[#7] Swings and Ailee - "A Real Man"

From: "A Real Man"
Released: August
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: n/a
Other notable song(s) from 2014: n/a

(Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you're all having a great day ^_^)

Around last year I started slowly incorporating more and more rap into my music library. If you've been reading me for some time now you know that I'm not exactly the biggest fan of it, mainly because unlike say pop or rock, I wasn't really exposed to it much and never really had the chance to fully understand it. I can go on and on about melody and arrangements and production, about bass lines and whatnot, but rap is a completely different world for me. Rap isn't exactly part of formal training, or at least it wasn't when I was being trained.

Last year's rap gem for novice ears like mine was Infinite H's "Fly High," and this year it's Ailee and Swings' "A Real Man."

I've settled more or less on what I like in rap tracks -- and not surprisingly it's a strong sense of melody, what I've heard people address as "flow." I also like a juxtaposition in terms of the melody -- in "A Real Man" it's several levels of contrast even. First is obviously the masculine-feminine binary, Swings raps, Ailee sings, but further, Swings' verses are packed and in-your-face, Ailee's are paced and have a "cool" vibe to them. The arrangement at the rap portions is comparatively more spread out in terms of range with a bass (guitar) line, a piano line and a few odds and ends, but once the chorus hits the arrangement transitions to something more focused -- the instrumentation mirrors the melody.

As a whole, what drew me to "A Real Man" was really the focus on the vocal parts -- rap and melodic alike -- and how the production was able to highlight their strengths.



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