Friday, December 11th, 2015

MFBTY – Bang Diggy Bang Bang

Suggested by Gayathri and almost “an impeccable example of cultural exchange.”


Gaya Sundaram: “Bang Diggy Bang Bang” caught me by surprise in its matching ofKorean rappers Bizzionary, Tiger JK and Yoon Mi-rae (AKA Tasha K) with Hindustani music, a classical genre from India. The bol (kind of like scatting) fits in seamlessly with the rappers’ easy flow. Add in some ‘African bongo sounds’ and you have thumping dance tune that fits to a tee the ‘hip pop’ MFBTY claims to create. Such a label feels like it would be used to describe a cheap knock off. But this meeting of South Asia and Africa with East Asia, underpinned by Black American creation, is an authentic addition to the world of fusion music — more so than the current trend of Middle Eastern samples employed in current hip hop. If only Tiger JK had stayed away from the turban, this would have been an impeccable example of cultural exchange.

Scott Ramage: The obvious comparison point is “Get Your Freak On,” but what it really resembles is Little Mix’s “Move.” The way it skips, bounces and bangs around the beat, all sonic Easter eggs and idiosyncratic delivery, brings out so much fun. The raps recall “212” — not necessarily because of their technical ability, but in the sheer pleasure of language explored. The groove is so elastic that the hooks feel strong enough to resist translation as a requirement but if I heard this in a club it would be absolute submission.

Mike Mathews: What the Black Eyed Peas sound like to people who HATE the Black Eyed Peas.

Jessica Doyle: Playful, deliberately light — this isn’t anywhere near the expanse and emotion of “Sweet Dream,” and thank goodness for that; it’s hard for me to imagine a second, cohesive “Sweet Dream.” They’re veterans, and don’t confuse experimentation with slack.

Alfred Soto: It has the daft enthusiasm for nonsense phrases (BUSY. TIGER.) that I liked about the Spice Girl’s “Wannabe” and the usual K-pop finesse for protean rhythms.

Austin Brown: If there’s not a general rule that spending more time on ad libs and “let the 808 bump” interjections than on the actual verses and choruses of a song is usually bad, I would like to get working on one now.

Tristan Bella: Sits equidistant from “Boom Boom Pow” and “Get Ur Freak On,” avoiding the former’s forced futurism but lacking the latter’s extraterrestrial whiplash.

Joshua Kim: Such a rush but everything’s in its right place here, especially that playful slide whistle sound during the verses. The accents at the start of Tiger’s verse are crucial and give the song that extra push before it dive rolls straight into the chorus.

Peter Ryan: This needs nothing but since she seems to be back for real this time I can’t help but imagine Missy hopping on this c. 1:40. I can dream…

Thomas Inskeep: This Korean rap collective have managed something I thought impossible: they’ve made a record that shows the world what Black Eyes Peas (their iteration with Fergie) might sound like if they weren’t terrible. “Bang” starts out with what sounds like a child reciting the opening of Sly Fox’s “Let’s Go All The Way” before the boom-bap kicks in. Their raps are playful, the chorus makes mention of “that bass/that 808,” the production here is buoyant and readymade for the dancefloor, and overall this is just pure happy partytime.

Brad Shoup: I like it; it reminds me how much I miss Fergie. With a title like that it needs to bang and it bangs: check Tiger JK, constricting his throat and wondering when he’s gonna go stale. And the sample, which feints at something untenably syncretic, but gets stripped to a tiny pinging figure, lean and nagging.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: The tempo and the different percussions on the track recall Missy Elliott’s classic era maybe a little too much, but the energy in the chorus and the Hindustani instruments sold it for me. Bonus point for Yoonmirae’s powerful rapping. 

Crystal Leww: MFBTY have a wonderfully executed pop-rap song in “Bang Diggy Bang Bang” that would fit along nicely with the likes of some Amber-heavy f(x) tracks or Missy Elliott. The verses are energetic, with each member contributing their own little bit, but the best part about this is the percussion, which takes a page out of Elliott’s book: they’re layered and varied. Still, k-pop continues to suffer from a serious appropriation problem: no one needs to see Asian folks in dreadlocks or braids, y’all.

Patrick St. Michel: Befitting a Korean rap supergroup who don’t need to really prove anything, “Bang Diggy Bang Bang” is pure energy as the trio tag in and out over a song that seems effortless. That’s what’s most impressive here — I’m used to high-concept K-pop videos and “G-Dragon…but Young Thug style!” that dashes out the gate with Drunken Tiger pretending to be a drum machine, nodding to sounds beyond their borders. 

Megan Harrington: It took me days to figure out where I’d heard the words “bang” and “diggy” juxtaposed before. Let me save you a possible hundred units of time — it’s Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba.” Aside from that potentially incidental reference, there’s also a little Meghan Trainor and maybe some Da Brat here. It’s a seemingly strange recipe — like one that calls for nutmeg in mac ‘n cheese, but it works in a sophisticated way.

Reader average: [7.5] (2 votes)

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2 Responses to “MFBTY – Bang Diggy Bang Bang”

  1. Thanks for the quick lesson, Gayathri! I was thinking that the production fits with “Get Ur Freak On,” which I understand is influenced heavily by bhangra, but I am really not familiar with music from any part of India enough to speak authoritatively on it. Great blurb!

  2. Am I the only one who kinda likes this beat more than Where They From?