Epik High is Here!! With “Rosario” (Feat. CL & ZICO)

On January 18th, Epik High returned with a new album titled Epik High is Here (Part 1). This record has ten songs, including the two title tracks – “Rosario ft. CL & ZICO” and “Based On A True Story ft. HEIZE”. I couldn’t skip reviewing this iconic hip-hop group, so let’s get right into it.

(Please note – this is a real-time review, meaning I am typing down my exact thoughts while listening to each song.)

Reaction to “Rosario” (Feat. CL, ZICO) Official MV –

  • They are back with their trademark vertical videos, and for some reason, I feel like I’m watching a 3D clip. Maybe this is due to the way they filmed this music video.
  • Okay, I am 0.26 seconds in, but I already know that this song is a certified BOP.
  • I love the slight Spanish influence, and DJ Tukutz’s acting is on point.
  • Trying to pay attention to both the lyrics and visuals at the same time is impossible. For my first listen, I’m going to focus on the visuals alone.
  • Wow, the beat for this song + that guitar in the background is exquisite.
  • Tablo is flowing as expected. I love how they amplified the bass during his second verse.
  • CL came into the mix smoothly. I love her raspy voice, and her outfit is giving QUEEN VIBES!!!
  • Kudos to whoever designed the set for each artist. It’s so detailed and stunning👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼.
  • Of course, ZICO came in with the heat and that three-piece suit is doing him justice😎.
  • The production on this song is serving 100% quality, and I’m in LOVE.
  • The shots for this music video are insane. Did you see the way the camera moved during ZICO’s scene?
  • From what I’ve seen, I feel like this video has a deeper meaning. Hopefully, I can get the gist of this once I read the lyrics or else, I’ll watch an explanation video on YouTube later.
  • CL truly brings the right amount of sauce to the chorus section.
  • Now it’s Mithra’s turn to kill things. Oh, the beat got even nastier on his part, and I love his intensity.
  • This music video looked simple at first because of the vertical format but Nah!! This is some A+++++++++ direction and filming work.
  • I love the instrumental outro after Tablo says “moment of silence.”
  • After paying close attention to the lyrics, I feel they’re calling out people who rudely criticize every little thing celebrities do. These same individuals turn out to be hypocrites once something terrible happens to the same artist they once hated. They try to sympathize and act like they didn’t partake in what led to the demise. Just as Tablo mentioned in his verse, their actions are equal to murder.
  • I love the message. Inconsiderate people that call themselves ‘fans’ need to know their place. PERIOD!!!!
  • “Rosario” is a solid title track. Every person on this song came through and served.

Reaction to “Based On A True Story” (Feat. HEIZE) Official MV –

  • A slower track than “Rosario”, and once again, I am in awe of the music video. It’s visually pleasing to watch.
  • HEIZE sounds beautiful, and the pianist backing her is incredible. You all know how I love a good piano instrumental.
  • I am getting chills from the soothing harmony between the piano, violin and HEIZE’s vocals.
  • “Based On A True Story” serves pure bliss energy, and I am here for it.
  • I love how Tablo came in singing before switching into a slightly upbeat rap section.
  • Nah, at this point, Epik High is just disrespectful, but what did I expect? They are killing the production on these songs. Every aspect screams excellence, from the vocals to the rap sections, the beats, and most notably, the violin & piano sections on this track.
  • I think this music video’s filming style comes off quite personal, which makes sense considering this song’s title.
  • I keep getting goosebumps because the melody for this song is so beautiful.
  • The lyrics for “Based On A True Story” are sad, but I truly enjoyed every second. Big ups to Epik High and HEIZE👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼.

Album Review:

  1. Lesson Zero – Another soothing track from Epik High. The opening vocals are so serene, and the visuals for this video is beautiful. “Lesson Zero” is a befitting opening for this deep-felt and solid album. Yes, I said solid because I know Epik High doesn’t disappoint. Tablo stays spitting facts. This song holds some profound insights into the world and the systems that run us. I feel “Lesson Zero” is about tracing back to who we want to be rather than focusing on what society has set for us to become.
  2. Rosario (Feat. CL, ZICO) – No need for too many words because this is my song!!!  
  3. Based On A True Story (Feat. HEIZE) – It still gives me chills, such a beautiful song. 
  4. Acceptance Speech (Feat. B.I) – Okay, Mithra Jin started this song right off the first second, + the beat came in hard. It’s nice to hear B.I’s voice after so long. He nailed the chorus section, making me reminisce the “Born Hater” era. Yet another song with deep-felt lyrics. When you’ve met a lot of fake people in life, you begin to build up walls and, in turn, become immune to anyone that tries to mess with you again. The sad aspect is that these fake friends tend to feel entitled as if you owe them something. 
  5. Leica (Feat. Kim Sawol) – Quite an intriguing keyboard entry for this song. Tablo is riding the beat so well, and his flow is sick. The melody for the instrumental is very catchy. I think this is my first time hearing anything from Kim Sawol, and she has such a calm vocal tone. I need to check out more songs from her. “Leica” has a groovy beat; it makes me want to body-roll. Nah, this was too short. I needed more time with such a fantastic track. From the lyrics I read on genius.com, I think this song is about living in the moment rather than being consumed with storing everything in a photobook or taking countless pictures on a camera.
  6. In Self-defense (Feat. Woo, Nucksal, CHANGMO) – Ooo, this one is a hardcore rap zone, and I live for this type of energy. I love how Woo came into the mix, and his flow is impressive. All the features on this song are serving it hot. “In Self-defense” gives me cypher vibes because of how quickly they move from one rapper to the next. No time to waste on this beat, and this song is LIT🔥. I believe this song is hinting at the high level of competition in the music industry and how chaotic it can become + just showcasing that Epik High paved the way for many other rappers.
  7. True Crime (Feat. Miso) – Open up your chest for another person’s entertainment🤨? Now that’s some toxic relationship, in my sincere opinion. I love Miso’s soft voice and how the EDM drop wasn’t too intense because the lyrics seem dark. After reading the English translation, I think my initial take was wrong. This song is about two people in love that are criticized continuously due to societal norms? So far, “True Crime” is my least favourite. I need more time to appreciate this song’s sound.
  8. Social Distance 16 – Another track but very befitting for our current times with the constant lockdowns, social distancing, mask life, depression and uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
  9. End of the World (Feat. GSoul) – Alright, let’s talk about it because I’m confused. He was G.Soul, then it switched to Golden, and now he’s back to GSoul? Anyway, I love the guitar intro on this track, and GSoul’s amazing vocals stay constant no matter the stage name. This song is my kind of vibe, I love the instrumental, and the vocals + rap sections are groovy. Tablo’s flow on this one is sweet, and Mithra Jin went in on his verse. GSoul’s vocal runs are pure eargasm, and I could listen to this man sing all day. “End of the World” is that song!!! 
  10. Wish You Were – Okay, this is an outro; hence I don’t mind that it’s only 1 minute and 33 seconds long. We got some smooth vocals, a groovy beat, Haru’s sweet voice and honest lyrics. “Wish You Were” served its purpose as the perfect closing to this fantastic album.

Final Thoughts:

I had to take my time on this review because when Epik High releases anything, they serve vibes and give free life lessons. I am delighted to have them back, and I hope everyone enjoyed reading this post. There’s no need for me to comment more at this point. Epik High is Here (Part 1) is an album that speaks for itself as a complete MASTERPIECE. Hence it gets a bulletproof 10/10 from me.

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