Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kpop: Block B

from left to right: P.O., Taeil, Zico, Kyung, U-Kwon, B-Bomb, Jaehyo
Block B is a seven member hip-hop boy band formed by Cho Joong Hoon (known as Cho PD) in 2011. In case you don't know, Cho PD is a rapper and South Korean record producer.  The band was formed under Cho PD's Creating Korea's Eminem Project in 2011. Cho wanted the band to be similar in ability to Big Bang and all members have experience in singing, dancing, and rap.

Block B (the group's full name is Blockbuster) is made up of Zico (Woo Ji Ho), Taeil (Lee Tae II), B-Bomb (Lee Min Hyuk), Jaehyo (Ahn Jae Hyo), U-Kwon (Kim Yoo Kwon), Kyung (Park Kyung), and P.O. (Pyo Ji Hoon). Zico is the group's main rapper and helped produce the groups first mini-album, Do You Wanna B? Twenty year old Kyung is also a rapper as is P.O.  Taeil, Jaehyo, Ukwon and  B-Bomb are vocalists, with the latter two also specializing in dance. This group is young and talented and has every expectation of developing into an innovative band.

Their first single, "Do You Wanna B?"  was followed by their debut music video, Freeze, which was banned as too sexy for Korean youth by South Korea's Commission of Youth Protection. The video, shown below could only be televised after 10pm in Korea.

Freeze is a combination of electronic hip-hop and rap with a catchy tune and strong beat. Main rapper Zico sings the chorus:

I like the way you move STOP
Where are you going girl? STOP
Don’t try to stop me, don’t STOP

Stop right there stop
Where are you going girl? STOP
Don’t try to stop me, don’t STOP

"Nalina" or "Go Crazy" was part of their mini-album, Welcome to the Block, which was released in January 2012.

In February 2012, the group was involved in a public image crisis over their controversial remarks at a press conference in Thailand where they seemed to be insensitive to recent floods in Thailand. During the interview, members of the group goofed around, made light of the disaster and implied they didn't have money to donate to the relief efforts. Block B later apologized for their behaviour and comments. Whether their remarks were misconstrued or careless, there's no doubt the group could have behaved more maturely. As relative newcomers to the international music scene, they have learned a valuable lesson about the image they project through their actions and words and about being a role model in an industry crowded with self absorbed artists.

After an eight month hiatus, Block B recently released their newest single, Nillili Mambo from their Blockbuster album. In this video they play diamond pirates involved in some very typical pirate antics. The musical orchestration at the beginning is even vaguely reminiscent of the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack. This video is quite a contrast to their previous ones with its playful, fun atmosphere and bits of humour. And I love those HUGE diamonds!

So after enjoying all of these videos, I'm looking forward to what this group will do in future albums. They have the look and the talent and are managed by one of the premier hip-hop artists in South Korea.

No comments: