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The Koreatown Oddity

Stones Throw Records

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$48.00 SGD
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$48.00 SGD


ISTHISFORREAL? is a concept album and equal parts sketch show and mockumentary. A brief album that deals with perceptions of reality, focusing on moments or situations that are particularly hard to believe, or painful to deal with. It's the follow-up to Little Dominiques Nosebleed, a dense, ambitious work destined to achieve classic status as more people discover it. While that record followed an autobiographical story arc based on two childhood car accidents and their impact on the rapper's life, as well as his upbringing in the Koreatown district of Los Angeles, ISTHISFORREAL? flips reality on its head, opening with an introduction in which Ktown claims that he is actually British. A few additional interludes expand upon this premise; he explains that he wanted more street credibility, so he hung out at a Fatburger and learned to master a Los Angeles accent.

The songs themselves are abstract and nightmarish, filled with eerie, overlapping voices and sometimes devoid of traditional rapping. "Fundrazors" is a hellish bad trip that inexplicably involves a 
Macho Man Randy Savage sound-alike. "Misophonia Love" is an '80s-style R&B jam detailing a relationship with a partner who has a condition in which she becomes triggered by specific intimate sounds, such as chewing on potato chips or clicking pens. Despite being aware of the condition, Ktown can't help but continue to tease his partner by making those sounds. The title track has the album's most serious verse, reflecting on the deaths of Black people at the hands of the police, as well as personal moments like the only time Ktown's newborn daughter met the late Ras G shortly before his untimely death.

He understandably sounds on the verge of a panic attack during "History Tension," about having to bear the weight of systematic tragedy simply for being born Black, and "Hellooo???" is a discordant call into the void, as he asks to be rescued from the pit of despair. The album taps out at 25 minutes, but it's urgent enough that it clearly makes its point within that time frame. — (via AllMusic)

Label: Stones Throw Records 
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: Jul 22, 2022
Genre: Hip-hop

File under: Hip-hop