A bittersweet way to say “Goodbye, I’ll see you later,” Bang Yongguk releases the music video to his new single “Orange Drive,” the day before he is set to enlist. Through the song, the former B.A.P member hopes to express his gratitude towards his fans as well as use it as a promise to comeback from his enlistment as a stronger artist.
R&B-flavored “Orange Drive” is almost an antithesis to the raw and sharp “HIKIKOMORI,” mellower than his previous work. It starts off with strong, dark piano notes, later mixing with brass instruments, a smooth and prominent saxophone melody, and flashy snares. Yongguk’s deep and raspy voice flowing with music is the perfect definition of when opposites attract. Where “HIKIKOMORI” explored the darker, lonelier side of his mind—the name of the track itself is a Japanese term for a person who hides away from the world because of societal pressures or trauma—”Orange Drive” talks about not holding back, enjoying every moment in life, and dreaming about endless possibilities that relay the promise the young rapper has made to his fans.
The music video itself is dark with a muted filter. Yongguk, dressed in all white, raps while enjoying the evening view of the beach from the shoreline, adding to the relaxing vibe of the song. With the help of amazing visuals of northern lights and color edits that turn brown dirt to pink, it’s hard to look away. Knowing everything that he has gone through, it’s a powerful statement that he stands on the beach, saying “I love myself.”
Once an idol, now an artist—who is Bang Yongguk? Launching his musical career in 2011, Yonggguk was a producer from the start, becoming the leader of B.A.P. and being involved in the production of the songs on the group’s debut EP, Warrior. He has since been involved with the writing and arrangement of over 110 songs.
As a solo artist, Yongguk’s music can be classified as hip-hop and R&B. He name-dropped J. Cole and Kurt Cobain in his 2019 self-titled album as some of his inspirations. Opting to craft a new identity with his own sound, Yongguk hasn’t shied away from mental health, using music to break down the wall that’s often between fans and musicians, voicing his struggles and helping his many of his fans out of similar issues.
Running with the orange light
A raise to last spring whiskey
As if it's the last
I love deeply
I just wanna say don’t wait up
gotta get you back back
Turn off my stage lights
I’m ready action
I want to see you again someday
shall we come again
With the release of “Orange Drive,” Yongguk is ready for this new phase of his life. Having been released towards the end of the summer, the song is the perfect way to conclude all the fun, being ready for the red light after the orange.
Yongguk begins his military enlistment in August 2019, but this isn’t the last of him. It’s the start. A great way to encourage you on to better things, “Orange Drive” is the song that makes you want to strive for more. This an anthem to change and self-love.
Cover Image: Bang Yongguk
Written by Briseida Rivera & Stephanie Lemus