Korean hip hop, also known as K-hip hop, is a subgenre of hip hop music from South Korea. It is widely considered to have originated in the late 1980s and early 1990s and has since become increasingly popular, both in Korea and abroad. In 2016, the Korea Foundation cited Korean hip hop as a new trend in the Korean Wave.
In addition to music, Korea’s hip hop culture includes a vibrant b-boying scene.
Relationship with K-pop
In its early days, most Korean hip hop fell into a category called “rap dance,” where artists mixed rapping with pop music. There are still many K-pop artists who incorporate rap into their music, including popular groups Big Bang and Block B. Some K-pop rappers, commonly known as “idol rappers,” are active in the hip hop scene, including Bobby, member of boy band iKON and winner of season three of Show Me The Money, and Rap Monster, a member of boy band BTS whose 2015 mixtape was included in Spin magazine’s list of the year’s best hip hop albums.
Many Korean hip hop artists have also collaborated with K-pop artists.Successful collaborations include “Some,” a 2014 song by Soyou of girl group Sistar, R&B singer Junggigo, and rapper Lil Boi, that was Billboard’s K-pop Hot 100’s longest running #1 hit of 2014; “A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness,” a 2014 collaboration of After School’s Raina and rapper San E, that topped ten Korean music charts shortly after its debut and went on to win several major year-end awards; and “I,” a 2015 song by Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon featuring rapper Verbal Jint, that topped eight Korean music charts after its release.