Initially kaogaii's BACK HAN SOL seems to epitomize hip hop. There's a decided concentration on flow, delivery, passion. The music has the kind of raw edge most hip-hop heads can appreciate. With opening song "GoldStar APT," one gets the impression this is about to be a genuine rap album from a genuine rap artist.
Progressively, however, the album devolves into the self-same hip-hop impersonation that has kept me on the fence about the artform ending up in South Korea. The craft gets tossed around like a frisbee between those who are more interested in showing how best they can imitate the the inherent swagger of people born and bred in the thick of hip hop's grimiest environments. Environs more than 95% of those who shuffle around in hip hop have no experience with.
I had high hopes for kaogaii, but as soon as the first feature jumped in ("Homie" featuring Kitsyojii), all those hopes went whimpering out, deflating like a balloon down to its soggy rubber origins. All that's left is bitter disappointment and an angry memory of what could have been, what I hoped would be and the embarrassment of knowing that yet again I was wrong to cling on to the hope that I'd find someone who takes the craft serious enough to look beyond the flashiest rappers who are selling the most without actually adding anything of substance to the genre.