren’t limited by their talent. They play around with their voices and how they either blend together or contrast. I particularly love the little edge they both toss in during the chorus in Up. The rasp kind of grates on my skin in the best possible way. The choreo is partially them just tossing their bodies around to the beat of the song, but there are moments, elements that show just how good they both are. They’ve clearly been trained and worked hard. In other videos, particularly their performance videos, you can see the actual more complicated choreography they incorporate into their performances. But for this video, like so many other official releases, it’s more about the feel than the fancy footwork.
Their label is quite small, and though the videos are pretty well put together, it’s clear that they don’t have a huge budget. I’m also thinking that we’re not going to see these guys on any major stages, but I gotta say, next time I’m in Korea if I hear they’re playing at a club anywhere, I will totally drop the cash to see ‘em. I guess that kind of means I’d fly for them.
And because I am truly a sucker for these two…
Up (Live Acoustic Version), TREI