We can’t call them “experimental”, but if you like adventurous hip-hop, the second album from South Korean duo TFO’s is right for you.
The first lyrics of “Cone” (원뿔), the opening track of TFO’s second album “ㅂㅂ”, starts like this. You are literally sucked into low-pitched and distorted bass beat after B.A.C.’s cynical voice.
Producer Sylarbomb garnishes rupturing effects and dissonant sounds along with B.A.C.’s rapping. It feels like “Cone” is signpost of dark and crooked journey into the red room, which is depicted in the album cover.
TFO is a Korean hip-hop duo of rapper B.A.C. and producer Sylarbomb. Even if you don’t know about Korean hip-hop scene, you can easily notice that this duo dwell in the most experimental area of the scene. Although B.A.C. says “Don’t describe this as ‘experimental’ / cause this is only amusement for us”. (“Dirt” / “덡”)
Many hip-hop listeners focus on lyrics when they listen to hip-hop music, and that’s why most hip-hop fans feel uncomfortable (or fascinated) with TFO’s music.
Lyrics are surely the most important factor in hip-hop, but in “ㅂㅂ” (and also in their 2014 album, “PTSM”) lyrics are deconstructed and melted into sound themselves. It doesn’t mean their lyrics don’t have meaning, but those meanings contribute to the atmosphere, rather than exist as the meaning itself.
Deconstructivism of hip-hop maybe? But don’t be afraid. “ㅂㅂ” (which is the abbreviation of “Bye Bye” in Korean) also has the most danceable and energetic beat in entire hip-hop music released in 2017 by now. If you think you have adventurous taste in music, try TFO’s album right now. You won’t regret.
Stream “ㅂㅂ” on YouTube.