Is anybody out there?

DPR’s debut album takes you out of this world

Tobili Hatcher, Staff Reporter

“Mayday, is anybody out there?” Like an out-of-control rocket ship calling out for help, on Tuesday, March 3, South Korean-born and Guam-raised rapper DPR Live (Hong Da-bin) asked his fans just that, when he released his long-awaited first studio album “Is Anybody Out There?” 

The album comes after a two-year period spent focusing on releasing new merchandise, going on a world tour and collaborating with brands such as Nike and Adidas, instead.

Based in Seoul, South Korea, Live is a part of the Dream Perfect Regime (DPR) collective. DPR is an independent music label comprised of DPR REM (Executive Producer), DPR CREAM (music producer) and DPR +IAN (Director and editor). Coming from different backgrounds, the DPR collective bonded over the dream “to engage viewers by producing an unique and dynamic experience of both visual and audio output.” And, over the past five years, that is exactly what the DPR crew has done. 

This album is made up of 11 different tracks, ten of which are full-length songs. 

The third track on the album, “TO WHOEVER,” is like a conversation between Live and his fans. Live vividly recounts how he moved back to Korea on Feb. 4, 2007, although he was unsure of why at the time. He asks himself many questions that we’ve at one point all asked ourselves. 

“Why I had to feel incomplete, every second of every week?/Like why I had to have three jobs just to stay on my feet?/ /Where do we go when we die? Hell? Heaven? Do we enter a void? Space? Reincarnation?” 

This is one of the more intimate tracks that Live has put out, allowing his fans to get a deeper understanding of what it was like for him to return to his home country thirteen years ago. We see Live outside his usually reserved performance persona, and, instead, see a love-struck 27-year-old highlighted in “KISS ME.” This track oozes slow and sexy vibes, as Live croons and gently raps in Korean and English about how he wants to be with the girl from his dreams.

Continuing the mission of taking the listener on a journey, CREAM did a fantastic job in arranging the songs to ensure that each track seamlessly flowed into the next. There was no sign of any awkward transitions or songs that felt out of place on this album, as each line fell perfectly into place.

For those of you who may find yourself listening to Live for the first time, there may be a few things that you don’t notice, initially. However, if you’ve been a part of the DPR Gang for some time, you’ll be happy to hear how Live pays homage to some of his earlier songs and keeps a consistent theme throughout all of his musical projects. 

Most notably, an example of this can be seen in the song “GERONIMO!,” where there is an underlying sample from Live’s 2017 song, “Martini Blue. Done ever so slightly, you really have to listen carefully to catch it. Similarly, at the end of the song “NEON,” Live lists out a list of colors. If you watch the music video that goes along with the song, as he says each color name, a clip from a previous music video that follows that color theme also appears.

Never a detail left undone, the DPR group continues with their dedication to producing high-quality content, no matter how long it takes. This is apparent in how close they stuck to the NASA theme for this album. The cover art, music videos and song titles all give off intergalactic vibes from beginning to end. 

It’s been nice to see Live work his way to the top over the past five years, and his full-length debut album is truly able to show what he is made of, both musically and artistically. Although the DPR crew is taking off to new heights, with their upcoming projects related to the album’s release, such as their documentary released March 25, they don’t need rescuing. Because soon, they’ll be coming to you, live. 

Tobili’s Top 3 Tracks: 

  1. NEON