B.A.P continue to prove themselves as one of the hardest-working K-pop acts with their latest EP, “Badman,” out today.
“B.A.P is trying really hard to create a diverse type of music,” band leader Youngguk told Billboard after their debut U.S. tour wrapped in May. The group revealed the fruits of this labor beginning in June when they released a single every month before unveiling the full six-song EP as the third and final single was released.
The first taste of the “Badman” EP came with mid-tempo ballad “Coffee Shop.” The chilled-out track, which peaked at No. 16 on the K-Pop Hot 100, certainly showcases a new side for the boys, who have stood out with an edgier look and sound. Its music video looks to be inspired by their American trek, with scenes filmed in New York City and California before the six meet in a cafe together.
The second single “Hurricane” is perhaps B.A.P’s most ambitious work, truly hitting the mark of “diverse type of music,” the group is aiming for. The track jumps from drum ‘n’ bass to dance breakdowns to tribal beats and even an old-school hip hop section with loads of DJ scratching. Vocally, there are a few troubles with English pronunciations (“the roof is on fire” comes off as “the loof is on fire” on a rap-talk break), but the group’s belting skills are impressive here.
Again, we have an American-themed video where the group appear in Las Vegas in shiny gold outfits with the most memorable section seeing Zelo showcase his b-boying skills on the DJ scratch break. Despite a so-so chart peak (No. 32), “Hurricane” is a standout moment for B.A.P.
Lastly, fans were treated to final single “Badman” upon the new EP’s release. With “Coffee Shop” incorporating an enjoyable, but typical, ballad song structure while “Hurricane” mixed beats and vocal stylings, “Badman” feels like a happy medium.
“Badman” is an aggressive, electro-pop track that incorporates the hard-hitting beats B.A.P fans have grown to love. Main vocalists Daehyun and Youngjae sound particularly strong, giving the song an extra vocal oomph on the verses and choruses. The track does genre-hop when the beats jump to a spazzy EDM breakdown. The most “diverse” part is the bridge, where Yongguk’s rapping has been pitched down to a timbre usually reserved for monsters in horror films. While it’s an interesting addition, one must wonder whether it was meant for fans to rap along to or it’s intended to be a dance section — though the accompanying video showing very little dancing here.
In March, B.A.P earned their first No. 1 on Billboard’s World Album Chart in March with their “One Shot” EP joining the ranks of established acts like TVXQ!, Super Junior, Wonder Girls and Girls’ Generation.
The “Badman” EP rollout was more familiar to a Western audience — several tracks and videos before the release instead of one song, video and album all at once. B.A.P should find themselves ranking high on the World Album Chart as well as in the upper rankings of the K-Pop Hot 100 once official promotions begin.