[Review] Ya – HUTA (Lee Minhyuk (BTOB))

As male groups become more superior due to the amount of time they spent active in the industry, the inevitable occurs. BTOB has reached the stage where their Korean members must enlist into the military. We saw Eunkwang enlist suddenly last year. Changsub enlisted yesterday after his solo debut with Gone. And now it is Minhyuk’s turn to enlist next month. But before he leaves, he is treating fans to the release of his 1st solo album. Under the name HUTA, Minhyuk has two title tracks, Ya and With Melody off his album, HUTAZONE.

New fans of BTOB may know Minhyuk as a rapper of BTOB while some more long-term fans may know he started off singing in the group’s earlier days. Ya brings the two worlds together, giving Minhyuk to showcase his raps and vocals. Ya is actually a very smooth song. While it delves into the hip-hop side of KPOP, Ya starts off with Minhyuk’s deep and husky rap tone. I particularly like that roughness he brings to the table at the end of the final rap section of the song.  Once he starts singing, it beings a refreshing feel to the song. Given his vocals in this song, it makes you wonder why he hasn’t shown it as much in BTOB’s work. I really like the entire chorus of the track, particularly the ‘flexing with ya’ line in the post-chorus hook. It kicks the energy level of the song to the whole new high. Talking about the energy of the song, I liked how everything flowed in this song, particularly the instrumental break at the end of the song, which channelled the energy perfectly.

And like the song, the music video takes full commitment to that dark direction. I am not exactly sure what is happening but it seems like there are two sides of Minhyuk. The presence of these two sides is based on the person he likes, whom he describes as dangerous and should be avoided. His darker self (represented by the black outfit) seems to have the upper hand to his more good side (which is represented as being in the white stray jacket). And as his darker side tells him to stay with his dangerous lover, this results in his apartment catching on fire (a consequence he knows was going to happen). This is also the first time I saw a male idol gradually lose their shirt. In the first set of choreography shots, he was wearing a shirt and jacket. Next set of scenes was a jacket buttoned up. The final set of scenes was abs galore for all the fans out there. And visually, he is very good looking in this music video.

I thought the choreography was nice. It gives him an opportunity to really focus on rapping and singing. But it didn’t seem too simple if you understand what I mean. The moves at the ‘Flexing with ya’ post-chorus hook was rather simple but had attitude. His solo dance at the end was equally as cool and gave him to showcase his dancing ability, giving fans and the audience the trinity.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.5/10

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