An off-kilter track built around the idea of being haunted by a past love, the song builds slowly toward its chorus with a creeping beat, soft melody and angst-filled verses. And then a sudden drop arrives and “Killing Me” transforms into a dynamic dance track driven by wailing synths and a riotous beat. Unlike most K-pop songs, it forgoes a titular earworm hook and instead the song’s title is more of a dramatic declaration littered throughout the track, driving the members’ smooth vocals and fiery raps.
In a dance-focused music video that puts the seven members’ moves and their angst front-and-center, iKON relay the devastation described in the song. Flames, darkness and brightly hued sets, the last a mainstay of videos crafted by frequent K-pop music video creators VM Project Architecture, act as a backdrop for the septet’s expressive dance movements, which mimic the song’s beat and lyrics and even include a choking move that reflects the song’s title. Things end with the members partying it up along to the final chanting verse, and then collapsing and covering their eyes.
Within 12 hours of its release, the music video for “Killing Me” exceeded 2 million views on YouTube.
Though it’s iKON’s second album of 2018, following their second LP Return, New Kids: Continue, it’s the sonic sequel of 2017’s New Kids: Begin rather than the former album. Rambunctious and upbeat, the ominous hum of “Killing Me” fronts an EP filled with the pop-punk vibe of “Freedom,” the groovy playfulness of “Only You,” and the jazzy beach vibe of “Cocktail.” It ends with mellow pop ballad closer “Just for You,” which the group previously released and dedicated to their fans. Member B.I took a prominent role in the songwriting of each album track, and Bobby is also credited with writing lyrics on several tracks.
iKON was formed by YG Entertainment in 2015. This year’s single “Love Scenario” saw the group rise to immense heights in the Korean music industry, and their last album Return went to No. 4 on the World Albums chart.
Watch the music video for “Killing Me” here: