Grace - because of you
Grace is a solo artist under the YYAC label. For those that don't know her, she is a rapper that gained a lot of attention when she participated in the third season of the popular television show Unpretty Rapstar. I've not gotten a chance to do a review on her before, but her music is always really different and unique from the usual standard fare that we hear. I've loved her past releases to this point, and I find her songs both interesting and enjoyable. "because of you" kind of dropped on us out of nowhere, so I had no idea what to expect going in, but I was excited to do so nonetheless.
Right from the start of this song, everything was a huge shock to me. I was not expecting her to go full on singer mode, and most definitely not with a ballad. The piano sets some of the dramatic atmosphere for the song, but moreover Grace manages to furnish some austere, raw, emotional vocals that one likely would not expect from a rapper. The more natural softness of the acoustic guitar and hushed percussion further pushed the impassioned vocals but never took spotlight away from them. There's a wonderfully impactful sensation of desolation and pain present in the verses, but the peak of this song truly occurs during the chorus. Grace delivers a powerful emotional punch through the gradual ascensions of vocals, leaving one wondering where this side of her has been hiding all of this time.
This song is more than just a pleasant surprise coming from left field. It's a gorgeous break from expectations that hits every mark that a ballad needs to. The emotional swings from verse to chorus and back in this track sound like they should be coming from a veteran of this style of song. They don't lack in gravity or severity, and the end result is a sensational, elegant serenade that refuses to allow you feeling indifferent. There have been very few ballads that have impressed me this year, but this is without a doubt my favorite thus far. Grace could easily have an entire discography of her singing instead of rapping and I'd be just as happy to hear it. To know that she wrote the lyrics and took part in helping to compose the piece only makes it that much better to me.
The music video is less impressive than the track itself, but I'd think that it would be damn hard to top that anyway. I know that I say this about almost all K-pop stars, but good lord Grace is gorgeous in this video. Her visuals are breathtaking in every sense of the word, and (no pun intended) she looked so graceful while singing her heart out. I love the choice of styling for her across the entire span of this video. Her hair, makeup, and outfit choices are absolutely flawless for this one.
There isn't too much going on in the video, sadly. It's mostly just shots of her singing with a band in the background or scenes of her singing and looking pained against some plain backdrops. Whether it's due to a budget limitation or not doesn't seem to particularly matter because I kind of liked the simplistic nature of it all for this kind of track. The only colors present in the video are black and white and the only exceptions come in the form of Grace's jewelry or her hair, both of which draw your eye to her as the focus, and I'm perfectly fine with that. Grace's past music videos have been fairly simplistic as well, but she's rocked them all the same.
"because of you" is a stunning display of Grace's talents as an artist and not just a rapper. She pulls off this style unbelievably well, and I'm so excited for future releases from her knowing that she has the vocal prowess and talent to take her music in so many directions. If you're a fan of powerful, emotional ballads, this one is an absolute must for this year.