Meet the South Korean octogenarian rappers taking the internet by storm

Meet the South Korean octogenarian rappers taking the internet by storm
via YouTube/NST Online
Michelle De Pacina
February 16, 2024
A group of South Korean women in their 80s have gained local fame for writing and rapping about rural farm life.
Gaining fame: The octogenarians, known as Suni and the Seven Princesses, are taking social media by storm since their first performance in a community center in August last year. After gaining a fan club of 150 people, their success has since extended beyond their county, with other local towns and TV shows requesting their appearances. The group’s videos shared online have also inspired four other senior rap groups in the area’s aging community.
“It feels like I’m getting younger … Even if I’m old, I’m excited,” Park Jeom-sun, the 81-year-old leader of the group, told Reuters
About the octogenarians: The hip-hop group originates from Chilgok county in North Gyeongsang province, South Korea. The women, who knew each other since youth and lacked formal education due to the Korean War, took an adult education class in 2016 to learn Hangul. 
How they formed: Inspired by a rap performance on the internet, Park and the other women enlisted the help of their Hangul teacher in learning rap. Subsequently, they formed a senior hip-hop group and began crafting lyrics centered around their experiences in rural life.
“Picking chili from a chili farm … Picking watermelon from a watermelon farm. So happy to be back home!” some of their lyrics read. 
According to Park, she and fellow members experience a sense of reliving their youth while performing in bucket hats, metal jewelry and baggy pants.
 South Korea’s aging population: The success of Suni and the Seven Princesses is notable in the context of South Korea’s imminent transition into a “super-ageing” society, where a fifth of the population will be above 65 years old by 2025. 
Rural areas, such as Chilgok, face the risk of decline as young people migrate to urban areas, leading to a dwindling population and fewer children. Park highlighted the impact on her hometown, expressing concern about the diminishing population. 
“In the past, it felt like I’m living in a really busy town, but now it’s not good,” Park said. “There are no people here anymore.”
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