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  • Cy White

Khundi Panda: MODM : Original Saga

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Well, I say, GAWD DAMN! Okay, Khundi Panda. I mean, I know the man had bars. I did not know the man had bars.

MODM is a whole new level of "Holy shit!" wrapped up nicely in "What did I just listen to?" Before I can even touch the rapping with any real clarity, I just have to get into the production. The music is vicious, aggressive, brazen. It's the type of sound that endeared me almost instantly to hip-hop duo XXX (FRNK does make a few appearances in my reviews of other artists, but that's simply because nobody has ever done what he does until he actually did it; but I digress). All broken beats and Tesla coils. Yes, there's electricity in this music. A sound that if you're not carefully will send 600 Volts through your system and light your neurons on fire. Compliment that with Khundi Panda, and well, you get exactly what the title suggests: an original new musical saga.

The man opens the album by saying, "I can do whatever I want. I can go anywhere. And when I go crazed out, I can be anything." The beat drops, and Khundi just gets straight lethal on the mic. But there's something thicker here. Something that sticks to the ribs a little more than you'd think. It's not just a novelty album. Music and lyricism without any real directive. The narrative is of a man forcing himself to look past his narcissism (the same inflated ego that you kind of need in order to push through hip hop with any real impression). Realizing that none of this life is guaranteed because ultimately it doesn't belong to us. There are greater powers at play. The best we can do is see how far we can game the system before it completely takes us out of the running for dominance over our own bodies.

Khundi Panda has decided to go in guns blazing, knives out and arrows at the ready. He refuses to let anyone have control over him. He's already proclaimed "I am the player. I am portable." His own personal "Invictus." He punctuates this point with absolutely lethal flow in "Ancient Power" (with unreal features from Fana and Gaeko to drive the point home). MODM is filled to the brim with this same punch to the teeth. Holding nothing back and leaving no crumbs for anybody else.

MODM is the most aggressive album form South Korea this year. And the thing is, Khundi Panda means every single word he spits.

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