There was a time as a newbie Kpop listener that I deliberately went out of my way to find songs without raps. As a ’90’s Backstreet Boys girl, I just could not fathom why a perfectly good harmony needed the upheaval of a rap section?! Fast-forward six years and now some of my favorite Kpop tracks rest firmly in the rap genre! Imagine my delight when I discovered the following rappers showcasing their unique rap flows AND unexpectedly stellar vocals!! Join me after the jump—
DINDIN – ‘Foolin’ Myself’
Loving the hint of a retro, Korean-rock vibe in this song from DINDIN. It was a surprise to me to discover he first debuted as a rapper on the Korean music contest, Show Me The Money 2. While he does indeed feature some tight rap flows on this track, I found myself enjoying his strong vocals and the beautiful MV backdrop as well!
Verbal Jint – ‘Waiting for the Food’
Who doesn’t love a MV revolving around yummy Korean food?! I enjoyed seeing all the Korean delivery options almost as much as this underground rapper’s delivery of his casual lyrical flow. I was totally grooving along with the sing-song style of rapping! But I also wished I could have heard more of the smooth vocals he highlighted at the end of the song.
BIG Naughty – ‘Vancouver 2’
Big Naughty’s gritty and emo styling was paired perfectly with this ’90’s rock-style track. He does an excellent job of weaving his rap flows in and out of his vocal runs. Definitely a song that has me hitting the replay button!
GIRIBOY – ‘What Should I Do’
Life is full of choices, and this contemplative rap ballad from GIRIBOY follows his process of weighing the options. The slightly discordant rap flow stumbled about while the vocals of the chorus calmly pulled the focus back to the harmony of the song— an intriguing combination!
Sion – ‘Money Machine’
This Korean-German rapper was a delightful surprise! I was impressed by his vocal range, from low-tone raps to hitting those falsetto notes. His all-English track has a coffeehouse vibe, but don’t let the chill mood of the music distract you from the depth of the message in the lyrics.
MinGi – ‘Tunnel’
MinGi of ATEEZ dropped the first song of his new solo series Fix OFF – Desire Project. Highlighting his talents not only as rapper, but also singer song-writer, “Tunnel” is a deep dive into the darker side. Raw lyrics and a focus on vocals reveals a version of this artist not normally seen during his group activities! I can’t wait to hear more!!
Have favorite Korean rapper, or rap song?? Share them with me in the comments below!!
Dramas with a Side of Kimchi