Monday, April 30, 2012

Top 10 Korean Male Rappers

Before, I complained about female kpop idols being recognized for their rapping skills with actual rappers. So, I listed my six favorite Korean female rappers. This time, I'll give the fellas the spotlight. Granted, I was tempted to mention Big Bang's dynamic duo, Block B's rappers, and even Bang Yong Guk, but they're very borderline to me. While compiling this list, I excluded rappers that split off from groups to do solo work like Tablo and Simon D. Also, this isn't everyone I listen to either.

Top 10 Korean Male Rappers

Honorable Mentions
Jerry.K - When I was making this list, I wasn't around a computer, but it seems that Jerry.K was part of a rap duo by the name of Loquence. So, I kinda broke the rule here by picking him, but I didn't know that when creating this list. Nonetheless, Jerry.K has a very smooth, relaxing style and he experiments with a lot of grungy material as well as collaborate with artists and rappers that compliment his style.

Illinit - I haven't been listening to him for very long and, at first, I didn't really like his music. After watching a couple music videos, I gave him another chance and ended up enjoying his music. His album, Triple I, is going to be reviewed here on the Cult in the near future as well.

MC Sniper - Despite his gripes about the kpop industry and his cute little insecurities over his height, he is a great rapper and possesses a good ear for talent when signing artists under his label. He delves in a lot of classical and retro hip-hop styles with his rap that really makes an impact when you listen to his music. I can't listen to it often as it's sometimes too slow for my liking, but I still find it quite beautiful and unique. I'm glad he's back on the scene!

10. San E
Yes, I know I've already promoted him before and I even mentioned that I'm anticipating something new from him as well. C'mon, JYP, push him to make a new mini-album or even a full length one! So, I believe, San E started off as an underground rapper and later joined the ranks of JYP Entertainment. He has a very comical sense to him. Some might peg him as the Korean Eminem, but when he's not poking fun of the kpop industry and JYP, he makes some amazing music.

9. Double K
It took me some time to get into him, but hearing various collaborations with Gilme, Dok2, Kim Hyun Joong, and the song "Players", I started to become more interested in him. I saw "Favorite Music" on TV and went from there on explorations. He has a familiar cocky, but modest presence about him and his music is easy to digest without being too in your face.

8. Vasco
The first time I heard him was on an Untouchables track with other fellow Jiggy Fellaz members and he was quite...aggressive. When I listened to Guerrilla Muzic, he is probably the most intense Korean rap artists I have ever heard. It was a little scary, but I slowly got used to this abrasive style of rapping and enjoyed it. I find it amusing that a couple of his collaborations with other rappers are so upbeat and borderline poppy. Very contradicting~

7. Swings
Listening to him may confuse people as it really sounds like American rap, but there's something about it that makes it better. The quality, the effortless glow of skills, and it's hard to place it. Like many of my choices on this list, it's quite vague how I came to exploring more of Swings's individual works. Every time I hear his signature laugh, I immediately know it's him and get excited, like Tae yang's "After You Fall Asleep". The song was already pretty hot, but Swings being on it with that laugh...made it five times better!

6. The Quiett
Have I mentioned how much of a genius I think he is? He takes everything smooth about jazz and R&B music and makes love to it with his lyrics. It's just amazing! It seems like he feels like deep down he knows that everything he makes is a masterpiece, but plays it off like it's nothing. His music is almost down to earth and is just waiting to penetrate your ears in the most glorious way possible. Alright...I'll stop and let you guys enjoy this simple little music video.

5. Dok2
I suppose he's the Lil' Wayne of Korea or something, but I think he's way better than Weezy could ever be. Although, I think people in America would totally love him. He's versatile and knows how to pull off harder songs as well as heartfelt tracks without losing himself or making it a flop. I'll be reviewing his latest release here, which is completely different than anything else he's ever made before. Also, I'm mostly convinced that anything he's featured in is going to be awesome, especially if it's Jay Park.

4. NassuN
Despite collaborating with HyunA and other female kpop idols, he is an amazing rapper and has some punch to his creations. Whether it's fighting with an ex-girlfriend or shooting zombies, it has some diversity to his style. What really sealed the deal was his song with MBLAQ's G.O that showed off his classy, charming side that differed from the grimy "RAP Zombie" image with BigTone. I would like to hear more from him, because it seems like he's been silent for quite some time.

3. Verbal Jint
Like The Quiett, Verbal Jint isn't your conventional rapper with hard beats and aggressive lyrics or delivery. He takes smooth hip-hop and R&B beats and completes it with the most clever vocal arrangements. Aside from having a distinguishing flow, he inputs his talents with the piano as well as singing to some of his songs. When he performs, it's not all about attitude or high energy, he simply feels the music and makes listeners feel it as well. Another rap genius!

2. Drunken Tiger
It's probably really surprising that he's not #1 on my list, since I put his wife on the top of the list. I really thought about it, but it was really close honestly. Drunken Tiger also shares a very diverse style with mixing aggressive, upbeat silly, and emotional tracks. The ones I listen to the most are the emotional, heart wrenching ones like "8:45 Heaven" and "태어나 다시 태어나도". Although, his songs featuring his wife Tasha are always on point as they balance each other out in some many ways. It's ashame that him and some of the Jungle crew were only performing in Las Vegas. I would've loved to see something as epic as that in person. Maybe next time.

1. Outsider
Spitting 17-18 syllables per second and marrying orchestral music with rap effortlessly, Outsider is one of the main reasons I explored Korean rap as much as I have now. First, I was impressed by the music genre marriage, then when he started rapping, I was blown away. Not only is the speed he raps impressive, but the substance of his lyrics are just as admirable. Although, I was getting a little worried with his last release balancing on the fence of poppy, but I was overall satisfied. I can't wait until his military service is over and he can spend more time with his new wife and make more amazing, mind blowing music for the world!

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