A well-executed diss track is a thing of beauty. It is poetry chiseled out of rage, and spits righteous vitriol in catharsis-inducing verse.
In his comeback lead single U MAD from his second studio album Lucky Man, rapper, singer-songwriter and leader of Korean pop/hip hop group iKON, Bobby has dropped a thing of beauty.
In U MAD, Bobby slams his verbal knife straight into his haters’ hearts:
“The loser is doing better than expected/ Bet you caught a stomachache from jealousy When probably more than half of you were looking at the money/ Thought it was pathetic…”
His cocky, triumph-laden disdain is conveyed in a series of rather creative takedowns:
“It’s so wrong how you use your head/ Filling up one’s stomach with fodder and feeling happy/ Wouldn’t be human, more like livestock…”
Vocally, he moves between scalpel-sharp enunciation with the occasional edge of stutter rap, and ushers in a choral line that taunts mercilessly. You can’t help but chuckle along in vindication when Bobby scoffs, “Why you mad son?”
Musically, trap beats, relentless drops and Bobby’s practiced swagger make for a thumping ode to shutting the critics down with personal success.
The music video however, goes slightly cryptic. Bobby embarks on a heist, targeting a CD from a heavily guarded fortress – controlled by what seems like a doppelganger. Uppercuts and roundhouse kicks get him through the guards, until he takes a dive off the roof and stares his double in the face. Visually, sleek, stylized violence carves out an aesthetic win for viewers.
In his sparkling yet heartfelt debut LP Love and Fall, Bobby played around with pop, R&B, old-school hip-hop and even a few splashes of sparse reggae. U Mad seems to have swerved into a darker, more confrontational sound that quickens the breath and summons adrenaline highs. Bobby’s creative evolution is showing, and there’s plenty to look forward to.
Verdict: Bobby’s back, and he goes hard.