Listening to XXX‘s Kyomi, it comes across pretty aggressive from the first track, “Liquor.” Hip-hop has a lot of different levels and as you dive deeper, you come to realize that the artists in the genre are seeking their own unique voice. XXX members Kim Ximya and FRNK definitely have a unique style and presentation. As Kyomi is their first release, they go straight for the throat and grab your attention whether you like it or not.

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Each track features a distinct instrumental, this is an EP where you don’t confuse songs. “우물정자” is the only song that doesn’t carry the 19 year old age restriction, but the beat is a favorite. The alternating melodies along with syncopated drum beat gets stuck in your head pretty quickly. With the song’s structure, it seems like it would be difficult to find the beat, but “우물정자” does a great job of keeping the beat recognizable even when the samples go into bizarre territory. If language is a problem, “교미” will probably be a problem. Along with the Korean verses, there’s a healthy amount of English cursing. The verse flow moves over the instrumentals at a good pace, slowing down or speeding up the rhythms as seen fit.

“Too High” might be the most melodic song with a pulsing over-arching melody that forms the structure. It’s impressive how the instrumentals, which could be considered noise, flow together and keep the energy of every song moving. It’s definitely not an easy EP to get into at first and takes a couple of listens to really find the elements that catch your ear. Kyomi does have an overarching flow. Each song supports the tone and Kim Ximya makes his presence known over FRNK’s beats.

XXX isn’t pop ready Hip-hop that you’ll normally hear. It’s Hip-hop that’s following its own path and not caring whether if you enjoy it or not. They can definitely find their audience among jaded Hip-hop fans. Kiyomi is a strong, even polarizing, release but shows artists can make music without worrying about acceptance.

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Korean Indie Editor-At-Large The person in the background watching over everything.