On Aug. 4, while waiting in line out front of the Jeju Arts Center in Jeju City, a young man was boasting about how difficult it was for him to get a ticket — even a month in advance — for that night’s Verbal Jint concert.
Did you know?
Verbal Jint is a combination of the word “Verb” and the musician’s first name “Jintae.” Verbal Jint was on the TV program “Show Me the Money” in which eight Korean rappers competed musically for prize money. Verbal Jint is also well known for his intellect; he graduated with an economics degree from Seoul National University and was accepted into law school at Hanyang University, though he is currently taking time off from his studies.
For the uninitiated, Korean hip-hop is divided into two eras: before the arrival of Kim Jintae — aka Verbal Jint — and after. Debuting in 1999, the man is credited as the first artist to apply rap rhythms in Korean, changing the face of music here forever.
So it is understandable that procuring tickets a month in advance would not be an easy task.
The concert promoting his latest album “10 Years Of Misreading,” which came out on June 21, started at 7 p.m. Standing on stage in front of the audience, Verbal Jint said that with this album he wanted to resolve all the misunderstandings people have about him. He said that he hated how over the past 12 years the media has solely focused on his rhyming and rapping abilities, ignoring the fact that he writes and performs music in several genres.
He started the 100-minute concert with “Putting Something Like Oil?” and for those who were expecting a high-energy concert, they would have been sadly disappointed. It was not a “put your hands-up and say yeah” atmosphere, but rather one that roused sympathy and sadness from the audience over breakups, love, and life. Verbal Jint was not concerned that night about putting on a performance to excite the audience, but instead he focused on conveying the message of his music.
During the evening he sang “When I Feel Love,” “She’s Gone,” “Perfect Day,” “Please Console the Boy,” and many others, and his voice was low and stable like black morning coffee which wakes the audience and soothes the soul.
When he sang “You Look Okay,” which is about a former couple meeting on the Han River Bridge, the audience started to sing along. The popularity of this song from his 2009 album “False Charge” proves that he can appeal to mainstream audiences while at the same time being considered an underground singer.
The concert began to get interesting when pop group Phantom, which are under the same production company Brand New Music, took to the stage.
During the concert, Verbal Jint made jokes which cracked the entire audience up. He said that he found a very sexy traditional dish name here in Jeju which he referred to as “body soup” (momguk in Korean).
Verbal Jint promised the audience that he would visit Jeju again next year, which brought the locals to their feet.
“Usually after having this kind of memorable performance, I write five or six songs in a few days,” he said. “Soon, I might write a song about Jeju, so don’t miss it.”
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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