Untell: HUMAN, the album
Like many hip-hop heads, I have my misgivings about rap coming from South Korea. But if Untell is what we can look forward to in the next few years, I think it's safe to assume the tide will be turning in a big way.
Grimy, guttural, fearless rapping that toes the line between Cakes da Killa and Kendrick Lamar. Opening track "Where are you from?" (featuring NECTA and produced to the gods by Untell and Will Not Fear) starts sinister and ominous, then morphs into something straight from the streets of Soho and the clubs in Itaewon. It's a bombastic track that both provides commentary and parodies those who, admittedly like me, have pointed an accusatory finger at so-called rap artists from the country and decried the lack of both authenticity and respect for those who created the craft they deign to perform.
There's much one can say about "Where are you from?" But at the end of the day, Untell is human. Made an entire album about just that. For someone who obviously takes the craft seriously, after hearing the founding proponents of the genre ridicule and outright disparage rappers from South Korea for years, at some point you're going to respond. This young man did. And, damn, are we going to hear what he has to say.