Hey! Watch this Korean rapper:
Her name is $ATSUKI, and she is pretty extreme. For example, on her song “이랴이랴!” she shouts “I am a boss and you are a slut! you suckin another dick. bitch i’m boss you are a slut!”, and it’s almost impossible to count how many times she says “shibal” (“씨발”, a Korean curse word equivalent to “fuck”) throughout her songs.
She has been releasing music on her Soundcloud page since around 18 years old (in 2018), and in 2020 she dropped the mixtape “Summoning Ceremony” (“소환식” – UPDATE: The mixtape doesn’t exist as a playlist on Soundcloud anymore, but the songs are still on $atsuki’s account), including songs like “kill ma self kill ma vibe”, “RAPE YOUR XXX”, “i don’t need a xxxx” and “hey bitch are you scared?”. The mixtape has a high tempo and is musically fun from beginning to end. Things change all the time, but the musical variety may be hard to spot, because there are no obvious genre switches or new distinct sounds to each new song, but in almost every new song part $ATSUKI comes with a new energy, a new vocal style or a new way to express herself (she goes between sounding like a ghost, a monster, an insane person, and an angry Korean rapper). Nothing drags on too long, or actually, nothing drags on very long at all, things just rapidly happen – bang, boom, pow – and then it ends.
“She’s just swearing all the time”, seems to be a common reaction by new listeners, and $ATSUKI seems to overall give people strong feelings. She got mixed critics when she appeared in the Korean rap TV shows “High School Rapper” and “Show Me The Money” (the beginning of this clip), which makes me believe that she may be misunderstood because she doesn’t really fit into the hiphop contexts. She’s not hiphop, she’s more in the genre of portraying bad and extreme feelings, in whichever genre is fitting – whether it’s trap songs like “All Day”, “깝치면 소녀가 패러와” and “Who’s stronger than me bitch?” (which are arguably more rock than hiphop), or slower and more depressive rnb and emo songs like “내님이 가신 그 길” and “침묵”. $ATSUKI stands out to the hiphop crowd by being more of a trap metal artist than a rapper.
She also stands out to the trap metal scene by being more complex. Many vocalists of the genre can scream loudly and make a song brutal by filling it with noise. $ATSUKI does all this, but she’s also a generally great musician with a natural talent and more ideas than just one. Being loud and aggressive is just one of her traits. $ATSUKI’s music with all its themes, diversity and surprises have more layers than many other artists in the genre, which keeps her interesting when others fade. You can be trendy in the moment, but $ATSUKI is a bit too unclear, unexpected and unique for this. Who she makes music for and what role she fits in the industry is not very obvious, which makes her interesting.
$ATSUKI doesn’t seem like the one to compromise. So no matter if she goes more commercial (for example, I would love to see more professional music videos like this one!), less commercial, change her whole approach or just continue her current way, I’m pretty sure she will continue to do things in her own way, which means it will probably be good. $ATSUKI’s brutal and uncompromising nature makes me sure that she will keep her quality high.