Monsta X rapper delivers pleasing solo document...

Monsta X are one of K-Pop's biggest names, a multi-talented force who have helped transform South Korea's pop ethics into an international phenomenon.

The group's strengths lie in its diversity, with rapper I.M becoming a star in his own right, an artist who deep love for hip-hop culture is evident across the group's output.

Solo project 'Duality' finds I.M taking centre stage on his own, and it's a perfectly accomplished debut.

The production is heavy duty, swinging between ice cold trap snares and arena-level sonics, but it's in his bi-lingual mic approach that I.M truly impresses.

Lead single 'God Damn' is an imposing offering, with the taut lyricism constructing an entire world within just a few lines; 'Howlin' ramps up the energy, before 'Burn' finds I.M howling amid a forceful sonic brew.

'Happy To Die' dips into the digital melancholia that dominates the SoundCloud generation, while overhauling this and adding a fresh lyrical perspective.

Ending with '시든 꽃" (Flower-ed)', this new EP is packed with fresh ideas, and there's a real depth to the work I.M completes, one that proves this is much more than a mere passion project.

A sign of greater arenas to explore, 'Duality' is a fine solo offering, one that ripples with promise and a deeply-felt love for the form.

7/10

Words: Robin Murray

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