Photo: 131 Label
For many, a debut album signifies both the start of a journey and the culmination of months, if not years, of hard work. For South Korean rapper, singer-songwriter, dancer, and record producer, B.I, this sentiment holds especially true. Following his departure as leader of K-pop boy group iKon in 2019, B.I was left to ponder what came next. And in his debut album, WATERFALL, he finds his answer.
True to its title, the debut album from B.I rushes forward with an unrelenting optimism, whether that be expressed through surging waves of hip-hop on tracks like "GRAY" or found in serene moments of introspection on tracks like the LeeHi-assisted "Daydream." The unwavering spirit of WATERFALL is one that seems to be shared by his avid fanbase, who, leading up to its release, could be found in numerous comment sections of the album's teasers, often sharing one recurring message - "a king is coming back for his crown."
The notion of picking yourself back up from the bottom can be heard loud and clear in a track like "'해변 (illa illa)," even if your Korean is a little rusty. Comparing his journey thus far to the endeavor of building a sandcastle time and time again even though you know the waves will eventually wash it away, B.I's spirit is nothing if not infectious.
For B.I, WATERFALL is the culmination of much more than months or years of hard work. It is the first chapter of a new journey. So, as the closing track "Re-birth" effortlessly soars, one would be forgiven for thinking you're witnessing not only a sonic rebirth but a spiritual one as well.
Listen to WATERFALL below: