After patiently waiting for two years since DWTD, Joohoney of Monsta X has released his 4th mixtape, PSYCHE. With seven tracks, all written, composed, and produced by Joohoney, he showcases the different sides of himself; there is Joohoney of Monsta X, the person behind the scenes that is Lee Jooheon, and Joohoney, the rapper who we meet in this mixtape. These seven tracks tell Joohoney’s journey, particularly his journey as a musician and a person within the last year. It is emotional, it is honest, and a tip from this writer is that if you want a full understanding of what this mixtape means, listen to it in track order.
The first part of PSYCHE looks at Joohoney’s past. The mixtape starts with ‘INTRO (AMBITION),’ which combines his different intros from award show performances. It then transitions into the lead track ‘PSYCHE,’ reflecting on Joohoney’s past endeavors and the paths he has taken thus far in his career. The lyrics also offers calls outs to past projects of Joohoney’s (such as ‘Red Carpet’) and his influences (the lyrics referring to Michael Jackson and moonwalking). The song very much plays into the meaning of the word ‘psyche,’ which is a person’s inner self, their mind, and their deepest thoughts; Joohoney is offering us a look at his thoughts during this time of his life.
Next comes a song called ‘DIA,’ a song inspired by his mother and her profession as a jewelry designer. Joohoney, in this song, is the diamond, one that is so unique, much like how Joohoney is a unique individual within the industry, with no one coming close to him in comparison. These first three tracks have the mixtape starting on a high with a flow that we are all too familiar with when it comes to Joohoney; they tell the story of who Joohoney was.
The middle of the mixtape brings us to ‘SMOKY’ and ‘DARK & CLOUDY’ where Joohoney’s emotions come to the surface. To say that these tracks are emotional is an understatement. ‘SMOKY’ with its rock-based track has hard-hitting lyrics, talking about being lost and wanting to be found, not knowing who you are, and no one else knows who you are either. It’s a perfect example of Joohoney’s artistry, as he also played the drums for this track. Joohoney himself has much to say on the song:
‘SMOKY’ is a song that I worked on during one of the toughest times in my life. It talks about me collapsing in the darkness, losing my old-self who was so passionate. It also describes how I was stuck in the smoke, knowing that I have to move forward and trying to reach out to myself, who can’t see due to the smoke in front of it. The track is like a story about me in the past, present, and future. It’s a song for myself in the future that will wake myself up in the darkness to step forward.Joohoney
‘DARK & CLOUDY’ continues with these themes, where Joohoney is telling his story and not afraid to share it. This is the part of the mixtape that shows the low of Joohoney’s journey and the struggle that he faced within himself this past year.
When we get to ‘KING’ and ‘WING SUIT,’ it is Joohoney rising again and coming back on top. He not only found his way back to the music scene, but back to himself. ‘KING’ discusses how we should be kings ourselves; to have confidence in creating a new world. Particularly, Joohoney hopes that this song would inspire children. It’s a song where Joohoney makes the promise of being a king for himself, one that is not afraid to stand back up again even after falling. ‘WING SUIT,’ is the mixtape’s powerful conclusion, featuring TEM and her daughter Oli, whom Joohoney has a very close bond with; this, along with ad-libs of “baksu,” make the song personal.
PSYCHE showcases different music styles and beats that are both familiar and new when it comes to Joohoney’s music. The mixtape is honest, personal, and the way Joohoney tells his story through these seven tracks is of musical genius. He tells his story beautifully, showing that music is truly the most powerful language of all.
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