The Impact Of Korean Hip-Hop

South Korea, the center of a musical wave worldly known as “Hip-Hop.” After the ending of Show Me The Money 4, I’d like to take a brief time to focus on the highlights hip-hop had in South Korea, and to the importance its had over the world.


Starting in the early 90’s, 3534, Seo Taiji and Boys, DJ DOC and Deux were the first or more widely known artists producing music within the genre of rap or hip-hop, although the first “rap” album that featured rap in every track was Kim Jin Pyo’s first album in 1997 and the first hip-hop song in South Korea was Gim-sat-gat (김삿갓) by Hong-seo-bum.

Featured Song: Seo Taiji – ‘Come Back Home’

In contrast to that era, a hip-hop group by the name of Jinusean flooded the scene with their eccentric styling and uptown beats. Shortly after their creation, JinuSean finally debuted in 1997 with their debut single, “Gasoline.” They gained enormous popularity from the public with their second single, “Tell Me” (feat. Uhm Jung Hwa)

Featured Song: JINUSEAN – ‘GASOLINE’

early 2000’s

Jinusean left a remarkable impression in South Korea, but they weren’t the only ones around making music over the heads of the public. Drunken Tiger debuted in 1999, releasing a total of nine albums. They are best known to be the arguable founders of the Korean hip-hop genre.

Their first album, “Year of the Tiger,” was widely controversial, containing lyrics that touched upon taboo topics such as sex and anti-establishment. Their ways of making music were a major breakthrough in Korean hip-hop. What was once an underground scene became widely known, with many artists marking it as the pivotal moment that allowed them to enter what was once a limited mainstream industry.

Featured Song: Drunken Tiger – “I Want You”

Dynamic Duo debuted with their album “Taxi Driver” in 2004, becoming the best-selling hip-hop album in South Korea that year with the album recording 50,000 sales in its first month of release and it didn’t stop there! Releasing a total of 6 albums, their second album, “Double Dynamite” even won them “Best Hip Hop Album” in the Korean Music Awards in 2006.

Featured Song: Dynamic Duo – “Ring My Bell”

today, 2015

Now fast forward to 2015, where hip-hop, rap, R&B and all genres of music in South Korea literally exploded! From the accessories to the music, internet memes and face displaying coffee mugs, hip-hop became a popular culture!

Starting from 2012, Show Me the Money, a television rap competition series known for its mind boggling challenges and career starting opportunities erupted into the variety scene. Rappers from all around the world began to participate, dominating digital charts and succeeding within broadcasting views. 

The show had 4 winners from 4 seasons including Loco, Soul Dive, iKONs Bobby and after winning this season, Basick.

Featured Song: Basick – ‘Stand Up’

Hip-hop, on the other hand, wasn’t finished just yet with Show Me The Money. A Rapper by the name of San-E led a project entitled #HIPHOPISHIPHOP to unite with rappers from all over the world as one.

As quoted by the description in the video, “14 rappers from 14 different countries express their love for Hip Hop in their own languages and styles. #HIPHOPISHIPHOP is a movement initiated to unite the world under one love for Hip Hop, one hope for peace, and one dream for unity. Different languages, sex, religions, ethnicities, nationalities all disappear in the name of Hip Hop.” 

A total of 14 rappers, from South Korea all the way to Bangladesh joined in, consisting of San-E from South Korea, Strike The Head from Italia, Adx from India, Deeb from Egypt, Valete from Portugal, Mr Phormula from Wales, Julian Nagano from Japan, KRS-One from USA, Mr Skin from Taiwan, Frenkie from Bosnia, Pendekar from Singapore, Redrama from Finland and finally SadmAnn from Bangladesh.

Featured Video: HIPISHIPHOP

And no, it doesn’t stop there! Hip-hop and rap alike continue to grow and flourish each year, gaining fans and recognition without halt! Its impact will remain to be forever long-lasting, no matter the age, color of ones skin or looks! Hip-Hop is Hip-Hop!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I’d like to hope you enjoy hip-hop of all types from all over as well!

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