It is usually said that there is no such thing as Korean rap. Instead, people often use terms such as MOBB (Mobb Deep), UGK (Underground Kingz), OJ (O.T. Genasis), etc.. This means that there are no real Korean rappers to be found. People who have tried to find Korean rappers have only encountered the likes of UGK, MOBB, UGK, UGK1, or even a handful of them.
How far have we come? Why are there none of them?
The last time I checked, there were about 50 or so Korean hip hop artists active in China and Hong Kong. However, in the last two to three years, this number has dropped off. Now, if you look at just the music released in China, you only see five or six songs that are Korean rappers.
Do they just disappear?
No, but you will see a lot of them, especially if you look at some of the top rap artists that can sell a million copies in China every year. I’m one of those hip hop artists.
So do you think that there is a Korean hip hop community in China?
I do not know. It is my opinion that it may exist somewhere, but I can’t tell you why. The only one who has managed to find a rapper in China is Hong Kong rapper, Mr. Hong Kong, who started his music career in Korea. He also started his own music label and put out his first album and song ‘Gotta Be You.’ I am sure he has a lot of talent and is making some big things in China right now.
As of now, there should be many Korean rappers in China. Do your predictions tell you anything about it?
All I can say is that people who see a rapper as a rapper will immediately start searching for them, like a zombie hunter would start hunting zombie creatures. However, I do have one more prediction.
I would like to see more Korean rappers in China. They would be more mainstream and have enough credibility with the Chinese public that the Chinese state and society would be more receptive towards them. We should see more Chinese hip hop music!
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