For this one, I’ve based my choice mainly on how much I love these song, how much I’ve listen to them throughout the year and how likely I’ll be to listen to them still in 2015. I also considered a bit how they did on the chart, their overall popularity and all that jazz.
I also had a hard time narrowing it down to only 10. It was a really great year for the kind of hip-hop I like.
So without further ado, here it is :
10. Sugar Blues – I’m Sorry (feat. Tako, Jeon Yun Yeong)
Even though not many people know who’s Sugar Blues and what they do, this song really stayed with me for a while in 2014. It’s just really good, fun and groovy. I wouldn’t say it’s astonishing hip-hop, but I couldn’t really put it in indie either. I really like the chorus. And that’s about it.
9. O Eon Jong – Beenzino (feat. Niihwa) (Blacknut cover)
I’ve talked about this one not so long ago and I still really enjoy it and listen to it often. I try to not go all in with cover, but this one was special. I try listening to the original version of the song, but really didn’t like it. I think maybe it has to do with the fact the lyrics are way less focused on dissing Beenzino and all. And maybe that half of my interest in this cover is about Niihwa. I discovered him in 2014 I think (or was it before that, I don’t remember), and I’m watching his career carefully. I think he’s really talented and does great music.
8. Philte – Last Scene (feat. Choiza, Lim Kim)
I liked this one from the start. First, there’s Choiza’s rap, then Lim Kim’s voice and finally, Philtre’s music. It’s a great combo and my expectation were high but reached. I don’t listen to it that often now though, maybe because it’s a bit more slow-paced, but I still enjoy it every now and then. And you also got a great artistic MV to top it all.
7. Tablo x Taeyang – Eyes, Nose, Lips (cover)
Do I really need to explain myself? This cover, to me, was the best one out there. And I don’t even feel the need to explain that I choose a cover. Tablo did a great job rewriting the song with the same “mood”. The lyrics are genius. I like the really subtle beat when he raps and I even like when he sings for the chorus. And when Taeyang comes at the end… wow. It was really one of my favorite track this year, along with the original. I still listen to it and sing along. It’s such a powerful song… The only thing I regret is that, even though it’s in English, there’s not enough people around the world that heard it (you know, because there’s either Korean in the title of the video on Youtube and/or because they’re Asian… gosh). It’s a shame, seriously.
6. YDG – JAJAJA (feat. Dynamic Duo, Crush)
This sick beat! And the piano! It’s just so good. I don’t really understand why this song didn’t work as much as others. Yeah, sure, maybe YDG isn’t as known as other hip-hop artist, but this song is really awesome. And the featuring are incredible. The way the song is “tri”-alog, it’s so ingenious. Seriously, if you haven’t watch/listen to it when I’ve put it in a K-Blend playlist, you should.
5. Dynamic Duo, DJ Premier – AEAO
This song… Seriously, if I could have, the last 5 rank would all have been equal. Because each song is terribly great. I don’t really know DJ Premier, but I like his beat (more old school, a bit like for YDG’s song) and the collab between him and Dynamic Duo is amazing. I especially like Gaeko’s voice in the chorus. I always love Gaeko anyway, but whatever. I still greatly enjoy it when I listen to it, but I’ve started to let it go a bit to make some space for newer songs.
4. Epik High – Shoebox (feat. MYK)
This one was a bit of a late comer in my favorite track of the year. Sure, it might be because it was release near the end of the year, but even then, I didn’t notice it right away. I liked it from the start, but it wasn’t a “hit” as much as others. One day though, I started to have MYK’s part stuck in my head and it wouldn’t go. I’m still not all in for the “intro” part, because I feel like it doesn’t really go all that nicely with the rest of the song. But the rest of the song is just great. I would have like a more complex MV maybe, but I don’t care that much since the song is fine by itself too.
3. Gaeko – No Make Up (feat. Zion.T, HA:TFELT)
I cannot do a list of favorite tracks of the year without including Zion.T somehow. That would be treason (lol). Anyway, I really liked Gaeko’s solo comeback, but this song brought it home for me because of the chorus. Zion.T is right on point as usual. I still really enjoy Gaeko’s rap (even though I prefer his voice when he sing, but still). I like the way the song is “played” also, with the people talking at the end and with the way the boys’ part and the girl’s part respond to each other. I don’t have much to say about the beat though, it serves the song well I would say, but it’s not that noticeable either (which isn’t a bad thing though).
2. Epik High – We Fight Ourselves (feat. Younha)
The only thing that differentiate the two first position is mainly how they did on the chart, how popular they were. Epik High did a great job with their new album, but my favorite song is one of the not overly known/popular tracks of the album. I like how they went and got Younha to sing part of the chorus, but also to support the rap here and there. I like the more “lyrical” beat too, and the fact it’s not too complicated and kind of clean. The MV, even though it might seem boring, is actually really funny if you pay close attention to it. And it shows how talented every one of them is also. This song never left my phone since it was released.
1. Gary – Shower Later (feat. Crush)
How could I go and not include this awesomesauce song in my list? Sure, the MV is a bit cliché (and I’m still wondering if it might be a parody of these kind of MV we usually get from American hip-hop), but gosh this song is good. I always include it whenever I make a hip-hop playlist and every one of my friends who listened to it think it’s great too. Crush is “crushing it” in the chorus and the bridge. And Gary is Gary. And I love him like that. This song actually made me buy a LeeSSang snapback cap so I could show the world I much I like him and his music (ok, you’ll say I could have bought a cap only of him or of his single or whatever, but I really like LeeSSang as a duo also, and the cap is really cool, so…). This song never left my phone too.
I got a few others that I didn’t include in there obviously. Epik High album was damn fine and I also like most Dynamic Duo songs (as usual…). Angli’s single was also really awesome and when I’ve made some of my friends listen to it, all of them liked it too.