Song Review: Crush – Hmm-cheat

Crush has been a reliable presence in K-R&B since his debut over a decade ago, scoring at least one big hit nearly every year. Last year’s Rush Hour paired him with BTS’s J-Hope and brought a renewed sense of funk to his sound. New single Hmm-cheat (흠칫) continues the party, borrowing from classic grooves to craft an irresistible vibe.

I’m so happy to see Crush embrace this upbeat route. After all, my favorite Crush song remains 2014’s new jack swing b-side Hey Baby. Hmm-cheat isn’t quite as addictive (it needs a stronger melody), but its lively percussion and beatboxing makes for an irresistible backdrop. There’s a bit of Stevie Wonder here, a little Michael Jackson there, but strung together with an early-2000’s Neptunes approach guaranteed to evoke nostalgia from multiple generations of listeners. The song may not bring anything new to the mix, but it wears its influences very well.

Funk music can often be exclamatory and a bit scattershot when it comes to melody. Hmm-cheat follows suit, devoting most of its time to a single, repeated “hey pretty girl, where you at?” hook. The chorus offers more of a vocal showcase, but I wish this refrain resounded with more power. Even so, it’s hard to say no to a beat this nimble and exciting.






Grade: B

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