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Monsta X's I.M is OK with you calling him 'zaddy.' Just don't call him a gamer.

Monsta X's I.M is OK with you calling him 'zaddy.' Just don't call him a gamer.

The grind never stops for rapper IM, who is currently gearing up for one. Summer tour in Europe, America and Asia Beating the hell out of his abs. “(When working out) I usually separate my body into chest, back, shoulders, arms, (and) legs,” he says on a Zoom call from Seoul. “But I do abs every day.”

As a member of K-pop group Monsta X, IM combines that physical brawn with lyrical machismo. But as a solo artist, IM's music is like his brain: introspective with a melancholy yearning. His new EP, “Off the Beat,” As usual it is based on rumours. Lead single “Lore” about going public through a one-way conversation with a lover.

We asked IM to get out of his head for a bit and tell us about what he likes to listen to and watch online when he's not making music.

1. Ty Dolla $ign – “Zaddy” (Music Video)

I am: “Zaddy” is one of my favorite Ty's songs, and when I have to test my audio — my headphones, my big speakers — I test with that song because the bass is dope.

Mashable: You know what ZD stands for, right?

I don't know what the song means. I just love the vibe. I don't know what Z means.

I think I've seen fans call you “Zeedy.”

Oh, it means “father,” right?

Yes, but like cooler and smaller.

Is it okay to take that as a compliment?

Yes, of course.

Well, I'm Zy! (laughs)

What other artists are you listening to?

Pursue Shakur. And RAAHiiM. And of course, Bryson Tiller. He is my favorite. And Solomon. They make the same kind of music as I do — chill R&B, a bit of a sticky, sexy vibe.

How would you describe a sticky sound?

When you listen to really original, classic (piece of) music, do you think it's tacky? It's like the sound of a song. do you nod This is how you bob your head when you listen to a rock song. (head up and down). But when you're listening to R&B, you like the vibe more. (slowly moves head to a beat). It's like a drain.

2. Tell Me – “偽愛とハイボール (Love and Highball)”

I found this band on Instagram, I was scrolling, and I heard the song and was like, “Damn, they're good.” It's different from what I've heard before. I think this genre is city pop. It felt quite refreshing to listen to.

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How often do you discover new music like this?

I don't time it because when you play a song (on Spotify) it plays more songs with a similar vibe. I need ideas, new things and fresh air, and Spotify gives me those suggestions. I also listen a lot to the playlists they make.

3. League of Legends Gameplay videos from 남박사 하리리

i play League Whenever I have time after work. I started playing in quarantine in 2021 or 2022. You play with a random team, and sometimes I play with my friends if they are online. If they are offline, I play by myself. I love playing games, but I'm not a gamer. A gamer, for example, is addicted to games.

Gamers have a chair and lights and the whole setup.

Of course, I have a chair, but it's for my back.

It's a gaming chair, but you use it for your back?

This is an office chair. I use it for my health.

What other sports do you play?

Nothing else, that's all League. You can gauge a character's personality by the way you play, and every little move really makes sense. (laughs) Ah man, I sound like a gamer. I play as Kindred, a wolf trained in archery. That character gives life and death. And if you're really good at that role, the game is easy to carry. You become important, the MVP, and can face five versus one. When you kill someone, you get a “stack” that gives you more power. As this stack grows, you become very strong. My lane is “jungle”, so I need to find a jungle role.

your lane?

Yes, Mary Lane. There are five lanes within the game: top middle, jungle, ADC, and support. After taking some time to understand the game, I chose jungle because it is complex. You need a lot of knowledge, and you have to come up with a lot of strategies inside your head. I hate being bad when I play games, so I go back to the moments I was bad and try to figure out what I could have done to fix it.

The game reflects my personality. If you are greedy in the game, this can be a mistake. This can cause a lot of death and can also cause the death of your team. So balancing my greed with (other elements of my personality) allows us to win the game. How you control your character in-game is an extension of your personality outside of the game.

4. space man

This is a movie I watched recently about a boy who goes into space and is visited by an alien in the form of a spider.

When the spider came out, it was quite an unpleasant sight. But what he said was very straightforward. There was a line, “Listen to the silence,” that struck me in the heart. It is a strange phrase, “Listen to the silence,” because silence is not noise. Silence is when you don't realize it, and it's like, “Oh, it's quiet.” That line was too big for me. To me, that means, “You need to slow down and be grateful.”

5. 나이 남리의 맛 (“Taste of American Roots”) @dudely_08

I watch this kind of content to waste time. I don't like aggressive, intense videos. I like to see things that don't mess with my vibe. Sometimes I have to watch my diet (for work) and can't eat much, so I try to satisfy (my hunger) through videos. I don't like traditional mukbang where people sit and eat. This man is different; He reviews the food, the scene and the presentation.

Normally, I'm not that greedy about eating, it's just something I need to survive. I enjoy eating, but the process of it all – choosing from a menu, for example – is stressful for me. So I'd be fine if someone picked something for me (to eat), but I hope it's delicious.

What else do you do to relax?

Sometimes when I'm really tired, I'll listen to a song with no lyrics, just instruments. Because if there is something to think about, my mind tries to work. So (I) listen to jazz music and drink some whiskey. Each type of alcohol has a different type. Whiskey can feel very lonely, and it's easy to get drunk. But beer is quite light and easy to drink, so I drink it while playing. League. It fits the game.

You said it before. League It's an exercise for you to balance your needs with the needs of the team. Does this apply to your real life?

I'm not trying to fool myself into being who I really am. I love everything I do myself, and I love being with my Monsta X team. So the balance is not that important or that difficult because I love every moment when I'm doing music. I try to do my best every moment but it's important to face reality and accept that you are capable of doing 100 percent. I'm not really a positive person, but I try my best not to miss an opportunity and take on challenges when I can.

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