Ever since they debuted last year as K-pop’s first self-proclaimed twerking girl group, Wa$$up have had a knack for making low budget regurgitations of American urban-pop sound surprisingly good.
Their self-titled single remains a fave of mine, while the catchy “Nom Nom Nom” was an incredibly fun follow-up; even the $2 “Hotter Than a Summer” was pretty solid.
The group’s new mini-album, Showtime, gives the girls a bigger budget than the food coupons they used to fund their last albums with, which results in their image receiving a spit ‘n’ polish and their music being elevated to the level of old Rihanna and Tinashe demos.
The addictive lead single, “Shut Up U,” puts Wa$$up in full bo$$ bitch mode as they deliver insult after insult over prickly electro-hop production to boyfriends that aren’t on their legendary level.
“Please nuna, even if you call out to me, I won’t turn around,” they spit. “I have so many fans who want me, so many boys and the girls / You don’t even know what’s what as you wait every day / You’re a gold medal when it comes to being clingy.”
“Work for me baby,” they command, “work for me baby, you got it.”
How’s that for girl power?
Elsewhere on the album, Wa$$up delve into Middle Eastern beats on “Showtime,” and do their best impression of DJ Mustard on “Stupid Liar.”
Rapper Nada’s solo track, “What Are You Looking At” is a bit of a YG clusterfuck, but the girls make up for it by showing their soft side on the vulnerable Drake’n’B-sounding “Hug Me.”
After listening to Showtime, it’s definitely time for everybody to move past seeing Wa$$up as novelty twerk tarts and start recognizing them as a legit girl group with more to offer than just gimmicks and booty. They’ve really carved out their own style and sound in the K-pop world, and best of all, they actually look like the bad girls they portray. When you see Wa$$up, you get the impression that they were turned down by every reputable agency in town because they lacked either talent, looks, or just didn’t fit the idol image, and then Mafia Records found them and taught them how to twerk. Kinda like 4L, except better.
Showtime is on iTunes and Spotify now.