From humble boy-band beginnings to becoming CEO of two hip-hop labels and eventually signing as Roc Nation’s first Korean-American artist, Jay Park‘s career has been a series of unexpected, ambitious twists. But the Seattle native says his next move still managed to surprise him.
Billboard can exclusively reveal that Jay Park and Hit-Boy have teamed up for a new, six-song EP titled This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen. The English-language record features contributions from both artists’ trusted team of collaborators including Lemonade co-producer HazeBanga, Surf Club contributor G. Ry, trusted K-hip-hop collaboator David Kim and more.
Park tells Billboard the project came together naturally while working with Hit-Boy as the duo released their first joint track “K-Town,” in May; the track also appears on the new EP. “Jay Park and Hit-Boy is not something people would expect,” the 32-year-old says. “It’s not something you see everyday, it happened very organically. One session turned into two sessions, then three sessions turned into an EP. So, it was unexpected for me as well.”
Jay adds that percolating party cut “K-Town” is most representative of the direction he’s moving forward with in his career (“I want to make this Asian/Korean hip-hop music more appealing to the masses”), but thinks listeners are in for a treat with the low-key house grooves in “Call You Bae” (“My fanbase probably messes with that one the most”). Other standouts include the bouncy anthem “Renaissance Man,” which includes clever shoutouts to Ella Mai and Wendy Williams, while “Fade Away” lets Jay show off his R&B side as he glides between singing and rapping.
This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen drops on Nov. 15. Check out the video for “K-Town” below: