Leellamarz: [L] DELUXE
This is the problem with most rappers coming out of South Korea. Everybody wants to be Drake. Which, okay, he's popular and makes a lot of money. The appeal is there. He makes decent pop music sometimes. (Though most times it feels like he's throwing shit at a dart board and creates based on that because he knows people will meme him and make him so viral that it seems like he's doing something. But I digress.) Leellamarz is no exception.
That being said...
[L] DELUXE shows some real substance starting toward the middle. The opening of the album almost took me out of the experience altogether, and I was once again resigned to the fact that I was listening to another rapper who decides they'd rather sing but knows they don't have the chops so they call it "rap." However, putting aside the fact that there's more "singing" than rapping on this apparent rap album, it's an incredibly tender piece of music. Open and honest about the journey of an artist and young man who just wants to be accepted for who he is. I can most certainly respect that even if the vehicle used to express his emotional weight isn't exactly my cup of tea.
I'm often surprised by the quality of the music itself. More often than not that's what makes these albums listenable to me. As far as musicality, the same can be said about [L] DELUXE. Sparse moments of something interesting couched in high-quality musical composition. But I will give Leellamarz credit for creating an album that, while less hip hop and heavier on pop conventions, is still an earnest expression of what I'll assume is genuine emotion.