#NowPlaying: B.I Redefines Versatility With His Emotional “WATERFALL”

#NowPlaying: B.I Redefines Versatility With His Emotional “WATERFALL”

B.I BRINGS FORTH A TREASURE TROVE OF TIMELESS MELODIES WITH HIS FIRST FULL ALBUM!

B.I is finally back and has released his highly anticipated first full-length album WATERFALL. Through the album, the rapper proves his superlative musical skills. The artist incorporates his heartfelt feelings in a profound manner in each of the songs, which are both written as well as composed by him.

B.I

The album sees B.I elucidate his own experiences with sincerity through poetic lyricism and musical styles that are reflective of his artistic genius. The tracks relay a profound story and with absolute finesse at that. The stellar soloist ensures that this latest release will have fans skip that skip button on their playlists.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

B.I channels his heart and soul through the melodies of twelve enthralling tracks. They include an eponymous song titled “WATERFALL” and its lead track “해변 (illa illa)”. It also consists of the tracks named “NUMB”, “꿈 결 (Illusion)”, “FLOW AWAY”, “HELP ME”, “역겹겠지만 (Remember Me)”, “비 온 뒤 흐림 (GRAY)”, “그땐 내가 (Then)”, and “Re-Birth”.

Adding to the excitement of this album are two surprising collaborations. First, the sweet songstress Lee Hi features alongside the dynamic B.I on the track “긴 꿈 (Daydream)” while the talented Tablo appears on the song called “STAY”. Previously, the “Got It Like” crooner has collaborated with both artists as well. He featured on Lee Hi’s 2019 hit “No One” while he participated on Epik High’s track “Acceptance Speech” from their album Epik High Is Here 上, Part 1 which released earlier this year.

B.I

WATERFALL

“WATERFALL” serves as an overview of his journey through a stand-out lyrical style that is akin to a diss track of sorts. The song highlights some hard-hitting lines amidst a groovy EP, synth bass-based hip-hop beat that was first introduced in his Intro Film.

With lines such as, “My name’s monster, my name’s sinner. My name’s hypocrite, my name’s crock. My name’s trash, a fool. I should accept it all, what excuses could I give?.. If not me, who will remember?” he stirs with his straight-forward no-nonsense air while he gives a glimpse into his life out of the limelight with utmost honesty.

The way B.I pours out his raw emotions mirrors the essence of the track itself. His narrative flows freely, without barriers like water as he sings of living with the flow and painting a new future.

The superstar wraps up this certain banger as he expresses his gratitude for his experiences which lead him to become who he is today, in his words, “Waterfall, that begins with falling down.. THAT’S ME!”.

B.I

해변 (illa illa)

This lead track is like no other and will surely lead every listener’s heart to absolute bliss. The minimalistic trap beat and keys beautifully bring the authentic candor of “해변 (illa illa)” to life. The song is written by B.I himself and co-composed the song with MILLENNIUM, Kang Uk Jin, Diggy, and SIHWANG.

The song encapsulates the essence of summer but it is far from being a sunny song. Rather, it radiates warmth while also softly guiding the listener to its wistful tale. The loveable soloist channels the message of accepting the pain he felt, letting it go, and taking a step forward to a brighter future.

The lyrics are a testament to B.I’s authenticity as an ace artist. The rapper-singer melodiously elucidates his mental health battles in lines like, “Longingness is what I do best. Depression is the most comfortable home for me. The corners of my broken heart will be sharp. I will be the one stabbed again anyway”. It is indeed very rare to see musicians open up about their psychological state in such an unfeigned manner as the powerhouse idol does and it only reiterates that B.I is indeed a force to be reckoned with.

However, towards the end of this awe-inspiring track, he sings in a mellow manner, lines that are akin to a ray of sunshine, “Stargazing by the rolling waves. I won’t shed new tears. Though I know it will crumble. I’ll probably build a sandcastle again”.

Overall, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to aver that “해변 (illa illa)” is a work of sheer art!

B.I

긴 꿈 (Daydream) (feat. Lee Hi)

‘No one’ can argue that when this duo joins forces they only create an outright hit. The songstress literally sounds like a dream through the catchy chorus that makes its way into heads and hearts right from the start. The track talks about the feeling of unfamiliarity after having walked away from something close to them.

Lee Hi’s soft vocals carry a sense of delicacy amidst the pre-dominantly intense musical style of the song. B.I superbly complements the vocalist’s breathy notes and it is especially emphasized with their harmonization during the bridge. What is even more noteworthy about “Daydream” is the unmistakable contrast with its innate meaning of being something pleasant to distract someone from the present.

Instead, this emotive hip-hop track focuses on the harsh circumstance between bewildered flashes of hazy moments. To simply put it, B.I spotlights just why he owns the title of being a creative genius.

Numb

The brilliant B.I strikes again especially with this song that perfectly follows his dazed “Daydream”. It makes sense that “Numb” is placed after the former track as it is natural for the singer to have felt the same after being hit by an overwhelming feeling of unfamiliarity.

The title of this track is pretty self-explanatory. B.I bedazzles with his soul-stirring voice through his rap-sing style on verses that shed light on the feeling of extreme loneliness and sadness.

With a backing of bass, electric guitar, and drum rhythm, the soloist gets real as it gets when he expresses feeling no pleasure or pain – living like an empty shell without a shadow, as he sings, “I’m afraid to reveal the version of myself that I hid. I’m afraid it will hurt. Nobody’s sadness and joy reaches me anymore”.

B.I

꿈 결 (Illusion)

Give mе that crown, I’m a fan of becoming a king – King Hanbin is back to claim his throne and how!

Right off the bat, this song gives off a dynamic feel thanks to its alternative electronic melody that features prominent snares and a xylophone sound mixed with trap beats. B.I SLAYS with his musical genius on this one, he magnetizes with sublime harmonies during the catchy chorus while he goes for the kill during his badass rap verses.

The song contains a dreamy atmosphere mainly due to its breezy style. “꿈 결 (Illusion)” conveys the theme of having limitless confidence, however, there is a sense of loneliness embedded within it. The lyricism has a childlike character to it that is displayed in lines like, “Butterflies fly in my mind. Follow the rainbow, like a kid. I have a different brain structure. The calculations are slow but imagination is fast”.

“꿈 결 (Illusion)” gives a glimpse into the idea of going to a place called a dream where one can be their purest selves and that, it would be ideal if every day were that dream.

FLOW AWAY

The soft acoustic piano melody leading to a well-rounded R&B sound that commences “FLOW AWAY” undeniably intrigues from the get-go. This is yet another track that stays true to its name and simply, flows. Rapper B.I shines like the star he is on this number with his forthright verses.

The message of the track is the embodiment of the term ‘no holds barred’ in every sense. It sees the musical maestro relay some of the most honest lines as he says what he wanted to say that he couldn’t say before.

The young rapper opens up about his feelings in an aesthetic manner as he speaks about his good and bad circumstances of his life. He excellently explains how the only thing that matters is the efforts that one puts on and that, there is no light without darkness.

B.I

Help me

“Help me” features a very interesting instrumentation of organ, EP and electronic guitar for effect. The melody couldn’t have been more perfect to highlight the quintessence of the track. B.I showcases his vulnerability in a visionary style as he opens up about the disheartening sentiments he experiences.

The singer-songwriter-producer voices his thoughts on the days he spent that felt so meaningless where he didn’t want to live but was also scared of dying – “I don’t want to die but I don’t want to live” –  of the times he felt like giving up but somehow couldn’t.

Here, he echoes the emotions that he felt in “Numb” and talks about living like an empty shell as he sings, “An empty shell that burns away even with a small fire. I’m like ashes that break easily”.  The song is breathtaking, to say the least, and is analogous to a chapter in the star’s life story where he feels like a little boy who just wants to run away and be happy and make his family happy.

역겹겠지만 (Remember me)

In what seems to be a drastic contrast to the tracks so far on the album, “역겹겠지만 (Remember me)” is playful in a poignant manner. This is that track that will surely warm listeners’ hearts in the most wholesome way.

The song is all sorts of contradictions but expressed in the most charming manner. It is a sad but cheerful, stirring but relaxing song. The core of the track presents a simple message of wanting to be remembered even if it is for something trivial. The lyrical style is a little bit witty and cute to interpret someone’s desire to exist in the world.

Listeners are bound to be spellbound by not just B.I’s signature raps but also his fluid vocals and subdued falsetto, particularly during the chorus and pre-chorus.

STAY (Feat. Tablo)

The song invites with its strumming guitar riffs that back B.I’s strong opening verse before delving into laidback synths and bass. The honeyed vocals of this all-round artist are no joke and he certainly showcases that with his high registers on the chorus and not to mention the muted growl prior to the same.

Featuring Epik High’s Tablo, the two artists floor with their exceptional synergy. B.I’s verses evoke an intense air while Tablo is more easy-going through his lines which brings forth a remarkable balance to the track overall.

“STAY” underlines the fear of being alone, even when being around people, of not being able to express one’s innermost feelings truthfully, a feeling of coldness, and of not expecting much but just some comfort even if it may just be for a day. The multifaceted musician unravels the screams of his heart in an earnest manner.

비 온 뒤 흐림 (GRAY)

This EP and trap-based number has somewhat of a summery feel in contrast to its title. “비 온 뒤 흐림 (GRAY)” rouses a refreshing energy with B.I’s stable sing-rap verses. The sweet pre-chorus leading to the euphonious chorus is a definite treat for the ears.

But don’t let the bright beat of the track sway you away from its soulful meaning. Through the example of walking amidst the rain without an umbrella, he explains the unshakeable feeling of heaviness. Even after the rain has stopped, gray clouds take over the sky which is representative of his fogged-up focus, of being cloudy no matter how much he rubs his eyes, the sky does not seem to get any clear.

He freely renders his frustration of the same through the track though, might we add, in an adorable style, singing, “My sky is cloudy after the rain. I’m grumpy about the dark clouds. Pounding in my chest. Loneliness in the air sighs. It is cloudy after the rain”. In what may seem as an antithesis, B.I’s vocals add a kind of brightness to this track, much like the rays of the sun peeking from behind dark clouds.

그땐 내가 (Then)

First released on January 2, 2020, on SoundCloud, Demo. 1 makes an appearance in the form of “그땐 내가 (Then)” on this album. The simple drum and piano harmony gives this release an added depth. B.I yet again, showcases just why he is an ingenious artist. Having mapped out his journey through each of the tracks on the album, “그땐 내가 (Then)” definitely marks as a precious memory for both B.I and his beloved ID.

After having waited for months for the rapper to be back on the music scene, it was with this Demo that B.I decided to announce in his own insightful way that he has finally arrived. With this heartwarming track, the much-loved musician talks about how his fans drove him to take a step forward. He sweetly croons, “I must see you again. I left behind the memories that time suffocated. The memories we made so sad and beautiful. Bringing it to reality, our story that we regret to end. I have to rewrite it”.

“그땐 내가 (Then)” is without a doubt, an eloquent number which sees B.I live up to his promise to all his fans of giving them all his love and loyalty.

다음 생 (Re-Birth)

The endearing performer goes all out to prove his love for his ID as it is seen with this special song. “다음 생 (Re-Birth)” was first released across various music sources under the idol’s fandom name. The ambient electro-pop number is one made to melt hearts with the sheer warmth that it radiates through each line.

“In my next life, I’ll go and find you. We’ll meet again like an inevitable coincidence”. The track is with its soul-stirring lyricism, is a definite love letter for his loyal fans.

This song is indisputably, the perfect conclusion to this perfect album! Being as it the concluding track to WATERFALL, it seems as though B.I signifies that he is starting anew and that, it is only but the beginning of a new journey for the rising star.

Each and every track is bound to tug at listeners’ heartstrings. The lyricism that is sheer poetry which beautifully depicts some of the most prominent moments of the soloist’s life.

He pens a heartfelt story through the tracks that serve like the chapters to his memoir of  sorts – from falling like a “WATERFALL”, waking up to contrasting feelings of hope and despair in “Illa Illa”, acknowledging the struggle to accept the harsh circumstances in a dazed “Daydream” which leads him to feeling “Numb”, slowly opening up to feelings of loneliness and sadness through “Illusion”and “FLOW AWAY” before finally seeking an aid to the hurt he feels in “Help me”, pleading to not be forgotten in “Remember me”, looking for solace in “STAY” , feeling the frustration on not being able to reattain his focus in “GRAY” before finally finding the strength to do so in “Then” leading to him coming back to his dear IDs and being “Re-Born” and ready to write a new page in the book of his life – B.I awes with his perceptive musical genius.

All in all, WATERFALL IS AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE.

MUSIC VIDEO MUSINGS

B.I takes breaths away as he brings the essence of “해변 (illa illa)” to life in such a simple yet sublime way. The music video is pure art in motion. The clip mirrors the message of the track to the T while the rapper personifies the word ‘handsome’ through all of the frames.

The aesthetic of the music video is very movie-like. It sees the powerhouse soloist walk out of the ocean before sprinting into various locations such as alleyways and empty performance halls. Through each location change, viewers can experience the mood shifts by the musician’s demeanor.

He seems to gain confidence and joy as the video progresses. This is more prominent via scenes where he stands on a rooftop watching fireworks with his friends while singing of accepting all of his experiences whether delightful or depressing. Just like the track itself, the music video comes to an end on a lighter note. Close-up shots of B.I driving across a bridge with a smile on his face as well as some behind the scenes snippets of him recording the track in his studio, undeniably set the ambiance alight in an awe-inspiring way.

Read: B.I Entrances With A Tranquil “해변 (illa illa)” Lyric Mood Film


Photo | Video Credits: 131 LABEL | IOK MUSIC

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Prerna Mistry

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