As you all know, I actually took the time out to go to KCON LA this year. Let me tell you, it was one of the most enlightening experiences in my life. A consequence—or perhaps blessing—of getting to go to perhaps the largest celebration of Korean music and pop culture in the world is getting the privilege to see artists you may have never had a chance to before. Coincidentally enough, most of those artists are independent artists (save for those hitting the main stage at the Staples Center for the concerts).
Thus where this week’s recommendation comes from (now that I think of, one of the few that I didn’t come across thanks to my favorite YouTube channel, WE LOVE KPOP). Odd Folk is a collective of like-minded artists headed by rapper/producers As If and Dr. Mumen. They’ve managed to slot themselves in a small-ish niche of producers of the same aesthetic: wavy and mellow music making way for vicious lyricism and powerful delivery.
The group purports to be leading a new wave of cross-genre hip-hop that takes direct inspiration from funk, jazz, and R&B, calling it “Alternative Wave.” Though their type of hip-hop comes about twenty years after the fact, it doesn’t take away form the depth of their sound and just how much passion they have for their music.
That passion shows in every song, every lyric, every beat. As with most collectives, each artist has his or her own aesthetic. Dr. Mumen falls on the jazz-infused side of the spectrum, while As If is more attuned to the harder edge of hip-hop, music with a beat that sticks in the chest.
From the diversity in their setup to the absolute exuberance they express about their music and the work they’re doing, Odd Folks (which as of now consists of four members: the aforementioned founders Dr. Mumen and As If, Slez, and a female member that didn’t make it to KCON) has caught my attention as a group of artists destined for greatness.