K-pop 101: #14 rap edition

by: Jeffrey posted: 3 years ago



Dear readers and patients,


Rap is an integral part of the K-pop industry. A lot of groups have a rapper, even though they might not be a rap group at all. For this reason a great deal of songs have a rap part in them, so that the rapper in the group has some lines. I often find that a good or bad rap can make or break a song. I am not a rap fan by any means, but some songs are surprisingly good. Let me point them out to you.


Lip service – Yum yum yum

Most people will be confused when they listen to this song for the first time. For what reason you might ask? Because they can understand some words in the song, that’s why. The 2 members of the group are talking about how they want to lose weight, but still want to eat some of their favourite food. That is the part everyone can understand, as the chorus is them naming their favourite food and drink: hamburgers and americanos. First time you listen to it it’s super weird, but once you listen to the song some more it’s actually quite addictive and gets stuck in your head very easily. After their debut song “Yum yum yum” came out, Cora left the group and was replaced by Anna. Then “Too fancy” came out and views dropped drastically to (as of writing) only a third of their pervious single. With their latest release another member joined the group and views dropped even further. As of now it only has around 20.000 views and this is nothing compared to the 1.1 million their debut song has.


Drunken tiger – The cure

In 1998, Tiger JK and DJ Shine formed the group Drunken Tiger. Due to his controversial lyrics he faced great rejection from the K-pop community. Now many years later a lot of his songs are considered hip-hop classics. Drunken Tiger is seen as the first succesful hip hop group in Korea. The group continued until 2006 when DJ Shine left the group. Tiger JK then started performing as a solo artist using the group’s name. He now often performs together with his wife Yoon Min-rae, and Bizzy. Together they formed their own label: Feel Ghood Music. The trio performs under a variety of names including Drunken Tiger, MFBTY and also their own names depending on who the main artist for the single is. The single for “The cure” was released during their label start up, at the same time Tiger JK’s farther was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. The message of the song is inspired by the struggles he faced and dedicated to all who endures emotional and physical hardships.


GP Basic – Jelly pop

GP Basic is a great example how a rap can break a song. The chorus is good and catchy, but the rest of the song is filled with cringy rap. It’s not even that bad, but the members are way too young. When their third single “Jelly pop” released, most members were only around 15 years old. The youngest was even younger with only 12 years. Think about this for a second, 12 years old with their third single. They debuted around 10 months before, so that means Janey was only 11 years old during their debut. Their debut coincided with a debut of an even younger group called G.Story. They had an average age of only 9.75 years old. Due to this, Korea’s broadcasting regulations were changed and Janey and G.Storey were banned from performing on music shows, as they now needed to be 15 to perform. Now to be honest I first wanted to include a different video, but I have not been able to finish watching it. It’s just so cringy and I am not going to put you through that. If you want you can watch it yourself, but don’t come back complaining as I warned you beforehand.


Rap monster – Joke

How can I not include a person named Rap monster in a list that’s about rapping. This is not just any person however, as he is the leader of one of the most fastest growing K-pop groups: BTS. They have amessed an enormous following in a very short amount of time. Outside of BTS Kim Nam-joon, Rap monster’s real name, also has a very successful solo career. He has released several solo songs and worked together with a great deal of famous artists both nationally and internationally. This includes people like Tiger JK, Zico and international artists Warren G and Mandy Ventrice. Outside of his music he is known for his great intelligence. He has an IQ of 148 and during the university entrance exams he was part of the top 1.3% of the country. His solo single “Joke” showcases his amazing rap skills. I included a video with the English lyrics, try and see if you can keep up. It doesn’t matter if you can’t understand it, as the lyrics are in fact a joke. The song is just to showcase his flow and style.


Yong Junhyung, Feeldog, LE – You got some nerve

See that number popping up in the corner of a music video, right at the start? It’s the age rating for the music video established by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Since August 18, 2012 a Korean music video is required to be rated by the Korean Media Rating Board (KMRB). If this is not done, it could result in a maximum prison sentence of 2 years or a fine of $17,600. Fans and the entertainment agencies were outraged with the decision as time is money. It would take the KMRB a total of 7 to 10 days to rate a music video. A small team of 7 were hired at the time with more than 3000 music videos coming out in 2012. Luckily, the KMRB decided afterwards that ratings by broadcast companies could also be used. In my opinion the rating system is a bit scewed as most of the times I only see 12 and 15 ratings for music videos. A pure and innocent song like “Remember” by Apink gets the same ratings as “You got some nerve” Yong Junhyung, Feeldog, LE. The song is full of cussing even though most of it is bleeped out.


We are halfway there with the music genres of K-pop series. Next up is one that’s not one of my personal favourites, but a big one within K-pop: ballads.


Yours sincerely,

Dr. Hallyu

K-pop 101: #13 rock edition K-pop 101: #15 ballad edition

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