DPR LIVE Unveils New Chapter with Dabin and ‘Giggles’

Showcasing 13 new tracks, Dabins 1st album Giggles talks about his musical career and his life.
Showcasing 13 new tracks, Dabin’s 1st album “Giggles” talks about his musical career and his life.
Sarah Jung

DPR LIVE, a South Korean rapper and singer, has announced a major shift in his music career, including a stage name change to his birth name: Dabin. Apart from his DPR crew, he has created a new label company, Coming To You Live (CTYL). This is from his producer tag, which also connects to his name, LIVE. 

On Oct. 9, 2023, Hong revealed his thoughtful decision to embrace and reveal his real self with honest lyrics and to step forward with a new stage name. He shared his process and how his professional space as DPR LIVE affected him by creating songs that brought deeper authenticity and transparency.

Starting from his third album IS ANYBODY OUT THERE, Hong talked about how he felt a gap between his true self and himself as DPR LIVE. Following the DPR universe, he revealed to his crew that it was a great responsibility for him and a limit for him to express what he wanted. He felt pressure to create songs that were a perfect fit for the story that he wanted to develop. However, the songs that Hong produced didn’t necessarily complement the universe.

Hong revealed that he discussed various solutions with his team to solve the challenges he was facing, ultimately leading to the decision to take a step back as DPR LIVE and become his true self as Dabin Hong. He showed his readiness to be transparent and truthful by changing his name and label.

After his last album DPR ARCHIVES, Pt. 2 as DPR LIVE, Hong is introducing a new chapter in his career with his latest album Giggles as Dabin, released on Tuesday, Jan. 23. The album portrays his true honest self and different views and colors, without any limitations of expression.

Giggles contains a total of 13 tracks, with two singles Till I Live and Tic Tac? which were released before the album. The songs discuss a diverse range of topics in his daily life, from his producing process, musician journey, family, and crewmates. Below are five songs that best portray and highlight his rebirth as an artist.

Kiss the Ring

The first song Kiss the Ring starts with calm yet powerful beats, talking about the process of producing his music and looking back at his career. 

With an impactful melody, this song spurs curiosity and helps us understand the struggles he went through as an artist, starting from the bottom. The highlight of this song is the lyrics “I’m left here thinkin’ how the best days are my worst days/ but it’s okay, it was like this always/  Because the worst days may be the best days/ so it’s okay it was like this always, anyways.” It relates to the struggles and burnout that people experience and provides a small consolation. The coordination with funky beats and Hong’s voice creates the best melody to listen to after a long day.

Ending with a strong, addictive beat, Kiss the Ring provides the perfect start to the album, foreshadowing a unique set of tracks ahead. 

Ghost K!D

Despite its bright and fast beat, the second track Ghost K!D tells a story about Hong’s childhood back in Guam. Hong has revealed that he experienced bullying at a young age for looking different and having a different skin tone. He identifies himself as a ghost, who is “floating through the hallways” and wants to hide his identity. He sees the other students as an alien who make fun of his appearance and poorness.

The contrasting lyrics and melody make the song suited to listen to in any mood or season, cool or warm. Hong’s impactful voice makes it a highly addictive track, with an upbeat energy but a melancholy scene at the same time. The song contains relatable aspects and views if you’ve ever moved to a different country before. 

Till I Live

The first released song from his new name Dabin and the fourth song on the album, Till I Live, reveals the big shift in his music career and focuses on his relationship with his dad. It also repeats lyrics from one of his songs that started his career, Till I Die, a song that talks about his hopes of succeeding as a rapper. The two songs’ contrast from the title and his position as a musician showcases his growth in these past eight years. 

In this song, Hong also discusses a new topic: debt. In the song’s beginning, he specifically targets one person who is “hiding from a lie called the family” and asks “now where’s all our blood money.” Later on, at the end of the song, he says that his shoulders are full of “millions of borrowed money.” These lyrics suggested to fans that one of his past DPR crewmates had taken their profit. 

Previously, Hong has talked about his dad a lot in his songs, as he mentioned “Or why my dad had to be diagnosed/ With something he couldn’t beat/ Cancer, cancer” in TO WHOEVER as DPR LIVE

In Till I Live, his dad is mentioned again, but in a unique form of expression. A voice message from his dad from a while ago is weaved into the song. In the voice message, his dad’s financial struggles are revealed, not being able to pay back $250 for his hospital fees. The track reveals a nostalgic tone with different beats and sounds, reminding you of your parents. Leaving a big impact, the album later continues with side tracks that mostly illustrate his process of music.

Shower Song

The 11th and title track of this album Shower Song talks about washing up all of the hardships from the week with a shower. Starting with the sounds of water falling just like in a shower, electric guitar and drums add on as the first verse starts. 

The chorus talks about the hardships that he goes through the week: 

“Mondays, I feel so bruised and / Tuesdays, I feel like cruisin’/ Wednesdays, I feel like choosing/ Roulette, Russian roulette/ Thursdays, I feel like crying / Fridays, I feel like dying/ Saturdays, I get pissed”

Towards the middle, the mood switches to a warmer, softer tone as acoustic guitar melodies replace the instrumental: 

“But when Sundays shine through/ I take off the burden of the week/ Shower Song”

The song ends with an encouraging message, telling his fans that the shower room is a chrysalis and their body is a butterfly that is ready to fly. The carefully thought lyrics of this song bring more depth into the meaning of the song, ready to motivate listeners to stand up again. It is the perfect track for those who are feeling down and need a gentle touch of hope. 

Green Juice

With a hopeful melody, Green Juice offers a delightful ending to the album, expressing his hope for his new album to go well and receive love. He refers to his songs as a ‘detoxing’ green juice, including “broccoli and lemon/ kale that’s good for your gut/ and expensive avocado” and finishes with “melon that’s perfectly ground for the public’s taste.” It can be interpreted that he included melon to symbolize his hope for increased exposure to his songs since South Korea’s main music streaming platform is Melon.

Overall, the album offers a deep insight into Hong’s music career and his daily thoughts. It showcases a mixture of various genres, including pop, rock, hip-hop, electronic, and band. What makes this album more meaningful and special is that it is solely by himself. As DPR LIVE, Hong frequently collaborated and featured other artists to include more diversity in his songs. However, in Giggles, listeners can dive deeper into Hong as a person with his creations and personal lyrics. 

This album perfectly showcases the growth of Hong as a musician and a person, from his experimentation with diverse music genres to the inclusion of honest and transparent lyrics. It delivers warm comfort and hope with a new, unique approach, following his personal music taste rather than following popular trends.

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About the Contributor
Sarah Jung, Reporter
Class of 2026
Hi I’m Sarah and this is my first year in Student Press. I enjoy art and listening to music. Few of my hobbies are painting, crocheting, and baking. I am passionate about graphic design and also very excited to be a part of Press!

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