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AOMG (Above Ordinary Music Group) is a South-Korean record label founded by megastar Jay Park in 2013. Over the course of the five years that the label has been around, it has successfully created a roster of unquestionably talented, unique, trend-setting artists that have helped fly the flag for hip-hop music in the East. From artists slowly making their own way in the industry to seasoned professionals, AOMG has it all.
In my opinion, 2018 has been a landmark year for the label thanks to numerous successful shows, artists gaining worldwide recognition, and in terms of the general quality of music provided. To celebrate this year, I’ve taken the pleasure of compiling a playlist that I think is essential listening for any music fan, I hope you enjoy it.
Note—this playlist only contains songs released this year through AOMG, any song by an artist signed by AOMG released through a different label is ineligible.
Loco, Gray—‘Late Night’
Released just this week, the energetic and uplifting track ‘Late Night’ is a must-listen. Featuring the flawless rapping ability of Loco, and masterful production from super-producer Gray; it’s a song that’ll get you off your feet, stick in your head, and end up dominating your playlists.
Hoody ft. Crush—‘Sunshine’
Continuing with another recent release, Hoody and Crush’s silky smooth vocals blend perfectly on a track that will brighten up your Winter months. With Cha Cha Malone producing, you can’t really go wrong, and this particular toe-tapper is the perfect example of that.
Roc Nation’s first Asian signee doesn’t disappoint here, with a track that produces nothing but good vibes. Tongue-in-cheek lyrics, clever instrumentals, and a catchy hook make this a layered song perfect to sit back and lose yourself in.
ELO ft Zico—‘Osaka’
No, icons of music Electronic Light Orchestra haven’t signed to a South-Korean hip-hop label. This is Oh Min-taek; a singer who has well and truly put himself on the map with a string of impressive singles released this year. Complete with an impressive Zico feature to add to the perfectly executed vocals, ‘Osaka’ is the song you didn’t know you needed in your life until you heard it.
Simon Dominic ft. Pharoahe Monch—‘Simon Says’
A track that features Simon Dominic’s musical inspiration Pharoahe Monch; ‘Simon Says’ is a masterful throwback to hip-hop of the past that shows two rap technicians at the peak of their powers. It almost feels like a tribute to Pharoahe’s own track ‘Simon Says’ released way back in 1999, but the modern twist makes it a refreshing and worthwhile listen.
DJ Wegun—‘Sax Night’
A playlist interlude of sorts, this funky mix of sax and typical DJ elements is a short, snappy listen. It’s great to catch your breath to, or just provide something a little different for your eardrums.
Ugly Duck, Chloe DeVita—‘Sugar’
Sticking to throwback sounding songs, ‘Sugar’ has its own tangible vibe that’ll have you dancing in no time. An irresistibly good hook carries the lustrous, groovy track, and Ugly Duck’s flawless flow compliments the well-embedded instrumentals.
Hoody ft. Jay Park—‘Golden’
Tantalisingly sweet vocals, simple, repetitive instrumentals, and a super-collaboration of sorts make this a particularly intriguing listen. The contrast in styles work well together, and the general easy-going nature of the track ensure you’re in for a relaxing few minutes.
Woo Won Jae—‘A Fence’
One of the most interesting young artists in the business today, ‘A Fence’ is a relaxing showcase 21 year old Woo Won Jae’s fantastic talents. An emotional song about being confused about your place in the world, it’s the type of release that’ll make you ponder your own life situation, open you up to new perspectives, and connect with you on more than just a surface level. It shows maturity beyond Woo’s years, and is a quintessential listen.
Loco ft. Colde—‘It Takes Time’
Staying with the more emotional side to the playlist, ‘It Takes Time’ is another poignant reflective track. Loco speaks about how it takes time to heal and move on, and the excellent verse provided by Colde helps form a soothing song that is almost healing for anyone who needs to hear some comforting words.
Simon Dominic —‘Demolition Man’
A long-winded number, ‘demolition man’ almost feels like a story in its essence. You can really feel the emotion Simon Dominic conveys throughout, with the artist pouring his soul out without filter. The somber piano and moving vocals from Kim Jong Seo effectively flatter the drum-fills and woodwind, and it’s hard to find the superlatives to truly describe just how brilliant of an effort this is.
Code Kunst ft. Tablo and Colde—‘Rain Bird’
Experienced artist Code Kunst signed to AOMG this year and offered a stellar debut with ‘Rain Bird.’ Heart-wrenchingly emotional at times, the raw-emotion on show lyrically ensure this sorrowful song is something you must give an attentive listen to. The restricted and effectively dull instrumentals really help create a substantially layered mood for the track, aiding it to become the perfect introduction to Code Kunst’s open and honest music.
DJ Wegun, Gray, Chancellor—‘Weekend’
Finishing off in uplifting fashion, ‘Weekend’ is the fun and catchy track 2018 needs. Sublimely produced, the three artists on show pull more than just their own weight, and make this an undoubtedly underrated track. You’ll be singing along on your first listen, and before you know it, your problems will be drifting into the rearview mirror. It’s the perfect penultimate song for a playlist.
Jay Park, Yultron—‘Forget About Tomorrow’
Going right back to the start of the year, Jay Park and Yultron put forward an early contender for song of the year right off the bat. Electronically driven, this fast-paced dance track will get even the stiffest of people on the dance floor, and if your problems weren’t gone already, they certainly are now. A good time from start to finish, Jay Park once again proved that he is one of the most consistent artists in music, and will always deliver the goods.