February is set to be a huge month for Kpop. Even if the heavy-hitters of Exo and Big Bang are dragging their feet until March, the rest of the Kpop world is coming back now! And what better way to start the month than with Zion.T and Crush’s latest collaboration, “Just.” Just listen.
From the intro, “Just” is presented vocals first. We hear Zion.T and Crush, and just below that are soft notes that harmonize, adding a third layer of complexity. It is beautiful, soulful, and steady. And by the time the beat kicks in, the base of the drum is hardly needed, which is probably why it sounds so muted. Interestingly enough, though, that beat is what classifies this more as R&B than a ballad.
Throughout the song, Zion.T and Crush take turns crooning. And for fans of these two artists, it may be surprising to hear Crush take the rap solo, but it shouldn’t be. Crush has always incorporated rap into his music, and this is hardly heavy hitting stuff. The rap segment flows nicely out of the softness of the R&B, which also puts it right in Crush’s wheelhouse.
“Just” may suggest an impromptu reason for writing a song, just because, but the music video feels much more urgent. It’s a black and white affair that sees the pair attending a funeral. Spliced throughout are emotive shots so ubiquitous in other Kpop music videos. True, the MV is not anything special, but it is classy and well-done. It provides us with no complaints.
The best single word I can find to describe this song is immaculate. “Just” is flawlessly performed and produced. But immaculate also connotes a sort of cleanliness, a spotlessness, a purity. In “Just,” not a single note falls out of place, and there are no more notes than are absolutely needed. Simplicity, here, is a virtue. It’s also something Zion.T and Crush have developed over years of working together. “Just” is part of a new Zion.T and Crush project called Young, but the duo has collaborated many times before, both for Crush’s self-titled album last year and on several Zion.T releases, including “Cliche Melody” (from Red Light) and “Two Melodies.” For my money, they’re starting to get things just right.
Zander Stachniak is a southern-born, Chicago-based writer who first discovered Kpop through ShoutCast Radio. His biases are f(x) and Block B.