New Breed is the first Korean studio album by Korean-American singer, Jay Park. The album is divided in two parts, the first part being released as a digital EP on December 28, 2011 and the full album being released digitally on February 7, 2012. The album was released in physical format by February 9, 2012.
Park began working on this album even before releasing his first mini-album Take A Deeper Look. The songs produced by Cha Cha Malone were mostly done a year ago before the actual release of the album. Park wrote about 30 songs in the last 2 years, and chose the best from those for his first full-length album. Park chose the title "New Breed" for his first album as a pledge to do new music which he hasn't shown before. He stated via Twitter that he planned to release it as a mini album composed of seven tracks in November. At that time, he had also already finished mixing the title track for the mini-album. However, it was finally decided to release it as a full-length album, divided in two parts. Park revealed a short preview of "I Got Your Back" on Twitter with Jeon Goon, the songwriter and producer of Taeyang's "I Need A Girl" and Wheesung's "Fading Star" (Korean: 별이 지다; Revised Romanization: Byeori Jida) on November 30, 2011. Park confirmed at many times via Twitter many collaborations with top hip hop Korean artists, including Dok2, The Quiett, Dynamic Duo, Bizzy and legend Korean hip hop artists Tiger JK & wife Tasha Reid. Park revealed he worked with famous US producer Rob Knox from the Y's, who worked with top US artists like Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Britney Spears and Joe Jonas, for a song called "I Love You". They already worked together through jTBC's audition program Made In U. Park stated that they were around "4 or 5" tracks that he either "threw away or gave to someone else", and that due to announcing a release schedule ahead of time, he felt rushed and pressured to add the finishing touches to the album.
Park took part in the writing and production of more than 80% of the album. The title song, "Know Your Name", featuring Dok2, is a mix of hip hop, eurodance and pop music. The album includes previous single "Girlfriend". Written and composed by Park, it's an R&B song with a sweet melody and lyrics about a man confessing his love for a woman. Park continued to work with fellow AOM crew mate Cha Cha Malone for 4 tracks in this album : "Up And Down", "Go", "Come On Over" (Korean: 놀러와; Revised Romanization: Nolleowa) and "Turn Off The Phone" (Korean: 전화기를 꺼놔; Revised Romanization: Jeonhwagireur Kkeonwa). While "Up And Down" is an upbeat R&B/hip-hop song, the other ones fall in the genre of R&B. The album also includes Malone's previous track with Park from his first mini-album, "I Can't Be Without You" (Korean: 너 없이 안돼; Revised Romanization: Neo Eopsi Andwae), in acoustic version, with the guitar played by Johan. Park worked with famous US producer Rob Knox and James Fauntleroy from the Y's for the track "I Love You", featuring Dynamic Duo. The song is an electronic hip hop track, with a deep beat and addictive melody. Park and Jeon Goon worked together for the song "I Got Your Back". It is described by music critic Noh Jun Young as "a trendy and groovy song with a good balance of a K-pop and American melody". "Star" (Korean: 별; Revised Romanization: Byeol), the title track of the first part, was written and composed by Jeon Goon. The lyrics were reportedly written with the relationship between SE7EN and his girlfriend Park Han-byul in mind. It is an R&B serenade with a 3/4 beat, with a slow jam feel. New Breed also includes hip hop songs, with "AOM & 1llionaire", "Enjoy The Show", "Wasted" (Korean: 훅 갔어; Revised Romanization: Hug Gasseo) and "Clap". "Enjoy The Show" is described by music critic Noh Jun Young as a "macho, energetic hip-hop" song. The song "Wasted" is rapped by Park as if he was drunk to give the song a realistic atmosphere, to deliver the feeling of drunkenness.
The first part of the album was released digitally on Korean digital music sites on December 28, 2011. The standard edition of the album was released digitally on Korean digital music sites on February 7, 2012 along with Park's maxi single Take HD Special Maxi Album, while the physical album was released on February 9, 2012. The deluxe edition of the album was released digitally worldwide on iTunes on February 7, 2012, including the acoustic, R&B and Electronic versions of Park's title song "Know Your Name" from Take HD Special Maxi Album and a digital booklet. The concept of the album cover, chosen by Park himself, was inspired by the tattoos of Canadian artist and fashion model Rick Genest a.k.a. Zombie Boy. The cover features a portrait of Park in a black suit and heavy chains with half part of his face looking like a zombie, described as a Mexican "Day of the Dead" skull. Park wanted to express two sides of himself by showing two different faces together : Jay Park as an ordinary person and Jay Park when performing on the stage. On June 13, 2012, Park released the Japan edition of New Breed through Universal J. The Japan regular edition includes the English version of "I Love You" and acoustic version of "Know Your Name" as bonus tracks.
"Girlfriend" was released as the album's first single on November 3, 2011. It peaked at number 28 on the Gaon chart in South Korea.
"별 (Star)" was released as the lead single of the first part on December 28, 2011. The song reached no. 1 on various Korean music sites while being on top of other music sites. It peaked at number 17 on the Gaon chart in South Korea.
"Know Your Name", featuring Dok2, was released as the album's title song on February 7, 2012. It peaked at number 14 on the Gaon chart in South Korea. The single reached no. 1 on Mnet and Cyworld's music charts and ranked high on all other Korean online music charts upon its release. Music critic Noh Jun Young complimented the song by saying : « Jay Park's "Know Your Name" should be "Know His Name". Listening to this song, I thought it is time to recognize him as a real musician now. He shows outstanding understanding of Hip Hop and Electronic Hip Hop genre among his contemporaries ».
The teaser for "별" ("Star"), the lead single of the first part, was released on December 21, 2011 and the music video on December 26, 2011 on Park's official YouTube account. The teaser for "Know Your Name", the title song, was released on February 2, 2012 and the music video on February 6, 2012. A music video for the acoustic version was also released at the same time. The choreographer for the music video of "별" ("Star") is Haw from Prepix. Park's dancers in this music video are all from Prepix. The choreographers for the music video of "Know Your Name" are Andrew Baterina, Jackie Launtchang (both from SoReal Cru) and Haw (from Prepix).
The music video stars Park and actress Son Eun-seo.
Park is singing in a wide living room with high ceilings, wide hallways and white curtains. Park is also seen dancing in the living room, as well as in a room with brick walls in a hip hop style outfit with a red baseball cap. The music video shows sweet and lovely moments of a couple while being together. After the first chorus, a break occurs, and Park drinks his coffee with the foam staying on his lips. Son then gets up from her seat to kiss him, re-acting the foam kiss from drama Secret Garden in a wide hallway, where Park is also seen dancing with dancers from Prepix.
Park is seen in a narrow dark room, with flashing lights in the back. Dok2 then starts to rap, and as soon as he finishes his part, Park is seen dancing with Andrew Baterina (SoReal Cru) and Daniel Jerome (AOM). When the chorus starts, they dance with dancers from Prepix in a wide white empty set. After the chorus, Park is seen dancing with a girl in the dark room, with purple flashing lights. Park is then seen in a Michael Jackson-inspired outfit in a white set, and at the end of the chorus, he is seen with thousands clones of him.
The music video stars Park and actress Park Se-young. The music video was released to promote KT's new smartphone, "Take HD". The music video starts with Park entering a coffee shop. He then calls a female waitress, played by Park Se-young, to order a drink, and immediately falls for her at first sight. Then, Park snaps a photo of her with his phone secretly, and then sits on a table next to her. He then begins to dream about her. In his dream, they walk together by the beach, holding their hands happily and share lovely moments together like a couple. The set then changes to a house where Park and Park Se-young play the piano together happily. Park is then seen serenading her and dancing alone in different parts of the house. They share a kiss near the end of the video. At the end of the video, Park Se-young finally wakes Park up, realizing he was sleeping and it was all a dream. However, pictures of them together at the beach in Park's dream are seen on the phone, making Park surprised and smiling.
This music video is featured around Park's iconic album cover, with make-up inspired by Rick Genest (Zombie Boy). The music video shows Park rapping in front of the camera wearing a hoodie and a snapback. At the end of the music video, Park is shown having make-up applied to his face, and he scares his make-up stylists with a sudden movement, making them jump from his nearly-finished skull face. Park also includes a snippet of him singing his mellow, acoustic track, "I Can't Be Without You", causing laughs around the studio.
The album has been ranked number 1 on the US iTunes R&B/Soul chart. It has also reached number 1 in Canada and Australia, number 2 in Japan and number 5 in France on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart in these countries.