[Review] 13IVI – BM (KARD)

BM’s 13IVI is nominated for Best Rap or Hip-Hop Song in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support 13IVI, your favourite artists, songs and performances by clicking here to vote today.

Today is the start of a very big task. There are a number of songs that I had nominated in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards that I had yet to review. My aim is to review those nominated tracks without reviews by the end of the year. They won’t come all at once, but will be spread out during the remainder of the month. Today and tomorrow, you will see the reviews for songs that were nominated in the Best Rap or Hip-Hop category. First up, it is BM’s first solo Korean single, 13IVI, which is the lead track from his solo debut single-album, The First Statement. I missed the release when it first came out, and I didn’t really pick up on 13IVI until its final weeks on the Weekly KPOP Charts that I post each Sunday. Note that this isn’t his solo debut single. That was Broken Me, which preceded 13IVI by a month and is an all-English song (which I also missed).

I had no idea what I had been missing out on in the weeks between the official release of the song and discovering 13IVI. 13IVI is a bold, edgy and intense hip-hop track that basically launches you right into chorus (more on that in a bit). Its instrumental was made up of abrasive synths, metallic percussion and heavy beats – all typical ingredients that seem necessary to formulate a very tough and powerful background piece that undoubtedly compliments what we know of BM (if you follow KARD’s work). As a result, 13IVI comes off as an explosive and thrilling track that was relentless and adrenaline pumping. BM follows up the instrumentation, delivering a powerful rap routine that does an amazing job of showcasing his raspy and deep voice. He was fierce and definitely kicked the song up a notch. This, in combination with the instrumentation, did wonders to make the 13IVI repetitive hook so catchy and intense. Earlier, I mentioned how the song launches you right into the chorus, which gets you into the mood for the high octane track from the very start, and I like how the energy continues through the song. I would have enjoyed a three minute long track of this powerful energy, making it fit for a workout playlist. But there was also a period of relief, where BM tones down the energy a bit. But you just know that the song will definitely return to how it started based on the synthetic humming in the background that continues the momentum in a subtle manner. Overall, 13IVI is essentially what I had expected when I think of potential solo tracks for the leader of KARD.

In the music video for 13IVI, BM is a criminal who has been evading authorities for some time. He is captured, tortured, interrogated and locked up behind bars. But his fellow criminal friends break in, kills the police officer who interrogates/tortures BM for answers, before escaping. I liked how BM’s story goes from rock bottom to literally top of the world, where BM and his dancers/criminal peers end up dancing on the helipad of a city building. Aside from storyline, the music video was aggressive and fierce, just like the song was. I wished the video a bit more of a wow factor to, such as taking advantage of that night scene on top of the helipad.

The choreography was good. Once again, bold and fierce comes to mind, but I think any of the descriptors I mentioned above can be applied to the performance. It works well with BM’s hip-hop style, but doesn’t offer anything new or wows me in anyway.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 7.5/10

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