Leessang was one of the greats of mid-to-late-2000s Korean hip-hop, and one listen to any of their title tracks is enough to make you fall into the well of their rhythmic and strangely powerful music.
While many of Leessang’s later releases would abandon a lot of traditional hip-hop for a more mainstream, conventional sound (compare their final title track, Someday, with their first, Leessang Blues), all of their music is filled with evocative lyrics, melodic choruses and off-kilter rap breaks that basically defined my musical growth in my awkward years.
Generally speaking, there’s a certain melancholic weirdness in using the past tense to talk about music that I grew up on. Some part of me expects groups like Leessang to continue forever, in some plane of existence that survives next to purple-colored ketchup and ubiquitous Razor scooters—but this duo of Gil and Gary has been defunct for nearly a decade by this point. If this column still exists in a decade, maybe I’ll be writing the same thing about, say, Cherry Bullet.