Sik-K Gets Rowdy at Santa Ana’s Observatory

An unstoppable force, Sik-K, performed to a rowdy Sunday night crowd during the first week of his Pop A Lot tour. Performing alongside him were his former H1GHR MUSIC labelmates: DJ SMMT, HAON, and JMIN. After being discharged from his military service in late 2021, the rapper has been booked, busy and making up for lost time. Despite his time away from the limelight, Sik-K hopped on stage with the same confidence as his 2015 appearance on the rap competition show, Show Me the Money.

Easing the crowd into a gradual uproar, DJ SMMT started off the show with Sik-K and Crush’s “Chill.” Without missing a beat, the rapper swept the crowd into a shrill cheer as he ran back and forth with his signature shades during “Melanin Handsome.” Making the most of the space, the hip hop artist covered the entire pit to engage with fans, giving them an occasional peak of his abs. He took a minute to introduce his guests before cranking the bass high ahead of HAON’s appearance.

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After a brief hug and a short set of unreleased songs, Sik-K turned all the attention to the young performer. Known for his win on MNET’s High School Rapper 2 in 2018, HAON released his debut EP, Travel: Noah, under H1GHR MUSIC in that same year. Although they originally announced ALBUM ON THE WAY, a collaboration mixtape album, at the 2022 HIPHOPPLAYA Festival, neither artist revealed any news on when the seven tracks are set to release. But they’re more than aware of fans’ eager calls to produce more music.

Once left on to his own devices, HAON had big shoes to fill as his senior exited stage left. Anticipation filled the air as the rapper had been hard at work on his music after a brief hiatus. Showing no signs of nervousness, HAON stomped to the beat of his verses in the show-stopping song, “Barcode,” to which the crowd followed his lead. He impressively kept his cool amidst all the body heat in the venue, and he ended his set with the salsa-inspired track, “NOAH.”

HAON passed the baton to the next artist, JMIN, who quickly transitioned to his set with “Don’t Worry.” Like the previous two artists, who donned a heavy long-sleeved garment, JMIN wore a purple letterman jacket in the hot venue. The crowd eagerly anticipated him to start shedding some layers, but he kept his jacket on for most of his set despite the increasing heat intensity. Since the rapper hadn’t performed in a while, he giddily asked the audience for permission to play some new tracks. Of course, the answer was a resounding, “Yes!” To spice up the mood, he taught the crowd to sing the hook to his latest single, “Anymore.” Fans of Jay Park recognized JMIN’s closing song, “Dedication,” and enthusiastically cheered as he covered Jay’s verses with an occasional show of finger hearts for fanservice.

Tossing the show back to Sik-K, the hip hop artist wasted no time working with the high energy from the previous two acts. While he revealed his toned abs under his jacket during “MI CASA ES TU CASA,” he teased the restless crowd who were calling for him to show them the rest. The fervor hit critical mass once the audience began to throw intimates and undergarments onto the stage. He laughed as he picked them up and wore the bras proudly like a belt. With the crowd’s cheers reaching a fever pitch, the now completely shirtless Sik-K took the stage with HAON and JMIN to unleash the long-awaited crowdpleaser, “The Purge.”

To cool things down, the three artists took turns spraying water over the crowd. Ever thankful for their fans’ support, each performer took the time to greet fans, sign autographs, and take selfies after the show. Sik-K will be wrapping up his 17-stop tour shortly, but the question that weighs heavily on every K-hip hop fan’s mind is, “What will he do next?” After announcing his departure from H1GHR MUSIC in the summer of 2022, he hasn’t provided an update on which label he’ll be signing with. One thing is for sure: fans eagerly await his next comeback.

Click on the photo below to see all our photos from the concert on Facebook!

Kalai Chik

Pop culture writer focusing on animation, music, and games. Los Angeles native, USC alumni, and contributor for Asia Pacific Arts since 2015. Follow me on Twitter, @kalai_chik.

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