One of my favorite things in the world is exposing the people in my life to new music that I know they will love. I get so much joy from putting someone else onto a new artist that I think can be the next big thing. Recently I have been increasingly starting to get into Eastern genres of music like K-Pop and J-Pop. I got into K-Pop in high school, but that interest faded over the years. I have been excited to explore this new wave of K-Pop and J-Pop as they get more popular worldwide. XG is a J-Pop group I recently found that I have been telling everyone I know who enjoys Hip Hop or Pop to check out. Ever since I discovered XG about a month ago, I have been hooked. I have been listening to them every day, and become more and more engrossed by and hooked on their music and overall aura as time has gone on. Everything about XG stands out in a significant way. From their rapping to the singing to dancing their outfits, all aspects of XG’s artistry are riveting. I truly think they could be the next big thing; XG is a new artist that I think everyone should be paying attention to.
XG is an all-Japanese girl group based in Korea. Instead of just trying to break into the K-Pop industry, however, they are trying to break into the global market(which is why they are making music completely in English). XG consists of four main rappers named Jurin, Maya, Harvey, and Cocona(who all do a bit of singing as well), and three main singers, named Hinata, Juria, and Chisa. All seven members of this group are phenomenal dancers; their choreography is striking, as it creates a spectacle that makes their performances a mush watch. XG first burst onto the scene in early 2022. Their first two entries into the music game were a video where Jurin and Harvey rapped over the ‘Chill Bill’ instrumental, and a video where Juria and Chisa covered Justin Bieber’s ‘Peaches.’ They quickly followed these videos with their first two singles, which are called ‘Tippy Toes’ and ‘MASCARA.’ ‘Tippy Toes’ is a song that fuses modern Synth-pop with early 2000s style sparse Hip Hop like Clipse’s ‘Grindin’ or Snoop Dogg’s ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot.’ ‘MASCARA’ is a song that fuses fast-paced Poppy R&B music with early 2010’s Britney Spears-style Electropop. Both these songs are great, and they were a nice introduction to XG for music fans. Toward the end of 2022, XG released a cypher(which they called XYPHER) where all four of the rappers in the group picked a popular instrumental to rap on. Cocona picked JID’s ‘Surround Sound,’ Maya picked Dreamville’s ‘Down Bad, Harvey picked Ty Dolla Sign’s ‘I WON,’ and Jurin picked Rosalia’s ‘Saoko.’ This cypher went viral, with Cocona’s and Maya’s verses in particular exploding in Tik Tok. My personal favorite verse was Jurin’s as it was so exotic and distinct sounding to me. XG’s XYPHER confirmed to the music world that this group is truly special.
After an excellent 2022 where XG gave the world a taste of what is to come, they are now ready to take advantage and are poised for a big 2023. They have already released two singles this year, called ‘LEFT RIGHT’ and ‘SHOOTING STAR,’ both of which I love. ‘LEFT RIGHT’ is a song that feels like a 2023 version of late 90s Neo-R&B music. It is like a modern take on music from that era by artists like TLC, Erykah Badu, or Jill Scott. My favorite parts of this song are the second verse, which is performed by Harvey, and the first part of the second chorus, which is performed by Hinata. Harvey provides so much attitude in her verse, giving the otherwise very charming song a sassy element; Hinata has an interesting vocal tone that reminds me a lot of Aaliyah, which goes perfectly with this instrumental. As much as I think ‘LEFT RIGHT’ is a top song of 2023, I think that ‘SHOOTING STAR’ is next level. It is probably my favorite song of the year so far. This song is a flawless version of present-day Pop-Trap music. During the verses of the song, the instrumental is so grimey and tough, and on the chorus and bridge of the song, the instrumental is so sweet and atmospheric. The instrumental is mixed incredibly, and it gives the song such a fun and energetic feeling. My favorite performances on the track are Jurin in the first verse and Chisa in the pre-chorus. Jurin burst onto the song with so much ferocity and intensity, and it immediately draws me in as a listener. Chisa has such a soft and delightful tone when she sings, and she is so nice to listen to on this melody. ‘SHOOTING STAR’ is a smash hit that I just know will remain one of my favorite tracks for a long time.
XG is a new artist that seemingly has everything needed to take things to the next level. The group is full of extremely talented individuals that are all uniquely talented and who all bring something different to the table. When they are together, they have undeniable chemistry, and they all seem to bounce off of each other superbly. XG seems like an artist that has no limits; because of how talented their members are, I could see them being able to make any kind of music they want to. Even though they just started and have not released very much music yet, I am fully confident that this group is going to do really big things. XG is one of my favorite rising artists in music right now, and I can not wait to see what they do next.