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Jay Park Drops Poignant Single ‘To Life’

The track was released a day after the hip-hop megastar announced his decision to step down as CEO of AOMG and H1GHR Music

Riddhi Chakraborty Jan 01, 2022

A still from the music video of "To Life," featuring [L-R] Simon Dominic, Jay Park and GRAY.

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Earlier today, hip-hop pioneer Jay Park dropped a brand new single titled “To Life,” an ode to his 18-year career in the music industry. The track released a day after Park announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of both AOMG and H1GHR Music, the labels that he founded in 2013 and 2017 respectively. The companies house some of South Korea’s most prominent names in hip-hop and R&B, with a combined roster of 35 artists.

AOMG dropped teasers of the release of “To Life” shortly after Park made his decision public. The emotional track is an outline of the rapper, vocalist and producer’s entire career–full of struggles and victory. He raps, “I’m just Jay Bum Park (his real name) ever since I was born/ And I will die as Jay Park/ Never perfect, but wake up breathing every day to get better… To all the good times and the bad times/ To all the smiles and the tears that we’ve had/ To the hardships we faced/ And to all the blessings to come.” Park also wishes his label mates well, raising a toast to all their combined achievements, and looks forward to the next step of his journey, “This is a toast to life/ Leave all your sadness in the past/ Shoot for your future higher than the sky.” Produced by Park’s longtime friend and collaborator Cha Cha Malone, “To Life” keeps it simple with a trap-synth beat, placing the focus on Park and his message.

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The music video for “To Life” sees the rapper and singer walk through a dark museum, surrounded by symbols of all his achievements. He begins by placing his AOMG ring and H1GHR Music necklace down before moving on to survey the various ‘exhibits’–which include a room full of mannequins donned in some of his most iconic outfits and screens displaying clips from his various concerts over the years and moments with his fans. The video ends on a bittersweet note with most of AOMG’s artists standing by their former CEO in a show of support and respect–Simon Dominic (who stepped down as co-CEO of AOMG in 2018), GRAY, Loco, Hoody, YUGYEOM, Lee Hi, Woo and DJ Pumkin are some of the names who make a cameo. Park finally walks alone through a door of light before disappearing.

The clip is followed by a short video message from Park as he states, “Just wanna let y’all know it’s been a really hard year for me, probably one of the hardest years I’ve had in a while. It took a lot of thinking, a lot of organizing my emotions to come to this conclusion.” He goes on to add that while some may not understand his decision to step down, he appreciates all the love and support his fans and colleagues have shown him.

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In a statement on his social media platforms yesterday, Park assured fans that he will stay on as an advisor to both labels, but it is unknown what his next step as an artist will be. As of now, neither AOMG or H1GHR Music have announced a replacement for the title of CEO.

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