Hip-hop artist goes jazz, horrifically

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Hip-hop artist goes jazz, horrifically


It’s not easy to describe a man like Hyun Jin-young.
Those in the know call him the “pioneer of Korean hip-hop,” because he was one of the first hip-hop artists to emerge in Korea and his hip-hop numbers in the early 1990s leaped to the top of the charts.
To his students, he’s known as a professor; he gives music lectures at universities.
To chronic dieters, he’s something of a legend, having lost over 40 kilograms (88 pounds) just as he was making his comeback after leaving a rehab center (he had been a frequent drug abuser).
After four years of personal troubles and working in other fields, Hyun went back to the studio to make his fifth album, “Break Me Down.” The songs are of a new genre he calls “street jazz,” a mix of hip-hop and jazz, and are about overcoming hardship ― something the artist seems to know a bit about.
Before he started to promote the album, however, he jumped into another entertainment field, this time as the music director of the upcoming horror film “Cinderella.”
“Hyun Jin-young was in charge of all the background music for this movie,” said a staffer at Free Vision, the promoter for “Cinderella.” “We are getting pretty good responses from viewers who watched the trailers on the Internet.”
The music samples Free Vision released last week let Internet users get a taste of what the former hip-hop pioneer could do with a piano and some screeching effects. He also created soft, ballad-like melodies that, when paired with a waft of eerie sounds, heightened the drama in the scenes in which the main character, a surgeon, agonizes over the operation she has to perform on her daughter’s friend.
The film is about a cosmetic surgeon who conducts plastic surgery on her teenage daughter and her daughter’s friends, who end up mysteriously dying.
Hyun’s debut as a horror music director came as a surprise to music critics and to his fans, who still consider him a hip-hop artist ― the last person they’d expect to be producing music and chilling special effects for B-movies.
But Bong Man-dae, the director of the film, is obviously proud of the man he chose to work with.
Bong says he had relied on Hyun entirely for the music because he saw the potential for “sentimentality” in him.
“He knows what sadness is,” Bong said in a press release. “Instead of creating the scary and nerve-breaking sounds typically used in horror movies, he chose to depend on sad melodies which made some of the scary scenes even scarier.”
Bong liked Hyun’s music so much that he has already decided to direct the music video that Hyun is preparing for his “Break Me Down” album.
Starring actresses Do Ji-won and Shin Se-gyeong, the film, “Cinderella” opens in theaters in mid-August.

by Lee Min-a
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