Release Date: October 23, 2012
- Up feat. Park Bom of 2NE1
- Don’t Hate Me
- It’s Cold feat. Lee Hi
- You Don’t Deserve Her (feat. Gaeko of Dynamic Duo)
- Get Out The Way
- The Bad Guy
- Ghost (Interlude)
- Kill This Love
- New Beautiful
99 is Epik High’s seventh studio album and first on the YG Entertainment label. It features the singles It’s Cold, Don’t Hate Me and Up. Named after the group’s love of the number nine, this album aims to embrace music for 99% of people, not the top 1%.
This album also marks the reuniting of the three members of Epik high after DJ Tukutz and Mithra Jin completed their mandatory military service.
Since this album is on YG, one would expect this to be more mainstream than the group’s previous efforts. And you would be correct in that assumption. There isn’t a strong Hip-Hop vibe here, nor is there any sense of being coherent.
That will probably turn off many hardcore Epik High heads that expect a certain type of sound. Their YG-fication can only spell bad news, right? It’s not exactly all doom and gloom. Sure it’s not the classic Epik High, but do you expect a group not to evolve somewhat?
For many who don’t like the YG version of Epik High, 99 will be a pick your favourite non-offensive track(s) and live with them until the real version of the group returns. But if you can put your bias to the side, you will find that the album is fairly decent. It’s not going to rank very high in their overall catalogue, but you’re not exactly wasting your time listening to it, either.
It is advisable to go through the entire thing straight through. The pacing makes sense after a few spins, and you will find some hidden gems in the latter half, such as the throwback You Don’t Deserve Her, New Beautiful and the electronic thump of Kill This Love.
Or you can just shake your head and wonder what went wrong. It’s up to you.