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[Exclusive Interview] M.I.B Talks Hip-Hop Idols, Experimenting with Trot and More

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2014.05.18 18:00 Mwave Nancy Lee

M.I.B may be categorized as a ‘hip-hop idol group,’ a term hip-hop purists may have trouble reconciling, but the four-member group says it can say with confidence this time around that its latest album is a hip-hop album.

Returning with new album The Maginot Line, M.I.B recently sat down with Mwave to talk about its comeback, and for leader 5Zic, the focus was clear.

[Exclusive Interview] M.I.B Talks Hip-Hop Idols, Experimenting with Trot and More

“Music, nothing else, just music,” said 5Zic. “We just wanted to do hip-hop. That’s where we put the emphasis—with the exception of the title track. For the rest of the tracks, we wanted to do hip-hop.”

With all of the M.I.B members taking the reins on the album, from composing and writing to producing all of the tracks, Chisa Bounce was a song the boys dreamed up a long time ago that they finally saw into fruition.

Sims said, “Young Cream hyung had the idea for something like ‘Chisa Bounce’ since our trainee days a long time ago. And we always talked about how something like this would be fun. But after trying other things, I think this time we were able to do it how we wanted.”

The members’ voices are reflected not only in the album but on stage as well, as 5Zic said of the boys’ preppy, printed suits, “That was my idea. For some reason, I thought for this song, dressing hip-hop would be silly, but on the other hand dressing too clean-cut would be weird.”

As more idol groups claiming to be ‘hip-hop idols’ take the stage, some may question the authenticity of hip-hop music in K-Pop. But to that, M.I.B. says: To each their own.

“I think we’re all just going our own way,” said Sims of the many hip-hop idols in K-Pop.

“I think you just have to work hard. It’s like homework,” added 5Zic. “Going on TV and being hip-hop idols isn’t an easy thing first of all. You just have to work hard. As long as your heart doesn’t change…we’ll be rooting for you.”

M.I.B’s new album may be strictly hip-hop, but the members said they’re also open to other genres.

Kangnam, who recently performed a rock-remixed version of Tae Jin Ah’s Love is Not a Joke on Mnet’s Trot X, said of the experience, “After performing as four, having to perform by myself suddenly, I was so nervous. But Sims helped me out, and I think it turned out cool.”

He continued, “And I’ve always liked trot music, so I think it was a good opportunity. It was an opportunity to do something I had never done before.”

As for what other genres the other members would like to dabble in, Sims said, “I’m into rock, so I want to try incorporating rock into hip-hop, like Linkin Park and Jay-Z.”

5Zic revealed his unexpected appreciation for jazz music, saying “I’ve liked jazz for a long time. When I was younger, I used to like strong music, but at one point, I started getting into jazz, bossa nova, things like that. Tango too. I like [music with] a blues feel. Maybe it’s because I’m getting old [laughs].”

In the meantime, M.I.B, who recently performed for fans in Myanmar and will soon take off for its M.I.B Crazy Live in 2014 [Boom! Boom! Up!] concert in Japan, is going wherever their hip-hop-loving fans are.

Before Mwave’s MEET&GREET on May 7, 5Zic said of the opportunity to meet foreign fans, “I feel so fortunate that we’re living in a time where we can talk to fans overseas like this and that they can listen to our music. We’re living in a great world. Wherever our fans are, we can have shows there, so please wait for us. We will come for you. Thank you. Love you.”

If you missed our MEET&GREET with M.I.B, check it out below!

M.I.B 20140518
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