In March of 2016, Kim Wonsik, AKA Ravi from the boy group VIXX, released his first solo mixtape, R.EBIRTH. Almost exactly one year ago, the rapper teased the tracklist for his first solo mini album, R.EAL1ZE. This time around Ravi is blessing us with mixtape number two, with a title that isn’t at all what I was expecting: NIRVANA. The release has seven new tracks featuring an assortment of great talent across the K-hip hop scene. Returning for a track on this album is rapper Microdot, who Ravi has worked with previously and featured on his first mixtape on the track ‘Where Should I Go’. Other featured artists on NIRVANA include rapper Sik-K, OLNL, and more.
Just before the mixtape dropped, Ravi went live on Vlive to chat with fans. He talked for a while and listened with fans to the highlight medley that was released earlier this week while waiting to deliver the album in its full form. Finally, when 6 PM KST hit, Ravi tweeted out links to view the music video for the title track, ‘Nirvana’. I was surprised to see the video also included part of the song ‘Alcohol’ from the album, in a remixed form. ‘Nirvana’ is a jam, to say the least, and the video is full of super saturated colors and landscape shots, all the better for us to focus on Ravi as he delivers his raps in that signature, rasping style that tickles the spine in all the right ways. The title track also features Park Jimin delivering some nice vocals that balance Ravi’s deep voice just perfectly.
The rest of the mixtape definitely had me bopping. A personal favorite of mine on the album is ‘Ravi Da Loca’ due not only to the sound, but also the title which made me chuckle especially as the lyrics declare “I’m livin’ Ravi da loca”. Picking just one favorite is turning out to be almost impossible for me the more I listen to the album. I think R.EB1RTH and R.EAL1ZE did a good job of introducing us to Ravi’s style as a solo artist, and now with NIRVANA we are getting to explore that style on a deeper level. There isn’t a single track on the mixtape that I didn’t enjoy and I hope that as others listen to it, they can love what Ravi has delivered as much as I have.
What did you think of Ravi’s newest work? Can you pick a favorite track? Tell us which one and why you love it in the comments below!