Are You Curious About Leessang’s Current State?
Renowned as a hip-hop duo with a touch of jazz and R&B, the members of Leessang parted ways, informally, in 2017. Even so, their legacy of eight studio albums in the underground music industry remained legendary, while they’re known for being one of the few artists to assist non-idol singers and musicians get some exposure by the mainstream public, earning them deep respect as a senior group. Not only in the music industry, its members Gary and Gil also ventured into broadcast programs and worked as entertainers in the variety shows MBC’s Infinity Challenge and SBS’s Running Man, respectively.
In this article, Channel-Korea will tell you all about Leessang, from their discography, awards and nominations, disbandment news, and solo careers to the member’s latest news, so keep reading!
Having started their musical career in the underground scene, Leessang is considered a productive group who consistently released a full album almost annually since their debut in 2002. Not only albums of their own, Leessang also collaborated with other artists in singles and movie soundtracks. Here’s Leessang’s complete discography!
2002 – Leessang of Honey Family (full album)
2003 – Jae Gyebal (full album)
2004 – Leessang, Special Jungin (compilation album)
2005 – Library of Soul (full album)
2006 – Who is Life For? (original soundtrack of Bloody Tie)
2007 – Black Sun (full album)
2008 – Dachimawa Lee (original soundtrack of Dachimawa Lee)
2009 – Baekahjeolhyun (full album)
2009 – Hexagonal (full album)
2011 – Asura Balbalta (full album)
2012 – Unplugged (full album)
2012 – Seventy Seven 101 (featuring artist for Psy’s song)
2013 – Tears (singles featuring The SeeYa’s Eugene)
2015 – Kaleidoscope (singles featuring MI-WOO)
Leessang’s Awards and Nominations
Throughout a 15-year career in the music industry, Leessang made their name as a duo group who focused on hip-hop and jazz rap genres, it was an unusual combination that certainly made them stand out from similar groups. It should be no surprise that Leessang has been nominated and/or won awards several times during their prime years.
You can see in the list below.
2002 – Best Hip-hop Performance on M.net KM Music Video Festival (Winner)
2003 – Best Hip-hop Performance on M.net KM Music Video Festival (Nomination)
2005 – Best Hip-hop Performance on M.net KM Music Video Festival (Nomination)
2007 – Best Hip-hop Performance on M.net KM Music Video Festival (Nomination)
2007 – Best Music Video on M.net KM Music Video Festival (Nomination)
2007 – Song of the Month on Cyworld Digital Music Awards (Winner)
2009 – Best Hip-hop on Mnet Asian Music Awards (Winner)
2009 – Best Music Video on Mnet Asian Music Awards (Nomination)
2009 – Bonsang on Cyworld Digital Music Awards (Winner)
2009 – Sudden Rise of the Year on MelOn Music Awards (Winner)
2010 – Bonsang on Cyworld Digital Music Awards (Winner)
2010 – Best Collaboration on Cyworld Digital Music Awards (Winner)
2011 – Top 10 Artist on MelOn Music Awards (Winner)
2011 – Best Rap Performance on Mnet Asian Music Awards (Winner)
Leessang’s Official Disbandment
A news outlet reported that the hip-hop duo may have unofficially disbanded, as its members Gil and Gary had established their own labels, Magic Mansion, and Yangban Nation, respectively. The journalist claimed that as the rappers drifted apart, all the Leessang Company’s employees have left the company, as well. Regarding the report, a staffer who previously worked at Leessang Company clarified that the company has not closed down, despite the absence of its employees and that Leessang may continue to work together in the future, though it was still unknown, at that point, whether the group had officially disbanded or not.
Leessang’s Gary: Solo Career and Married Life
The shocking news was revealed that Gary had gotten married in secret. On April 5, 2017, the rapper personally announced the news through his Instagram account, “I tied the knot with someone I love today. We did have a wedding ceremony. We had a quiet agreement ceremony, between just the two of us. My wife is not a celebrity, but she moved my soul in an instant”. In addition, he acknowledged that while the news was, indeed, surprising, yet he still asked the public to give him and his wife their blessings in hopes that they will live happily, forever.
Seven months later, another surprising announcement was publicized by Gary, who revealed on his Weibo account that he had welcomed a son. Along with the announcement was a photo of a baby’s feet. Fans and the public suspected that Gary had a shotgun wedding back in April, as his child would have been conceived before the wedding unless it was prematurely delivered.
The mystery surrounding Gary’s wife’s identity finally came to light, as a media outlet revealed in early January 2018, that she had been working in Leessang Company for five years, and is a decade younger than Gary. Furthermore, no one in the company knew about the relationship between them, as she and Gary hid their affection in public and the rumors of her identity among the staff members just began when she left the company.
Through an interview in the same month, Gary talked about his family and solo career. He said that it is hard to both take care of his son and work on music. In addition, Gary expressed his love for his son, “Perhaps it is because I got a child at a later age compared to the average age, but he is very beautiful. One day, I saw his face and thought that as long as I have this child and my wife by my side, I have nothing to fear, no matter what happens in this world”. Regarding his secret marriage, Gary affirmed that he already established the thought of never getting married since his Running Man days, “Marriage is the joining of two people who are in love, so I did not like all the talk about wedding venues, gifts, and photos. My wife had a similar view, hence we became a married couple just through official registration”. After Leessang unofficially disbanded, Gary released two singles, Worry and Sun, in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Leessang’s Gil’s Solo Career and Project
In mid-March, 2016, Gil was confirmed to join Mnet’s rapping competition Show Me the Money for its fifth season, as a producer. He teamed up with Mad Clown as one of the producer teams, along with Sumon D and Gray from AOMG, Dok 2 and The Quiett from Ilionaire, and Yang Dong-geun. Gil commented that he would share everything that he has experienced during the 20 years of his hip-hop journey, “I am truly grateful to Show Me the Money for giving this troublemaker a second chance”, referring to his DUI scandal which led him to leave MBC’s Infinity Challenge in 2014.
Two years later, Gil was reported to be working on female singer Gummy’s first full album, STROKE. The artists had produced songs together for two months prior to the album’s release. In late May, 2017, Gil revealed what he thought about his working experience with Gummy, “We started working on the songs with the main focus on Gummy’s earnestness as a singer. Instead of going for songs that have public appeal, we wanted to create songs that offer comfort and healing. I had little trouble producing for the album, because she did great at her job. This is an album that is so great that I have more love for it than my own albums”. Concluding the interview, Gil praised Gummy for being a kind and friendly friend who is very passionate and positive about her work
Leessang’s Latest News
At the beginning of August, 2018, Gary released his new single Sun through a major online music site. The song marked his comeback after Worry, which was released in October, 2017. It was stated that Gary’s latest song is a hip-hop and R&B focused track that will display his well-defined musical style, which is recognized by the loyal fans of Leessang and the underground music world, alike. Not only working on his music, Gary also ventured to be a YouTuber by opening his own channel, ‘KANG GARY’, on August 28. The channel, which shared his daily activities, has successfully gained more than 10,000 subscribers in just two weeks, mostly coming from Southeast Asian countries. A month later, Gary uploaded a video where he answered the fan’s questions. The rapper explained that he did YouTube just for fun, “I think there is a whole world to YouTube. It is cool because it has its own world”. Gary also talked about his subscribers and expressed his desire to study English to communicate with them.
In late October 2018, Gary shared how much his son had grown, through a photo on his Weibo account. He praised his son’s fashion sense, and the photo shows his son leaning on the window and holding a heart-shaped fan. The adorable shot became even more heart-warming as Gary and his wife were seen to hold their son’s legs in case he falls.
At the beginning of July, 2017, Gil was caught driving under the influence of alcohol. The news was conveyed to the public after the Seoul Namdaemun Police Station confirmed the report, which stated that the rapper was found near the Seoul Namsan Tunnel entrance in late June, “Gil’s blood alcohol content was 0.16 percent, and had driven for 2 kilometers which permitted his driver’s license to be withdrawn. He will be investigated by the police before being turned over to the prosecutors’ office and decide whether to indict him, as well as the severity of his punishment”.
Gil’s DUI arrest was his third, as he had already been caught in the same condition back in 2004 and 2014. His license was reinstated in 2015, as a part of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s special remissive order to celebrate the 70th anniversary of South Korea’s independence. Gil apologized to the public for his wrongdoing on Twitter. He explained that he had a drink with his friends and was waiting for a substitute driver to go home, “I stopped in the fourth lane of an eight-lane road and fell asleep waiting for the driver. A police officer woke me up and examined my blood alcohol content and the results were high enough to get my license revoked. It is not true that I asked the officer to let me off with a warning. I told him I would help in any way I could during the investigation and was sent home. I know that it is very wrong to sit behind the wheel during the drunken state whether it is 1 centimeter or 100 kilometers”. Gil also expressed his guilt, “I have nothing to say for myself, even if people curse and criticize me for the rest of my life. I am ashamed to face my parents, family, friends, and fans. I am truly sorry”.
In mid-October, 2017, Gil received was sentenced for his DUI case. It was stated that based on the evidence provided by the police, Gil was found guilty and had been punished twice the past for similar charges, “Drunk driving can be seen as a quite serious crime. He drove drunk in spite of that, and his record shows that the crime is not minor. His blood alcohol content was also relatively high”. Gil was sentenced to two years probation and 80 hours of community service. If a new offense is committed, he will have to spend six months in prison.
In May, 2018, Gil was reported by an industry representative to have registered for marriage with a woman nine years younger than him, back in March. However, the representative of Gil’s former management denied the news, saying that the report is groundless, “We respectfully request that the media outlets avoid from publishing speculative news”.