For me, one of the absolute biggest joys of my kids getting older is that they are now interested in many of the same books as me. When I was a young teen, there wasn’t this glut of crazy good YA fic floating around and I really feel like I missed out while I was sneaking my grandma’s Harlequin’s. Give me The Hunger Games over Italian Escape With Her Fake Fiance any day.
Part of what’s so beautiful and often confusing about Kpop is the fantasy they build up around each and every comeback and concept. Beautiful for obvious reasons – ready-made worlds to ponder as you fall asleep each night. Confusing because, to the young and obsessive fan whose brain isn’t yet fully developed, it can begin to feel like they really are your boyfriend. But for those of us approaching the apex of that particular hill, It’s a delight. We have the amazing ability to roll around in the romanticism of this kind of entertainment without losing our grasp on the reality of bills to pay and relationships to maintain.
In Kpop, we are very much used to this world-building. It’s something we’ve grown to count on each time we see that teaser with a date pop up on Instagram. But in Korean Hip Hop it’s not as much a thing. I mean, we see the swagger and posing that’s so common in American music and the pretending to be making ever so much more money than is realistic. But that kind of play-acting does not a sexy fantasy make – at least for me. I don’t give a crap about how much money you pretend make. What does get me is just what lengths you will pretend go to for me because you love me.
Enter Ash Island and his new song Error featuring the rapper Loopy. Pure young adult porn. The actual plot is somewhat hazy because it’s a 3’36” video and not a five-novel series, but what I got out of it is dystopian, human to cyborg, fighting to find the woman he loves, pure gold. And that’s the just video.
The song itself is kind of orchestral singer-songwriter Hip Hop with some super whiny rap thrown in as only Loopy knows how to do. I love a whiny rapper and Loopy is that in spades…on the verge of too many spades in this song, in particular, but still, amazingly suited to the sentiment. Ash Island has a gorgeous voice and a great musicality. He’s followed the path of many before him in his love for autotune – I’m looking at you Changmo and Sik-K- but I’ve also learned to get over myself and enjoy what they’re doing with the software as an instrument and not as a mask for a potentially shitty singing voice. He doesn’t overuse it in this song at all – there was a moment where I got nervous and then he pulled back at just the right second.
As if often the case with smaller labels, the song came out on MV long before it was actually available on the music streaming service I prefer which means I had to actually purchase it in order to add it to any of my playlists. Surprising no one, I did, in fact, purchase it. You’re welcome for the sandwich, Ash Island, and thank you for the hours of enjoyable things to think about and feelings to feel.
Error, Ash Island