Bewhy is Back with ‘The Blind Star’! [Album Review]

Last week, rapper BewhY released his new album The Blind Star!

BewhY is a wholly unique character in the Korean hip hop scene. He has a strange disjointed flow that allows him to rap over almost anything. His early music is an acquired taste, but last year’s season of Show Me the Money helped to boost him into more mainstream popularity. His success on the show didn’t change him at all, however. His music is still strange and he’s still a little awkward (see mv below), but in the best way.

His performances on SMTM last season are memorable because of their theatrical elements and those same elements are reflected in every aspect of this album from the artwork to the song titles to the essence of the music itself. I can imagine the first three songs on the album in particular being performed on a huge stage with crazy lights and everything.

The first 5 tracks of the album were pre-released earlier this month as a part of The Blind Star 0.5.  Two of the tracks were pre-released as singles, ‘Hewsego’ and a remastered version of ‘Dejavu’.

오늘 12시

A post shared by ✯ The blind star ✯ (@bewhy.meshasoulja) on

BewhY brought together a diverse group of producers for this album (tagged in the post above). Every track is a different experience. The features that are included are solid and they definitely add to the album but the songs on the album with the most impact in my opinion – the first 4 songs + Dejavu – are just BewhY doing his thing solo. He is probably the most dynamic rapper in the game right now and this album was well worth the wait since his SMTM victory.

‘Curtain Call’ sets the stage (pun intended) for the rest of the album, moving right into ‘Red Carpet’ (great production by GRAY). I was not expecting to love ‘Bichael Yackson’ but it’s the type of song that only BewhY could rap. The beat, the orchestra instrumentals – it’s all reminiscent of his incredible ‘Forever’ performance.

I like ‘Temptation’ a lot. BewhY is a devout Christian so spiritual themes are found in a lot of his music. ‘Temptation’ has a dark, self-reflective style (very Kendrick Lamar-Swimming Pools-esque). I’d have to see a full lyric translation but I’m pretty sure the song is supposed to be the devil talking to BewhY, trying to get into his head and lead him to give into various vices.

On the flip side, you have the title track ‘My Star’, a laid-back jam with great jazz band elements. This is my favorite song on the album. At first it seems like a song BewhY has intended for a love interest. But after checking out the lyrics, this song actually seems to be about God talking to BewhY, reminding him to not grow distant due to fame. I think the first verse below is meant to be a direct reference to Luke 12:27:

The flowers of the path didn’t dress up or put make up on
Their beauty can’t compare
To any of the things that people make to look nice
Because those flowers are just as they are

Momentary applause, momentary cheers
They won’t make you into a shining star
The place you always were
When we walk there together, that’s when you shine the most

‘9ucci Bank’ is a bop. Rarely if ever could you use the word “empty” to describe BewhY’s lyrics. On the surface it’s about him flaunting his material wealth but I feel like the repetition is intentionally excessive (check the lyrics here). This song is a message to BewhY’s haters who may be judging him because they feel like his success has changed him. Dok2, a great rapper and also one of the richest entertainers in Korea, is of course the perfect artist to feature on a song like this.

‘Where Am I’ feels very different from the songs preceding it and I think that’s because the ‘0.5’ section of the album operates as more of a cohesive whole. I love Gaeko and appreciate the versatility this song introduces but it’s not one that I think I’ll return to often. But like I always say, it could grow on me.

‘Wright Brothers’ features BewhY’s $exy $treet partner-in-crime C Jamm. It’s been a while since we’ve been blessed with a solid BewhY/C Jamm collab. I like this song much better than ‘Puzzle‘.

Subkulture Entertainment recently announced BewhY’s upcoming solo tour in the U.S.! The tour will be in November and more details will be released soon.

Let me know which song from The Blind Star is your favorite! Make sure to buy the album or download it on Apple Music if you like what you hear. Thanks for reading!

 

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