Music From Korea You Should Listen To If BTS Isn’t Your Thing

Featured image via @hoodykim

After BTS’ win for Top Social Artist at the Billboard Awards (for the second year in a row), it’s more apparent than ever Hallyu (Korean wave) isn’t stopping anytime soon. For those of you who don’t have any idea what Hallyu is, Jennifer from the blog Slay in Korea, is here to explain.

Jennifer says: “Hallyu is South Korea’s version of English, McDonald’s and pop. It’s when we’re the ones speaking Korean, eating Korean BBQ and listening to Korean pop. Oh, and watching Korean dramas and movies, as well as their crazy Korean variety shows.” In other words it’s the globalization of Korean culture whether it’s through food, beauty, music etc. It puts, “South Korea at the ‘center’ of the world… instead of America.” In case Kpop isn’t your thing, don’t worry! Hallyu also applies to different genres, such as K-Hip Hop and K-R&B.

Jennifer aka Jin Joo is a Nigerian-American lawyer turned writer currently living in Seoul, South Korea. She is the owner and blogger behind Slay in Korea, a website that provides readers information and inspiration when it comes to traveling and touring the Korean Hip Hop (KHH) scene in Seoul.

Some readers may not be able to distinguish the differences between the Kpop industry and the KHH industry, can you break it down for them?

Kpop → entertainment agencies → focus on music as a product
KHH → independent record labels → focus on music as a passion and profession

BTS has made massive strides in the US charts, who do you predict will ‘blow up’ next in the US?

24 Flakko–he’s a Korean rapper who started his career in Atlanta (he has worked with 21 Savage and his gang) and is about to blow up in Korea. Next stop: USA!

In your opinion, who in KHH is currently slept on?

Hoody. I know she is in AOMG, one of the top Korean hip-hop record labels, but I just don’t think she gets the attention and appreciation she deserves–maybe because she’s in the shadow of the likes of Jay Park, Gray, Simon Dominic, Loco, etc.

What trends are going on right now in KHH?

Whatever is trending in the US is also trending in South Korea! The fashion, the dances… even the hairstyles. I feel like everyone has tie-dye hair, or dreads, or tie-dye dreads.

What are your favorite KHH tracks of 2018 (so far)?

WEBSTER B & Chin Chilla – Asian Drum (with SLO)

I’m a little behind on High School Rapper season two as well as the Korean hip-hop scene. I try to keep up with everything here and now, you know, going to clubs and other venues for live performances, especially album release parties.

I’m actually waiting on 24 Flakko and Bill Stax (fka Vasco) to drop their albums.

Listening to anything else?

Yes! Off the top of my head: Bluedawn, Clazziquai Projects, and Kim Kwang-seok.

Why did you start your business, Slay in Korea, and what are your future plans for it?

I wanted to bridge the gap between Korean hip hop artists and international Korean hip hop fans, while inspiring and motivating girls and women all over the world to bridge the gaps inside of them. You know, make your passion your profession, then use both to change the world, or at least the people in it.

If the only person you change is yourself, you’ve already succeeded.

Author: Noor Jouhari

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