[Year-End Special] #11: 현아 (HyunA) – 잘나가서 그래 (Roll Deep)

“Sorry, I’m a dope girl”

Since “Bubble Pop”, Hyuna’s solo releases have been something I’ve looked forward to since they are always so fun and so damn sexy. She’s unapologetically sexy because what’s there to apologize? Last year’s “Red” was a brilliant release and so surely “Roll Deep”, with its provocative teaser movie and all, would follow suit and be as amazing.

“Roll Deep” is what happens when your producers watched a little too much Unpretty Rapstar 2 and got “inspired” by the “fierce swag”. In the process, they forget that they are making a song for Hyuna. She has the assets to slay a sexy concept but she doesn’t have the assets to sing nor rap well. If “Red” is to be used as the benchmark for a Hyuna release, “Roll Deep” tried very hard to limbo under it.

It’s a disheartening sign when the only thing interesting about the song are the post-choruses when the synths go crazy and we don’t have to endure Hyuna’s voice. Honestly, if they had produced a song that included the post-choruses and that fierce electric guitar-driven banger instrumental from the trailer teaser, “Roll Deep” would have been the summer song of the year.

Alas, “swag” trumps all, it seems, and, hence, “Roll Deep” languishes in its slow bpm and empty promises. Even the MV (aka the painfully messy lookbook that couldn’t decide whether it should have been 19+ or a Target ad) was not as advertised from the trailer. Where was that trashy frat party from the trailer? Where was that sexy playfulness from “Red”? Why is Hyuna trying so hard to be the winner of track #9 of Unpretty Rapstar Volume 3?

Well, at least she apologized in her song for having to be a tryhard.

Honorable Mentions: 내 집에서 나가 | B | Hyuna’s voice is a tad more tolerable here in this angsty, emotional ballad but what really saves her is the 10cm featuring. 

얼음 땡 (Ice Ice) | B+ | 육지담’s inclusion is very needed and together with Hyuna, the duo makes a hard hitting B-side that really should have upgraded to title track. 

Final Rating: D+ | Broken promises all abound but at least Hyuna stills owns whatever is thrown at her. Even if it is just a pile of disappointments.

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