Ty's Music Corner

On Young Posse

I don’t particularly care about the speed of rapping. While it’s something that K-Pop enthusiasts often value, it doesn’t personally appeal to me. Yes, it can be impressive, Sunhye’s verse was impressive, but the obsession K-Pop fans have with it as a measure of skill is overrated. If rapping fast were all that mattered, Twista would be the most prominent rapper of all time, which he is not.

Those who label YP as a caricature of Black culture fail to understand that hip hop is the most dominant music genre globally. It has been the worldwide sound since around 2010, completely surpassing rock on the charts. Naturally, it will proliferate and evolve in ways that some may not appreciate. This perspective, steeped in the belief that people own culture, is extremely segregationist. People cannot own ideas, so they don’t get to dictate how others interact with culture, discover something, use it, or expose it once it’s out in the world. We live in 2024, a time of incredible interconnection and globalization. The conservative, segregationist argument that people own culture is outdated. Culture is not a finite resource; it’s infinite. Pretending otherwise is regressive and goes against the syncretic way culture and religion have developed throughout history. The girls genuinely appreciate hip hop, but you might not see that if you’re not familiar with the group. To assume that the girls don’t like hip hop is utterly baseless and can only be made if you don’t pay attention to the group.

Similarly, criticizing the girls for wearing grills falls into the same trap of cultural possessiveness. Grills are a well-established part of hip hop culture. Disapproving of their use because it doesn't conform to narrow expectations disregards the dynamic nature of cultural exchange.

In short, people are drawn to the aspects of culture that resonate with them, and that's okay. There's no point in policing cultural expression – it's a natural process of adaptation and evolution.

In response to YP calling themselves the baby version of the Wu-Tang Clan and designing their album to look like an XXL Freshman cover, it’s not unusual. Rap is an art form that often includes braggadocious lyrics. A hip hop-focused group should not be criticized for paying homage to XXL magazine. The fact that they’re paying homage indicates that the producers and leadership are deeply rooted in the culture. Accusations of them trying too hard are some of the most nonsensical insults.

In response to the comment, “Hmm, it’s an ‘idk,’ the name has put me off,” or any complaints about the name in general, the only way you could find the name controversial is if you misread it phonologically. I don’t believe a native English speaker, whether American or from another Anglophone country, would think “Young Posse” sounds like slang for a woman’s private part. The name actually stands for “Young Possibilities.

Sunhye's Playlist

Sunhye, from the XXL EP Q&A section, has these songs on her playlist:

  1. Track 1: 4batz – act ii: date @ 8
  2. Track 2: Travis Scott – FE!N
  3. Track 3: The Weeknd – Starboy
  4. Track 4: Rihanna – Pour It Up
  5. Track 5: 21 Savage – redrum

On the Young Posse Instagram, Sunhye also shared these additional songs:

The Knockturnal Interview

The Knockturnal: Sunhye, your talent is strong! From your impressive rap in "XXL" to composing your group's debut – Can you walk us through your creative process when it comes to writing lyrics?

Sunhye: "I think when it comes to writing our lyrics, we always want to write from our own experiences and tell our own stories. Even for our debut song, 'MACARONI CHEESE,' we wrote that when we were still trainees. We came across this poster, a macaroni cheese burger, outside of a restaurant. Basically, we wrote that lyric thinking about how much we would love to have it."

Yeonjung's Playlist

Yeonjung, from the XXL EP Q&A, has these songs on her playlist:

  1. Track 1: Justin Bieber – Ghost
  2. Track 2: Justin Bieber – Hold On
  3. Track 3: Ariana Grande – Yes, and?
  4. Track 4: Ice Spice – Deli

On the Young Posse Instagram, Yeonjung recommends

The Knockturnal: Are there any artists or people in your lives that each of you look up to when creating new music? Yeonjung: “I usually get inspiration from people around me, but there are tons of artists that give me inspiration, especially from my trainee days. It was Doja Cat, Lil Uzi Vert, Ice Spice…

Jiana's Playlist

Jiana, from the XXL EP Q&A, has these songs on her playlist:

  1. Track 1: Jack Harlow – Lovin On Me
  2. Track 2: DPR LIVE – Jasmine
  3. Track 3: Sunset Rollercoaster – My Jinji
  4. Track 4: Lauv – I Like Me Better
  5. Track 5: BIG Naughty – Vancouver

On the Young Posse instagram Jiana also has this on her playlist

Jiana's Rap Journey

The Knockturnal: Jiana, a bit of a throwback – but in 'POSSE UP!,' your verse about being new to rap but mastering it quickly was so inspiring! Can you tell us more about your rap journey? How did you get started rapping, and what was it like to pick it up so fast?

Jiana: "I had been taking rap classes three times before I joined this company... I was so bad at it, so I just wanted to give up and just sing and dance. But once I joined this entertainment company, I got proper training and was also encouraged to write lyrics while learning how to rap. Two months into learning rap, I wrote this verse on the song 'POSSE UP!' I still have much more to improve, so please stay tuned and hope I can show you my progression!"

Doeun's Playlist

Doeun, from the XXL EP Q&A section, has these songs on her playlist:

  1. Track 1: NMIXX – TANK
  2. Track 2: KISS OF LIFE – Shhh
  3. Track 3: NMIXX – DASH
  4. Track 4: aespa – Drama
  5. Track 5: NMIXX – Love Me Like This
  6. Track 6: NMIXX – DICE

On the Young Posse Instagram, Doeun also shared these additional songs:

The Knockturnal: Doeun, your line in ‘MACARONI CHEESE’ absolutely exploded online! What was your initial reaction when you realized how viral it went?

Doeun: “When I have free time I see a lot of, ‘O.. Icy’ — this part showing on my feed! It was so amazing, I would keep seeing videos pop out. I just want to thank everyone for loving my part!”

Jieun's playlist

Jieun, from the XXL EP Q&A section, has these songs on her playlist:

  1. Track 1: 비비 (BIBI) - 한강공원 (Hangang Gongwon)
  2. Track 2: 88rising & NIKI – Indigo
  3. Track 3: Moonsujin & Jiselle – Only U
  4. Track 4: Doja Cat – Kiss Me More
  5. Track 5: Sabrina Carpenter – Nonsense
  6. Track 6: Ariana Grande – My Hair

On the Young Posse Instagram, Jieun also shared these additional songs:

The Knockturnal: Jieun, your verses and lines are already so powerful – but if you could swap any line with another member from this comeback – which would you choose?

Jieun: “For this comeback I was a bit jealous of Jiana and Yeonjung’s part when they were whispering “XXL,” because their expressions looked so killing when they were doing that whisper."

On Macaroni Cheese

It's crucial to analyze the song's lyrics within their intended context. While some might express concern about a 14-year-old participating in the music industry, it's important to note that Jieun's (age 14) role focuses on the chorus, not suggestive verses. This reinforces responsible artistic expression within appropriate boundaries.

Let's take a closer look at the lyrics:

[Intro: Jiana] (Macaroni cheese) (Like a macaroni cheese) (Macaroni cheese) (Like a macaroni cheese) (Macaroni cheese) Macaroni cheese (Like a macaroni cheese) Is a dish of cooked macaroni pasta (Macaroni cheese) And a cheese sauce (Like a macaroni cheese) Most commonly cheddar sauce

The song opens with Jiana introducing the main subject: macaroni and cheese. The lyrics clearly describe the dish itself, leaving no room for misinterpretation.

[Chorus: Sunhye, (Yeonjung)] Macaroni cheese Like a macaroni cheese (Ayy) Macaroni cheese Like a macaroni cheese (Uh) On the, on the cream Pop it, pop it like a cheese (What?) On the, on the cream Pop it, pop it like a cheese, ha

The chorus, sung by Sunhye and Yeonjung (both 19), emphasizes the deliciousness of macaroni and cheese using playful metaphors ("pop it like a cheese").

[Verse 1: Yeonjung, Jiana, Jieun, Doeun] Flour, salt, pepper 다 섞어 just add it up (Add it up) Drop it on my body 모든 체다 치즈 이리로 (이리로) What you mean it's 노맛이라 말해? Don't just make it up (Make it up) 그러곤 먹지 easy peasy 이미 넌 내 입으로, ya, ya (Ya, ya) Macaroni, have a try, ya, ya (What, what?) 먹다보니 맛가 야야야 (Hеy) Got me so crazy, y'all wanna check it Pop me some soda 다같이 gathering, it's necessary Party goalie 없이 입으로 goal in

This verse, sung by Yeonjung (19), Jiana (now 18), Jieun (14), and Doeun, details the fun and easy preparation of macaroni and cheese. Lines like "Drop it on my body 모든 체다 치즈 이리로" (Drop all that cheddar cheese right here) use hyperbole to describe the abundance of cheese, not a sexual connotation.

[Chorus: Jieun, (Doeun)] Macaroni cheese Like a macaroni cheese (Cheese) Macaroni cheese Like a macaroni cheese (Get up) On the, on the cream Pop it, pop it like a cheese On the, on the cream Pop it, pop it like a cheese, ha

The chorus repeats, further emphasizing the song's focus on the enjoyment of the food.

[Verse 2: Doeun, Sunhye, Jieun] Put it in a freezer, ooh, ice Breakfast to dinner, (Everyday) 음, so nice (Yaow) 365 하루종일 in your mouth (Wee) 마카로니 마라톤임 마카롱이 아니라고 인마 (Ooh) 음, it's cheesy, 얼른 come and taste it (Yum-yum) I just want it hot but don't make my body (Hot) 자꾸 따라 오지마, do you want me to call a taxi? (Taxi!) Young and P No car but it's racing

Verse 2, sung by Doeun (19), Sunhye (19), and Jieun (14), describes the versatility of macaroni and cheese (enjoyable any time of day) and its addictive nature ("macaroni marathon"). The line "음, it's cheesy, 얼른 come and taste it" (Mmm, it's cheesy, quickly come and taste it) is a straightforward invitation to enjoy the delicious food.

(The song seamlessly transitions into the rest of the chorus and outro as analyzed before.)

As you can see, interpreting these lyrics as sexual suggests a personal bias rather than reflecting the song's intended meaning. The clear focus throughout the song, including the full lyrics presented above, is the lighthearted and celebratory nature of food.

The suggestion that teenagers lack sexual awareness is outdated and overlooks the realities of human development. Teenagers are capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions and navigating complex situations. Restricting artistic expression based on this assumption not only undermines their agency but also reinforces negative stereotypes.

Ultimately, the song "Macaroni Cheese" by YOUNG POSSE is a fun and catchy celebration of a beloved comfort food. While the music video incorporates a bright and colorful aesthetic, it aligns with the lighthearted and playful nature of the song. Enjoying the song doesn't require finding a sexual subtext that simply isn't there.

Anyway, now that that's out of the way, Young Posse is my ultimate group! I have 1,613 streams of XXL. I'm a huge rap fan; it was my most listened-to genre before I got into K-pop. My favorite rappers are the likes of Playboi Carti, Yeat, Lil Uzi Vert, MF DOOM, Gang Starr, Biggie, and so on.

Ever since I got into K-pop, I've been hoping for a rage song (Yeat was doing rage beats a lot back in 2021 and 2022), and finally getting one is incredible! I love "Scars."

The production behind their songs is great, and the lyrical content is great, too. It doesn't matter if the girls write their own lyrics, which they do (they've done it on "Scars," "Rookie of the Year," "Posse Up," and "Macaroni and Cheese"), or if Kiggen and Yella D write them. It's very impressive.