[#6] Infinite H - "Fly High" (feat. Baby Soul)

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From: "Fly High"
Released: January
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Entries: First Appearance
Other notable song(s) from 2013: "Special Girl" (Feat. Bumkey), "Victorious Way"

I'm not much of a rap person, mainly because I never got the chance to appreciate it as much as melodic pop songs, and so few rap-heavy songs sustain my attention for more than a few listens. Infinite H's "Fly High" is one of those few.

Usually what initially catches my attention on rap-heavy songs are the melodic hooks, and it was the same case with "Fly High." The melody at the chorus is really pretty, with a graceful urgency at the beginning, and an almost ethereal sound in the latter half. The addition of a harmonic line under the melody in that latter part gives the melody internal contrast -- the first part is straight to the point and establishes the melody, and the second part shows what else can be done with the song. Baby Soul's voice is also the right fit -- her vocals are very girly and gentle, but her timbre has a richness that gives the melody character.

What has kept me listening to "Fly High" for almost the entire year is the rap part, of all things. When I first heard this song back in January it made me want to make an effort to understand and appreciate rap more. (and I would have tried if I had the time!) Because to me it sounds a lot calmer than a lot of the rap parts I hear, but at the same time I hear the dynamics and the conviction. It's not calm, but not lazy.

But what I like the most about "Fly High" is that the melody is something you can't just listen to over and over again alone -- it has to be heard in relation to the rapping. The melody is so densely gorgeous that it's only really meant to be heard in the small bursts that the song provides, and the girly character of it is only heightened when you hear it in relation to the rap part.

This song has stayed fresh throughout the year for me -- it's probably the one song I listened to consistently over the course of the year, unlike others that I just loop for the first week and look back on months later.


  1. I've been a reader of your "Best Of" series for the past 4 years. And finally! One of Primary's songs made it on your list. I know many Kpop listeners (including you Nikki) will nor venture into Primary's stomping ground of hip-hip and the sounds coming out of his Amoeba camp. Infinite-H was thus the perfect avenue for most "pop" listeners to get to know one of the true master musicians/producers in Korean music, and perhaps one of the best in the world today.

    I agree with everything you said about Fly High, and I would just like to add that good hip-hop song aren't just about rap, rap, rap, then rap some more. The best hip-hop songs rely heavily on beautiful melodies, just like any successful pop song would. And Primary is always able to find the perfect vocal feature that not only add to, but carry, the song in some significant way. Conversely, when he produces for a vocalist (such as K.Will), he expertly feature rappers that add depth and contrast to the vocal line. His creations are a very rich and real kind of music. Bottom line is, if you enjoyed Fly High, you've only seen the tip of the iceberg and a tiny glimpse of what this man is capable of making.

    I'm really curious what you think of Primary's style of music and the other Amoeba acts. In my opinion they are really underrated and under-recognized. Check out his album from 2012 - Primary and the Messengers LP (songs: See Through, Mine Tonight, High End Girl, Question Mark), and songs he produced for K.Will (Come To My Crib, Hey You, Bon Voyage). I also wonder, had you had the opportunity to listen to songs like Dynamic Duo's Hot Wings or Zion.T's She, would they have been good enough to make it on the list this year. Hopefully, this style of classy Hip-Hop will get more exposure in next year's "Best Of'.


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