One good way to tell if a dance track stands above the rest is to imagine rolling up to a party where the song is blaring over the speakers.
If the song would make you want to enter the party, it's probably something worth investigating further.
The song "In My Head" off of South Korean rapper Gray's debut EP "Call Me Gray," released on Friday, definitely passes that test.
Like Us on Facebook :
And while all four songs off of "Call Me Gray," the first album on chart-topper Jay Park's new record label AOMG, are solid dance tracks, there is a little something extra about "In My Head" that causes it to stand out.
Mostly, that little extra something comes from the beat.
The four on the floor rhythmic pattern is certainly nothing that isn't heard in 95 percent of dance music. But Gray manages to strip it down to the bare essentials.
In the process, he finds a unique sound within the rhythmic minimalism.
And not all rappers sound great over a four on the floor dance groove. Sure Kanye West or Blu can slay a dance groove as easily as they can flow over the standard boom-bip of a typical hip-hop beat. But most hip-hop artists aren't that versatile
Both Gray and guest artist Swings sound right at home with this dance floor rhythm as they dig in with a flow that makes you want to nod your head as you move your hips.
The Daft Punk-inflected vocoder sounds in the hook of "In My Head" drive the track into funkier territory than the rest of "Call Me Gray."
If there is one area this debut artist could improve the most, it would be ditching the Autotune heard on the rest of the EP in favor of raw production techniques that made rap surpass rock as the international artistic currency of youth.
Yet this easily could be chalked-up to first album jitters. Overall, Gray is clearly an artist with a voice and a vision.
It is impossible to predict where the future of South Korean hip-hop (often given the unfortunately spelled moniker of K-rap) is heading. But with artists like Swings and Gray at the helm, it certainly could be a very interesting ride.
Listen to the song "In My Head" from Gray's debut EP "Call Me Gray" RIGHT HERE