Now that T.O.P. is stuck in the military his store-brand, New Earth Lex Luthor Jr. clone P.O. can finally emerge. P.O., a rapper of the somewhat popular group
Zico and Block B and member of the somehow even less popular sub-unit Zico Presents Block B Bastarz, has finally been let out of Zico’s shadow enough to make a solo debut with the song “Men’z Night”. The song features Chancellor, a K-pop R&B singer that may have also been in the dungeon seeing as though his last song came out in 2016. Similar to Triple H’s “365 Fresh“, “Men’z Night” creates a nostalgic 80s synthfunk sound that entertains listeners to the last second.
The song starts with rhythm guitar and whispering of “Ladies Night”, a common funk theme and a phrase that’s central to a song named after their gender counterpart. P.O. puts on his most arrogant airs in this song, doing mostly rap-talking on the verse about how good he looks and how much money he spends. Whereas in most songs this would sound arrogant P.O. doesn’t take the song’s lyrics too seriously, joking that he “doesn’t know” what he’s talking about and telling the listener “don’t think too hard”. The English used in the song is almost as absurd as the wealth he brags about, with P.O. making references to Surrealist photographer Philippe Halsman and ultimate-dad Liam Neeson in an attempt to woo the girl. Chancellor comes in with his best Zapp & Rogers, singing in mostly autotune that he plays around with. The funk elements are a little stronger in the chorus, making the horns a little louder and Chancellor’s slightly high mixed voice fitting well with the loud brass. The chorus is mostly in English, talking about taking and chance and doing a dance, but the melody sounds like I’ve heard it at least a few dozen times before. One of the downsides of funk is that a lot of melodies sound the same (the guitar style in “Early in the Morning” and “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” messes me up all the time) but it really makes it up to the artist to make it theirs, which P.O. and Chancellor do extremely well.
The video still follows a quirky Block-B style, with P.O. millionaire playboy persona engaging in the “finer things” in life, like boxing in an Australian trekker’s outfit, flying on a plane, being in a boat, holding someone’s baby, and poking his head through a time while women are counting money. The video also makes use of 80s graphics, a gaudy and saturated style that I will never get tired of no matter how many times I see it. Someone’s confused grandfather is also in the video, making me wonder if he genuinely knows where he is and what he’s doing or if I should create a missing person’s report for him.
I feel like funk music might be the next wave in Korea. They’ve always been a few years behind the rest of the world on trends but with summer being over the tropical house sound, a horse that’s been beat so much it’s sunk into the dirt, needs to make way for something else. Funk is something that pretty much everyone can do if they follow a formula but isn’t done that often in a country that pretty much worships other generic styles like trot music (not saying trot is bad, but some songs have a pattern of sounding like each other). The solo debut stays close enough within the Block B brass house to be assuring to some listeners but unique enough to give P.O. his own style. If he keeps it up he might actually be able to leave Zico’s shadow.
And may every night be Ladies Night.