6 Korean RNB Songs You Should Check Out

1. Colde - “WA-R-R”

Photo credit: saybyuk

A member of duo offonoff, Colde (Kim Hee-su) has recently been working on his music as a solo artist. One of my favorite songs from his entire discography is “WA-R-R,” the main title track of his second mini-album Love Part 1. In this song, Colde expresses the conflicted emotions that he feels from his significant other who makes him feel loved yet causes him to hurt as well. Despairingly, he sings “wa-r-r” in the chorus to describe his state of being, a Korean onomatopoeia for “crumbling down.” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjVq7Ha_WtQ&t=61s

 

2. Hoody ft. George - “Why”

Photo credit: AOMG

“Why” explores a couple who have different explanations for their breakup. Hoody sings about the love she has still has for her once significant other even though he was only with her to pass time. Featuring artist George claims that it is best if they distance themselves from each other because they keep making the same mistakes and hurting each other. Their gentle, smooth voices complement each other, paradoxically creating a cohesive story of conflicting narratives. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiUeSoc4jas

 

3. Crush - “none (넌)”

Photo credit: Colors Studio

In the song “none,” Crush painstakingly copes with heartbreak and the absence of his lover. The name of the song refers to both the English word “none” and the Korean word “you” (romanticized as the word “neon”). This creative bilingual play on words offers multiple interpretations, such as the singer being nothing without the person he loves or that his previous partner is no longer in his life. His vocals are so breathtaking and emotional that I actually enjoy listening to his live performance of this song over the studio version. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BlktZWdE8M

 

4. Code Kunst ft. Lee Hi - “X”

Photo credit: Code Kunst

Produced by Code Kunst, the song “X” features vocalist Lee Hi whose rich voice tells the story of a confident woman who wants nothing to do with her ex-lover. She thanks him for the lessons she’s learned while expressing her disappointment in him. Since then, the two artists have paired up again to create a sequel named “XI” that I also recommend as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5Wqga9hDmU

 

5. Heize - “Star” 

 

Photo credit: Stone Music Entertainment

Heize longlingly sings to faraway stars as a metaphor for the things that we have lost in life. Lonely amongst the universe, she holds space for the pain that weighs her in her music. Despite the melancholic tone of the song, there is a small gleam of hopefulness that what we have lost is still out there and therefore not gone. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUR8QByF2As

 

6. Dean ft. Gaeko - “Half Moon/D”

 

Complementing the playful beat and melody, Dean wistfully conveys his restlessness over the void left by his past lover. He incorporates the image of a half-moon to capture the sense of feeling incomplete and his yearning for the person that he loves. Rapper Gaeko’s verses enhance the feelings of ennui and nostalgia as he recalls past memories and imagines the darkness consuming the sky. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRWBiw6JrAg

 

  1. 1. Colde - “WA-R-R”