[RECAP] Sik-K Brings the Heat to Santa Ana in ‘Pop A Lot’ Tour

On Sunday, March 3, Sik-K heated up the Observatory in Santa Ana, CA with his North American Pop A Lot tour, completing another successful California stop after his first two shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Sik-K first entered the Korean Hip-Hop scene as a contestant on Show Me the Money 4 and has since been a representative artist of Jay Park and Cha Cha Malone’s global record label, H1GHR MUSIC. Despite parting ways with H1GHR MUSIC in July 2022, Sik-K continues collaborating with his former labelmates DJ SMMT, HAON, and JMIN by bringing them on as his special guests.

Inside the intimate, general admission-only venue, fans buzzed with excitement as the show started right on the dot when DJ SMMT, a DJ and producer signed to H1GHR MUSIC, manned his turntable booth and hyped up the crowd with an instrumental remix of “Chill by Crush and Sik-K.

Suddenly, Sik-K strutted on stage to the unreleased track “Shawty Wanna Wait,” donning his signature, futuristic sunglasses followed by his solo track “Melanin Handsome from the collaborative H1GHR: RED TAPE album. Despite the small size of the stage, Sik-K covered every inch of the floor to interact with his fans and even teasingly flashed his abs.

Sik-K briefly introduced himself and his guest DJ SMMT and quickly transitioned to the energetic, EDM song “UNO GOTTA RUN.” Feeding off the crowd’s energy, he jumped onto the ledge of the stage, led his fans into chanting “Hell Yeah” and commented that Santa Ana must be the “hottest city” to make him sweat so much already.

HAON, the youngest rapper signed to H1GHR MUSIC after winning High School Rapper 2,”  joined Sik-K on stage for their unreleased songs “Crash Mercedes,” “Balaclava Babies,” “Maybe I’m Crazy and I Can’t See You from their upcoming seven-track mixtape titled ALBUM ON THE WAY.  The album was originally announced at the HIPHOPPLAYA Festival back in September 2022 and reflects the mischievous, fun-loving sides of both artists while touching on topics of love and relationships.

After giving him a brotherly hug, Sik-K went off stage for HAON to begin his solo segment of the show. HAON proudly proclaimed to the audience, “I just wanna show you who I am,” and performed his verses from 4eva and “No Rush.” He then paid homage to the start of his rap career by performing “Bar Code” from “High School Rapper 2” with everyone in the audience singing along to the catchy hook. Signaling the end of his set, HAON performed his verse from “Finish Line,” dedicated the song “BwB” to the “ladies of the house,” and directed the lights onto the audience to get everyone to party along. He finished off his set with the groovy “NOAH,” dancing around the stage before taking his leave.

Needing no introduction, JMIN immediately ran onto the stage, to open his solo set with “Don’t Worry,” from his debut album Homecoming, and led the crowd to shout “oh yeah” and “f*** yeah” along with him.

Visibly confused at the “I Swear intro playing when it should have been a different song, JMIN quickly went up to DJ SMMT, who hilariously made the needle scratch sound and then promptly changed the track to “Blast Off.” JMIN continued without skipping a beat which made fans laugh at the cute and professional exchange between the two. Now it was the correct timing for “I Swear,” which was followed by the vibey, uplifting “Wave.”

After taking off his jacket (much to the fans’ delight), JMIN informed the crowd that he has not toured in almost two years and asked if he could play some of his newest songs. The crowd enthusiastically agreed and JMIN swiftly launched into his first track “Anymore,” an upbeat, playful song that is now available on streaming platforms. Next, was a catchy, flirty song where JMIN taught the audience the hook — “shawty wanna be my favorite bae ok” — ahead of time so everyone could sing along. For his last song “Dedication,” originally featuring Jay Park, JMIN gave plenty of fan service with nonchalant finger hearts and confidently sang Jay Park’s parts before saying goodbye and handing the mic back over to Sik-K.

Sik-K returned to the stage with the unreleased song “Give Me Lit” and then “Rendezvous.” The popular song was greatly complemented by the fans’ chants and he showed his appreciation to a fan after receiving her slogan. With a “Brrt Brrt,” Sik-K went into NEW LOVE” and “MI CASA ES TU CASA,” singing the original featured artist Jessi’s parts.

The crowd grew impatient as Sik-K teasingly sipped water and fanned himself with his jacket as he was no longer wearing a shirt underneath it. Fans began chanting for him to “take it off” and he laughed at a fan’s sign telling him to take it off but playfully indicated it was not quite time for that yet as he began the moody “12:45 and “XANAX.” He continued to show off his live vocals in the stripped-down “RING RING and turned the microphone towards the audience to sing along with him.

Cr. Yuna J.

Touched by the audience’s energy, Sik-K remarked that there were “thousands of songs I wanna do” and that he had “waited so long” to perform in front of his fans again. The crowd instantly recognized the introduction to “Habibi” and became the loudest they had been all night. Excited audience members tossed bras and panties onto the stage for Sik-K. In response, the rapper stuffed them into his pockets and hopped onto the stage’s ledge, poured water all over himself, and made suggestive, NSFW gestures with the water bottle at the climax of the song. “Wet the Bed” continued the NSFW atmosphere. Switching up the mood, Sik-K showed off his deep side with the love songs “Darling and TELL YA!” and ended the regular portion of his show with his beautiful vocals by doing the last part of “TELL YA!” acapella.

Cr. Yuna J.

For the encore, Sik-K reemerged fully shirtless (with his underwear band boldly displaying the words “S*ck my D*ck”) with HAON and JMIN by his side for “WATER.” When the beat dropped, all three sprayed water into the audience and turned the whole venue into their own party as they continued the high energy with GIDDY UP and Iffy.”

JMIN performed a quick song with DJ SMMT and HAON rapped his rapid-fire verse from ACHOO.” To re-energize the crowd, the trio performed the crowd-favorite, intense “The Purge”  They appropriately ended the show with “Party (SHUT DOWN) where all three connected with the audience, took fans’ phones and acknowledged slogans of their funny faces as Sik-K sang his heart out.

Even after the encore stages concluded, Sik-K and his three guests stayed behind to show their love for their fans by going down between the stage and barricade to interact more closely with fans by signing autographs and taking selfies. In addition to experiencing amazing collaborations and stages, fans were able to conclude their night by interacting with the artists. Sik-K, with the help of DJ SMMT, HAON, and JMIN, truly displayed what Korean Hip-Hop is all about and lived up to their statement that they are indeed “the best in KR.”


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