written by: drowningn00b
For better, not worse, Jay Park is one of those ‘artists’ that the label serious doesn’t fit. His debut EP, Take A Deeper Look, lost the impact of that title by featuring the ex-2PM member’s oiled and chiseled torso on the cover. The lead singles to the debut EP and his first album were attempts at seriousness, but trumped by tracks like “Tonight” and “Wasted”. Things for Jay Park are all on the surface, with no substance to any of it, and it all came to a head in Jay Park’s renegade English mix tape, “FreshA!R: Breathe!T”. And by no means should it be overlooked.
The superficiality of Jay Park is all there. From shitting on other rappers and his haters, to picking up girls from parties and making them “twerk” on his lap – there’s no escaping it; Jay Park is obsessed with himself. On “William Hung”, his narcissism is clear early on:
“My flow hard, I gave it Viagra/Try me you will fall, Call you Niagara (sic.)/Disrespect you, Whoops where are my manners?/Jay Park be the words all in your girls grammar.”
With metaphors like these, Jay Park won’t be winning song writing awards. And when he wants to have sex, it’s hard to believe that’s what he wants. The lyrics are laughable, prompting chuckles instead of moans.
“Yup and I’ll fuck yah tatts off once in a life time girl you’ve earned the last spot/Hit that ass raw and I’mmah make you gasp huhhhhhhh/Yeah your embedded in my head so get embedded in my bed/Young cat but I’mmah veteran of sex/Gonna bust that in the middle center of yah legs/Fuck rap better get ready for what’s next.” [“Be With Me 2Night”]
“FreshA!R: Breathe!T” goes on like this for its short 20 minutes, but considering the music landscape he plays in, Jay Park’s lyrics are welcome.
As it stands now, K-Pop is a sterilized version of itself and Jay Park knows this. You don’t put out a mix tape with curses and drinking and sex references without thumbing your nose at the squeaky clean exterior of K-Pop. A song like JYP’s “Kiss” could not come out now without the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family banning the sale and play of too many tracks to list. Hence the release of this mix tape for free on the internet with the title “Fresh A!R: Breathe !T”. Like Jay Park’s approach to music, K-Pop, and our fascination with it, is all on the surface. It isn’t love we have for it, but a series of quickies.
“Was it really love that we were falling into?/Or was it just that we were comfortable/And the sex thing was so fun to do/And we thought we were untouchable.” [“Hopeless Love”]
Every month, it seems, the censors come down on any number of songs, fearing the corruption of the young’ns by vague references to sex (like in After School’s “Funky Man”). “FreshA!R: Breathe!T” is just that, a no-holds-barred hip-hop and R&B mini for those of us adult K-Pop lovers who are past our corruptible years.
Jay Park, unlike other artists who’ve rebelled against the powers that be in K-Pop, owns his badassery with a smirk on his face. Only the guy who, frankly, said fuck you to JYP can release a song with the corny metaphors, “Your girls legs split like Kris and Kim Kardashian/Her wand is my dick and she be doin’ magic tricks” (“You Know How We Do”). But mix tapes aren’t new to South Korea, yet Jay Park is the biggest name in K-Pop to have released one.
Say what you will of the lyrics in this mix tape, but give him credit. In a music space where BEAST’s “Rainy Days” gets a censorship challenge for including alcohol in its lyrics, “FreshA!R: Breathe!T” is a defiant yell: “If there’s a fuck, I don’t give it” [“William Hung”].
No other K-Pop rapper, after signing with a label, has had the balls to release a mix tape this ridiculously ballsy, and “FreshA!R: Breathe!T” is the culmination of what Jay Park does best: blowing himself.
|You Know How We Do||
|Do What We Do||
| Points scale
0 – could do without
0.5 – mediocre/filler
0.75 – pretty good/grew on me
1 – liked immediately
|Be With Me 2Night||
Points to stars conversion: [(4/6) x 5] + 0.25*
*there is a 0.25 bonus for every album. The logic is that, if every song were “pretty good”, it’s a 4-star album.