Chang Plunges Us Into His Ruthless And Wonderfully Melodic World With His Latest EP “changa”

Chang is an independent Korean rapper who debuted his musical career 4 years ago. He is inspired by various musical genres such as:

  • pop-rock (ex: fallin’ down – EP U)
  • lofi rnb (ex: the loop of 이제 좀 알겠어 – EP seoul cobain)
  • trap (ex: 4’untitled)
  • gospel (ex: the intro pattaya – EP changa)

He mostly composes his beats himself or co-composes them with the producer SAY.

On May 3, he released his EP changa, which shows heavily lofi and jazz-influenced hip-hop productions. Lofi hip-hop is not new in his work (ex: u love me? from his EP seoul cobain). However, unless I am mistaken, it is the first time Chang takes his inspiration from jazz. The charm of this EP lies in the way he uses lofi, soul, and jazz music to create a beautiful soundscape around his smooth and melodic flow.

changa EP cover

Chang’s Three Personas: The Rapper, The Businessman, And The Man Fighting His Inner Demons

Three personas emerge from the EP: the rapper, the businessman, and the man fighting his inner demons. The first three songs mainly present the rapper and the businessman, but the more we progress in the EP, the more we hear introspective lyrics.

1. The rapper

The most obvious is the ego trip. Chang claims to be the best. But what interests me most is how his musical tastes impact his music. For example, the hook of star is an interpolation of Galaxy, the intro song of JID’s EP The Forever Story (2022):

Everyone’s a star, every day’s the move
Everywhere you are, pray it gon’ rescue you
Everyone’s a star, every day’s the move
Everywhere you are, pray

JID – Galaxy

Everyone’s a star, every day’s the move
Everywhere you are, pray they can rescue
where you are
Chang – for funny

for funny begins with a speech by Lil Yachty in which he explains that he wants to be taken seriously.

“I think I created it just because I really wanted to be taken serious as an artist, you know? Not just some SoundCloud rapper, not some mumble rapper, not some guy that just made one hit.” Lil Yachty said this during an event for the release of Let’s Start Here (a psychedelic rock-influenced album).

I find it quite interesting the paradox between Chang’s artistic ambition he expresses through this speech and the title of the song that is nothing serious. for funny is the only song with no hook.

Chang also refers to Asian songs such as:

  • Mull by the Korean rapper Keith Ape: So thirsty need a mull like Keith Ape (pattaya).
  • Ghetto Boy Jake by the Japanese producer Hawo Beats and the Japanese-Korean rapper Jin Dogg: Wit the ghetto Jake (andrew tate)

2. The businessman

His role models are wealthy and successful people like Steve Jobs, Andrew Tate, Donald Trump, Kobe Bryant, and Tony Montana. He only focuses on money and dr*g trafficking. Women are just like a side quest, just to pass the time.

The lines “stunna life, i can promise sky / is the limit stand wit a Tony style” may be a reference to the movie Scarface (1983) and the song Push It to the Limit, which appears during the sequence that shows the rise of Tony Montana after he killed the big boss Franck Lopez.

However, this pursuit for wealth is sometimes questioned:

You already full, why u need a new food?
You got only 2 foot for the new shoes
Why u need a new?
I don’t need a new

Chang – pattaya

3. The man fighting his inner demons

Not everyone is a rapper or in the “street business”, but everyone struggles with something or went through a hard time at some point in his life. To me, it is the most relatable persona. While the businessman sells illicit substances, the man facing hard times uses them to escape. Dr*g use is a theme that also occurs in the music video of 4’untitled.

Another difference between the two is the importance of women. Unlike the businessman, he cares about women. They bring him peace, even if it lasts only for a night:

I just need a love for the late night
Chang – problems

Can not suicide, just a little peace
I met the evil in my dream
Shawty, give me a kiss

Chang – pattaya

Hence the two opposite behaviors:

u should know I never gave / u the flower
Chang – for funny

I bought for you a rose
Chang – star

Even if their relationship is not necessarily true love, they do share a bond.

Chang Shows His Sense Of Melody

As I mentioned before, Chang is inspired by various musical genres (soul and gospel, rap and trap music, hard rock, lofi beats, etc.). But Jazz and soul are everywhere:

  • The piano in star.
  • The trumpet in the second part of pattaya.
  • The saxophone in the intro of for funny. (I don’t know which sample Chang used. I thought of the saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and Benny Golson, but it’s not them. However, the melody reminds me a bit of the intro of War of the Hearts by Sade. 🤔)
  • The singing loop in for funny, etc.

Jazz and soul music combined with his melodic flow creates a timeless universe. Something fresh but also vintage.

The vintage aesthetic also occurs in the outro of star, which is extracted from the black-and-white movie His Girl Friday (1949) directed by Howard Hawks. The dialogue takes place at the very beginning:

Bruce: Ten minutes is a long time to be away from you.
Hildy: What did you say?
Bruce: What?
Hildy: Go on…

She heard him the first time and just wanted to hear him again :). I know this because I watched the movie the day before I listened to his EP. What a coincidence!

I also appreciate the beat changes within a song (like in bangkok and for funny).

The album sequencing varies between abrupt changes and smooth transitions. For example, the outro of for funny is really soft but the next song (andrew tate) starts with a heavy electric guitar.

The outro of bangkok and the intro of pattaya share the same ambient sound. Perhaps, it is because they both have a title related to Thailand. The street sound was probably recorded somewhere in Thailand.

The melody and the ambient sounds of the EP are a delight to the senses.

About “for funny” Music Video

Directed by Baek Junhyeok.

The music video of for funny embodies this duality between a vintage sound and a modern drum pattern, between a jazz-soul-influenced instrumental and ego trip.

The format of the music video caught my attention. We can see a black bar on the left and right of the screen. This format reproduces the 1.37:1 aspect ratio (also known as the Academy ratio) used in old classic movies. The Academy ratio is slightly wider than the 4:3 format (also used in old movies).

Chang in for funny (2023) directed by Baek Junhyeok.
Harry von Zell in Dear Wife (1949) directed by Richard Haydn. 1.37:1 aspect ratio.

Alternating color and black-and-white shots emphasizes the complementarity between modern and vintage music.

The many low-angle shots symbolize Chang’s superiority as he described it in his lyrics. It makes us feel small and accentuates his strength and power.

Medium close-up.

The medium close-ups and close-ups focus on his gesture, especially since we barely see his eyes, and sometimes there is no eye contact at all.

We can also notice an opposition between nature and artifice.

Artificial light vs sunlight:

Lumber vs forest

Most of the time the artifice is more appealing. In the screenshot below, we can see a leafless shrub on the ground and a painting of a beautiful landscape hanging on the wall.

Maybe (i said maybe) it is a reflection about the difficulty of staying authentic and true to his art while trying to make a career in rap. We are seduced by the sophisticated interior, while outside is chaos.

However, the interior of this beautiful house looks like a golden cage (with the square-shaped upper floor, the close-ups, and the low-angle shots that make us feel as if we are living in a confined place).


The EP changa is timeless, both fresh and vintage. The music is delightful. However, I wish his texts included more poetry. His metaphors and comparisons only fit on a line or two, and I would have liked them to be a little longer. The EP is worth your time. Listen to his euphonious voice and dive into his musical universe nurtured by jazz, soul, rock, and lofi hip-hop.

Want to know more about Chang:
– Instagram: @changonu
– Spotify: Chang
– Youtube: changonu
– SoundCloud: Chang

Want to know more about Baek Junhyeok:
– Instagram:

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