Browsing Tag

asian hip hop

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How MFBTY Adopted Hip-Hop for the K-Pop Scene

korean hip hop

As international audiences become steadily more exposed to some of the hottest Korean boy and girl groups, listening to inspirational legends in the Korean music scene will lead audiences to a deeper understanding.

According to ethnomusicologist Haekyung Um, hip hop was introduced to Korea only in the late 1980s and early 1990s through artists like Seo Taiji and the club culture of that time. Musicologist Mina Yang writes that more American influence was brought into the Korean scene by diasporic artists such as Tiger JK, who spent his teens and early 20s in Miami and Los Angeles when he debuted with then-duo, Drunken Tiger. Tiger JK later met and married Yoonmirae. Both of them have been active in the Korean hip hop scene since the late 1990s, leading well known and highly regarded groups such as the aforementioned Drunken Tiger, Uptown and Tashannie, as well as releasing individual projects.

Meet Flowsik, The Korean American Rapper From Queens Who Adopted Hip Hop Culture to Survive


There’s a popular clip on YouTube from Korea’s rap reality show, “Show Me The Money”, showcasing the Team Battle Mission segment in which contestants duke it out in a scripted rap battle on stage. The two contestants are Donutman, a more-or-less obscure Korean rapper who has received some controversy for his pro-marijuana stances, and a rapper named Flowsik from Queens, New York.

Flowsik sets the battle off by spitting rapid flows over the instrumental to Desiigner’s “Panda,” one of the year’s top tracks. He’s composed and malevolent; he throws Korean won on the stage and sizes up Donutman’s team members, telling him he’ll “chop him up like Lee Yeon-bok” in his signature gruff, husky vocal tone. Donutman fails to impress with a shorter, messier team-oriented rap over The Throne’s “Otis,” in which he takes shots at Flowsik’s age. At the end of the video, contestants and judges agree that “Flowsik did better.” Their assessment was rather measured.