Korean reality competition show Unpretty Rapstar has to be one of my favorite competition shows from any country. Not only does it give for some pretty good entertainment but it introduces me to some pretty dope Korean female rappers.
Season 2 introduced me to the multi-talented Heize whose eclectic, 90s meets 2010s hip-hop fashion style caught my eye. Throughout the season I was more and more bewitched by her. There was something about her other than her fashion, beauty and talents that stuck out to me that I just couldn’t put my finger on.
As I watched her through each challenge I could tell that she had passion for her music which to me is essential to making good music. I knew she had so much potential but wasn’t reaching it for whatever reason that was. And I didn’t figure out what “it” was until she released her EP “And July” earlier this month. After listening to the EP I realized what Heize didn’t have in Unpretty Rapstar was the right production, the right sound. What Heize didn’t have was the jazzy, retro hip-hop sound of songwriter and singer DEAN.
Expanding on Heize’s vocals a little further: although Heize isn’t a strong singer like Hyorin or Taeyeon she does have a very unique singing style which complements her songs. Heize knows how to sing in a way to express her lyrics, adding to the overall vibe of the song.
This is even true when it comes to her rapping style. I like how Heize can spit a rap verse out with a slick, suave effect but then turn it around in another verse to make it come out with a more gritty, biting effect. The second track off the album, “Underwater” shows a fuller depth of Heize’s undestanding of inflecting one’s voice to tell the song’s story. With “Underwater” being a mid-tempo KR&B jam Heize starts the song off smoothly then switches it up with a raw rap portion only to bring it back to a soft, angelic harmony.