It’s not often you come across an artist with as diverse of talent as Nafla. Everything from boom bap to trap, contemporary R&B, and more, the Korean-American artist manages to find a grip on anything that’s thrown at him. After flying onto the country’s hip-hop map with “Wu” in 2016 and later reigniting his road to stardom by winning Show Me The Money 7 in 2018, Nafla continued to prop up MKIT RAIN, a hip-hop collective and label that HYPEBEAST recently dissected for Around The Globe. Beginning the new year with the first installment of his new R&B-centric double album, u n u, Nafla has now returned with the second half of the project.
On the 11-track second half, Nafla recruits fellow South Korean swooners DEAN, Colde, Bibi, and Yuja, equally tapping well-placed verses from Gaeko of Dynamic Duo. In general, the album contrasts much of his first full-length, ANGELS, which dove into experimental twists on mainstay hip-hop sounds. On u n u he takes a firm-headed approach to alternative R&B, diving into more intimate and stripped-back sounds while highlighting his melodious delivery. This new direction is reflected through his creative process, which he spoke about with HYPEBEAST last December:
Nowadays I don’t even know what hip-hop is anymore. At this point I’m just doing me [...] I stick to my emotions and mood. There’s certain stages of life when you’re super happy or super sad. That’s when I record a sh*t load. I keep recording because I want to catch the vibe because eventually, it’ll fade — I try to make the most of those moments.”
You can stream u n u part. 2 below.
For more new music, Khalid recently dropped off a new track titled “Wildflower.”