Poet Initiative brings on the fun in the starry “Soju”
It’s hard to truly comprehend just how quickly the Korean music scene has shifted the discourse of Western pop music. Sure, we all know that Korean pop is now a worldwide phenomenon, but Korean hip hop is equally on the rise, looking to rival its counterpart’s popularity with its own slick style. For a good indication on the state of the genre, look no further than Korean American rapper Jay Park’s label H1GHR Music, which released two albums last year (RED TAPE and BLUE TAPE) that featured the kind of sounds that will soon be widespread.
For Poet Initiative, the producer name of UK-born Punjabi Rohun Batra, it’s the sounds of the Korean hip hop scene that have made the largest impact on his music. The songs that he’s released so far, most recently the hard-hitting “Different” and the catchy “Red Flags,” are unapologetic in their love for the genre, taking many sonic cues from the scene’s popular artists. Poet’s songs also often find him or a collaborator rapping in dual English and Korean, drawing direct comparisons between his own music to those coming straight out of South Korea.
That’s also the case on “Soju,” Poet Initiative’s latest release. Together with collaborator NINE, “Soju” celebrates a “litty” night out with style in its 97-second runtime. A brief song about “fun, bringing the drink, friends and good energy together into one track,” it’s only the latest late night banger in Poet’s arsenal. Featuring starry-eyed beats and Poet’s steady, level-headed flow, it’s easy to imagine the kind of fun one can have blasting the song while downing shots of soju all night long.
Li-Wei Chu is the chief editor of From the Intercom. When he’s not editing drafts and searching for new artists to cover for the website, he loves watching cult films, cooking, and listening to his ever-growing collection of vinyl records. You can follow him on LetterBoxd and make fun of his taste in movies here!