I was never a Block B fan until I experienced the masterpiece that was last year’s best pop song, “Her,” and then I suddenly became a BBC overnight. (BBC is Block B’s fandom name, not porno slang for ‘Big Black Cock’ like you filthy deviants were all thinking.)
Block B’s now spawned a sub-unit called Bastarz (coz, why not?), who just debuted with the uber awesome “Conduct Zero” mini-album and single.
Zico, who co-wrote and produced the title track, was reportedly inspired by the classic French film, Zero for Conduct. The movie is about a group of rebellious schoolboys who plan a mutiny against their repressive boarding school, which provides the perfect vehicle for Block B to push their hard-earned bad boy image. The entire song is basically just a savage read on manufactured boy band idols, with vicious lyrics like “you’re just talentless practice bugs” and “All you look like pretty boy gigilos, you look so outdated.”
I’m usually against idols hypocritically attacking other idols’ artistry like the mother of all try-hards Bobby did recently, but unlike the wannabes from iKUNT, Block B have really earned their artist-dol title through their successful lawsuit against Stardom Entertainment and Zico’s extensive production credits. (The same can also be said for B.A.P and Bang Yongguk.)
Don’t get me wrong: they’re still a commercial Korean boy band who wear make up and pander to fangirls and film fluffy CFs for kids’ games, but they’ve definitely for more edge and credibility than their contemporaries.
As for the song, it fits into K-pop’s niche of noisy electro-hop. There’s a fine line between doing this sound right like 4minute’s “Crazy” or committing unforgivable crimes against modern music like G-Dragon. Thankfully, “Conduct Zero” is the former; Zico tackles the production with gusto, but he also knows how to play it so it never sounds generic or overdone.
The incredible chorus mirrors “Crazy” closely, with a sick beat drop followed by a repeated line–attitude turned all the way up.
Also, bravo to whoever did the MV, which features a techno Geisha house and video hoes chopping up the meat of manufactured idols. The only thing that would make the video better is if Bobby’s bloody head was on the chopping block.
Oh yeah, and Bastarz is one of the greatest sub-unit names in the history of K-pop.
That is all.