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11 Albums You Might’ve Missed In 2021

“Everywhere I go, I just feel so trapped,” JMIN states at the top of his debut EP’s opening track. “I been really fucked up / I can’t go back.” The desire to look forward, find freedom, and in the process find himself is the red thread of the K-hip-hop newcomer’s debut project, Homecoming, an electrifying snapshot of the life of a young artist on the rise as he searches for balance between past and present, mind and matter, and home and homeland. “I used to bе nothing, I only caused trouble / Mama, I’m sorry I caused you this pain,” he admits on “You and Me.” “I’m gеtting the money, it’s coming in bundles / Remember those days I would sit in the rain?” In a brief 18 minutes, Homecoming packs a strong punch. Effortlessly ebbing and flowing between topics such as mental health (“Don’t Worry”), ambition (“Dedication”), love lost (“Tryna Find Your Love”), and success found (“Want Me,” “Wave”), JMIN expresses the messy, complicated, ever-changing feelings of a 21-year-old just trying to figure his shit out, and he does so by putting pen to paper. At the crux of its being, his music is just that: storytelling. Homecoming tells the beginning of JMIN’s story with clarity, brevity, and a whole lot of dedication. —Sarina Bhutani

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