Above Ordinary Music Group, or AOMG, is a new label in the Korean hip-hop scene with big names at the head. With Jay Park and Simon D, the two heavyweights want to take the oft-referred from posse to legit hip-hop outfit. Joined by label-mates DJ Pumpkin, Loco, and Gray; AOMG put on a fun show for the Asian Music Festival series in New York.

Label in balloon form

As a cast of performers, the group is solid. Loco and Gray performed together for the most part, since both don’t have much material to work with on their own. Together, the two were great, each with their own brand of humor and charm that worked great on stage. Those two need to do a collaborative project to fully flesh out their potential.

Gray and Loco

Simon D was the rapper of the night with a capital R. Self-centered and arrogant, Simon D performed not for us, but for himself. This guy has had a tumultuous couple of years, so performing alone felt like a test to prove his legitimacy. The result? Simon D killed.

From the beginning, his bravado was on pint, performing a number of hits, including one of my favorites, “Stay Cool.” Unlike others with swagger that feels put on, Simon D is the shit and he proved it on that stage.

Simon D

Then came Jay Park. In an over-the-top white and red outfit, with an equally ridiculous hat to match, Jay Park was a spectacle to watch. Claiming jet lag, his voice wasn’t up to par, but after a few songs, and letting the audience sing a few, the kid found his groove. Dancing, singing, and rapping did the trick as he got naked in stages. When he lost his muscle shirt, all bets were off. He could have sung “Amazing Grace” and the audience would have eaten it up. Things only got heightened when Simon D splashed his torso with water, proving that sex sells, even at a hip-hop show.

Jay Park and dancers

The show concluded with everyone on stage, doing away with the softer pop numbers in favor of heavier hip-hop tracks. DJ Pumpkin even got in on it, singing for a while for comedic effect. The night ended on an all-inclusive remix of “Taekwondo,” a highlight of the night.

As a showcase, AOMG at Stage 48 was fun. The show was crowd-pleasing, the guys were fun to watch and everyone had a good time. As a fledgling company, AOMG showed potential for the future of the label.

AOMG on Facebook.
AOMG on Twitter.

Contributed to McRoth’s Residence with a focus on Korean indie and hip-hop music.