[Review] God Damn – I.M (MONSTA X)

I.M is nominated for Best Rapper, while God Damn is nominated for Best Rap or Hip-Hop Song in the 2021 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. MONSTA X is also nominated for Best Stage Presence and Best Concept for GAMBLER. Support I.M, God Damn and MONSTA X by clicking here to vote today.

We return to the ongoing transmission of reviews for songs nominated under Best Rap or Hip-Hop Song category. Today’s review is the final one for the category, and is focused on I.M’s GOD DAMN, which was released way back in February of this year. It formed part of his first formal solo album release, Duality. You might recognise the song, as it has been on my ‘Coming Soon’ page for a very long time. And today, I am finally getting around to it. Since the release of GOD DAMN, I.M has participated in MONSTA X’s GAMBLER and Rush Hour.

Out of all the nominees for the Best Rap or Hip-Hop Song category, I.M’s release is the most sensual. It is a slow song for those who are tuning into GOD DAMN for the first time, and that might be a turn off for some. I completely understand that. But I guess multiple listens (and nine months later), GOD DAMN becomes a lot more appealing. For me, the slowness of the track emphasis that sensual energy, and allows I.M to use a huskier tone and a more drawn out approach with his vocals. All of this helped make GOD DAMN as appealing as it is. We usually get something powerful and fierce from I.M in his MONSTA X works, so this change in sound intrigued me to the point in which I enjoyed it. My favourite and what I felt to be the most memorable aspect of the song has to be the sequence between 2:08 and 2:12, where it seemed like he was murmuring the lyrics. It stood out at me, and stayed with me ever since it was first released. I also like the pulsing and trap instrumentation to a degree. It was plain enough to become a blank canvas, so I.M could do all of the above with the song. But there was also enough trap elements in the instrumentation to ‘fill up’ the background so that it isn’t a sparse and empty. I did think was a bit too consistent, and wished that the instrumental intensified. It didn’t need to be anything hardcore. But rather a subtle yet noticeable intensification to just change up the song a bit would have made the song end on a much stronger note. Overall, GOD DAMN was a deliberate sensual number that changed up what I personally know from the artist.

The lyrics of GOD DAMN are about lying to oneself about being happy, and the video depicts this is a logical manner. The video starts off with flashbacks of I.M and his lover, before we enter the reality where she has left him and he pretends to be happy. But in reality, he is alone throughout the video despite the crowd around him. He uses the mask (I assume to depict him getting high) and drinking alcohol as a mask to cover up his feelings of loss and heartbreak, but it seems like they made such feelings more pronounced and obvious without him knowing. I really like the moody and dark atmosphere of the club and of the overall video, complimenting both the song and concept for this release. I.M is also a great actor throughout the video, doing a good job of portraying the emotions mentioned, and also acting as drunk and high.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10