Kahi It's Me
It’s been two-and-a-half years since Kahi made her solo debut and just over a year since she officially left After School. Since stepping away from the popular girl group, she’s done some acting and variety show work, but her music career’s been in limbo following repeated delays from Pledis Entertainment. It was starting to look like Pledis might just scrap everything altogether, but this week Kahi finally came back with a new album, Who Are You?, and I’m happy to say that it was definitely worth the wait.

I thought Seo In Young had the coolest K-diva single of 2013, but Kahi may have just outdone her with “It’s Me.” It’s like somebody took the classy tango-pop from Ga-In’s Step 2/4 album and remixed it with a hip-hop beat. Excess is everything in K-pop, so “It’s Me” is also littered with early ’80s synthesizers and then topped off with a super obnoxious brostep drop and rap break from a dude named Dumbfoundead. I’m trying to convince myself that the dubstep is so gaudy and unnecessary that it’s flawless in a kind of ironic way, but the truth is that Kahi should’ve really made a breakdown out of something else — anything else. More wonderfully weird synths would’ve sufficed, or she could’ve just stolen the same tango break from Sunmi’s “24 Hours” and slayed it.

Still, even all that trashy wizzing and whirring can’t turn me off “It’s Me.” The official music video sees Kahi strutting around Barcelona like a fly fashionista and occasionally busting out some choreography whenever the coast is clear. It looks part Nylon photoshoot, part dance video, and part European cinema. The street scenes are intercut with a black & white Kahi dancing in an early-2000s getup of a black midriff and high-waisted slacks. You could crack a skull on her washboard abs, and her moves are seriously major.

The 32-year-old is one of the best female dancers in pop, period — a skill that’s further highlighted in her M! Countdown comeback stage. People give me shit for saying that Ciara’s dancing is overrated, but I only say that because I think she should be delivering Kahi level choreography. She’s capable of it, but unlike K-pop idols, most Western stars just don’t have the work ethic to reach their maximum potential.

Anyway, enough about CiCi. This comeback was everything to me, and I love it just as much as every other big October comeback — if not more. I’ve seen on the blogs and Twitter that a lot of people seem to be underwhelmed by it, but they must be watching a 2NE1 video or something by mistake. Kahi’s a Kween, she killed this, and not even some trashy outdated dubstep drop can take down her return.

It’s just too bad that Pledis took so long with this, and then scheduled Kahi to compete against the likes of T-ara, SHINee, Busker Busker, and IU. Seriously Pledis? Maybe the plan was to get her some extra exposure because more people will be watching the weekly music programs to see their faves, but it still feels like they did her wrong. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another three years until we see Kahi back with her next solo project.

  • KingBeaArthur

    Count me as one of the underwhelmed. Style-wise I love the song but overall it does nothing for me.

    The mv saves the comeback for me, as well as the choreography. Maybe the song (and mini for that matter) will win me over eventually.

  • byoing~byoing.

    GOD. Nope, that song was it. I’m writing a K-Pop dictionary now. Seriously that rap had GREAT lyrics, flow and perfect English and Kahi’s song didn’t? Wtf?

    K-Pop dictionary:
    So: (adv.) interchangeable with the meaning of ‘a’. Repeat as much as often to prove your point e.g.: ‘So cool, cool.’.
    Girl: (n.) Used when any female, regardless of age refers to themselves, despite how much more sexy it’d be to embrace your womanhood.
    (feel free to add)

    Anyway, Kahi knows she’s the pretty much the shit and the only reason (along with Bekah and Soyoung) that made After School get off the ground. It’s just a shame that their replacements have always fallen short. : I don’t really understand this whole masculinity via feminism (Kara, Nine Muses (Wild), SNSD to name a few) trend that K-Pop is having, but I’m not saying no.

    • Quang Phạm

      Sometimes I just hate it when a song is really good and it has tonnes of Engrish to ruin it.

    • Anna Smitz

      The rap was by the great artist dumbfoundead. Since he grew up in the US it’s obviously, that he’s good with English.
      The chorus otherwise was by some songwriter in Korea…they probably focus on the Korean audience and therefore don’t see it as important, to correct everything.

  • Marhaebwa

    I’m so seksy seksy seksy qurrrrrrrrrl….

    That and the accompanying butterfly-pussyflap-expose dance for that line is the 2nd most iconic of this song.

    The most iconic thing of this dance is undoubtedly that rap.

  • AOI

    I personally liked this better than Seo In Young’s single, cheap brostep drop and whatnot.

  • Quang Phạm

    What really threw me off is the constant Engrish. I mean it would cost a few bucks to get someone decent to check the lyrics. Pledis might have used up their fortune to fly the whole crew to Barcelona. Now I see why…

    • Riley Biers

      Is anything worse than “I’m addict! I’m addict!!”

      At least we can interpret Kahi as telling someone “I’m so cool, gurl~”

      • Quang Phạm

        I can’t consider “I’m addict” to be anything near Engrish disaster because to me Number 9 is not a serious song. I don’t have high hope for a generic song like that; I will laugh it off as an epitome for a typical K-Pop song with Engrish lyrics. However, It’s Me is the total opposite of Number 9 and the Engrish kinda ruins the mood…

  • LiterallyLoveYourSelf

    L O V E S it omw like…. this is perfection. Simple. On point. Such a chill song… which is unlikely from Kpop. Most songs are hardcore dance club rhythm, it’s nice to hear this as a change.

    At first I wasn’t so into it, but after the MV it slayssssssssss me. Kahi on that short hairdo brings out the freshness that she didn’t before.

    This is a nice opening to the other legends that’s coming back this month. Best month ever <3


    Love it! I’ve heard claims that Kahi went and took singing lessons after she left AS – it shows!

  • i love it too! i think “it’s me”‘s synths have a metronomy aurea that is simply perfect… didn’t even notice the dubstep till you mentioned.

    and the whole EP is PURE perfection! we have bekah back! and gawd can someone please get that delicious “hey boy” song and turn into a full grown man and send to me, because i wanna make passionate and dirty love to it! seriously, i was listening to it in the bus and i had to control myself not to get down and shake my ass… u_u

  • UncleFan

    Totally agree on the timing. Only a couple weeks earlier, and her only competition would have been Ladies’ Code, F-ve Dolls and a bunch of boring boy bands. D’oh!

  • Ciejowski

    This is fucking fantastic.

    All these US comeback queens releasing songs that could be written by an 8 year old is embarrassing in comparison.

    This song is basic, the video is simple and it shits on the complexity of Gaga and over production of Britney.

  • AlanaKang

    no ma’am. didnt like this mini album.
    seo in young’s one song is still better imo

  • Kris

    I feel like this is very underwhelming. But that could be a good thing. My guy Dumbfounded on the track though and the cheap brostep breakdown>>>

  • Dub

    I want her abs!