List of Korean Rappers You Have to Listen to: Kang Gary, Dok2, Cheetah, etc.

Jay Park

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Jay Park is a talented singer and rapper in the South Korean entertainment universe. Before going solo and becoming the CEO of AOMG, he was a member and leader of the boy band 2PM. His career journey was not smooth at the beginning. He had drawn controversy at the beginning of his debut with 2PM. His posting on social media accounts that insulted Koreans made the public angry. He also decided to retreat and return to America.

The man whose real name is Park Jae-beom was not broken by the controversy that followed. Evidently, he later decided to go solo and released a number of songs that were then successful in the market. He won various awards. Not surprisingly, if recently a major talent search event in Asia appointed him as a judge.

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KOREAN superstar Jay Park will return to the Philippines in September for the Manila leg of his Sexy 4Eva World Tour. The concert tour kicked off on July 6th in Seoul and will be staged in 27 cities in Asia, Europe, and North America. Produced by Onion Production in cooperation with the entertainment company, AOMG, the concert will be held at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City on September 22nd. Tickets to the show are now on sale through TicketNet at the following tiers: VIP, P10,217; Premium Standing, P5,413; General Admission GA1 Standing and GA2 Seating, P4216; and GA3 Free Seating, P2,700. Prices are inclusive of applicable charges and taxes. VIP ticket holders are entitled to exclusive access to the meet-and-greet with the rapper-singer and former frontman of the K-Pop group, 2PM, and have their photos taken with the artist in groups of five.

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The Quiett

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Shin Dong-gab was born on January 29th, 1985. He is better known by his stage name The Quiett. He is a South Korean rapper, composer, lyricist, and record producer. He co-founded the hip-hop record label Soul Company in 2004 and left in 2010. He is currently under the hip-hop label Illionaire Records, which he co-founded with rapper Dok2 in 2011.

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Beenzino

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Lim Sung-bin was born on September 12th, 1987. He is better known by the stage name Beenzino. He is a South Korean rapper currently signed under Illionaire Records. His stage name is a play on that of Boston rapper Benzino, combined with “빈” (pronounced “been”) from his birth name. Beenzino made his first official public appearance at Dok2’s Hustle Real Hard Concert on June 5th, 2011, and has since released three solo albums, as well as other works in collaboration with hip-hop producers Primary and Shimmy Twice, and as the duo Hot Clip with South Korean rapper Beatbox DG. He is noted for his melodic style of rapping. 

After establishing his reputation within the Korean rap scene, he became well-known through singles such as “Dali, Van, Picasso,” which was a mainstream hit. Beenzino toured as a solo artist in the U.S. in 2015.

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PSY

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Park Jae-sang was born on December 31st, 1977. He is known professionally as Psy. He is a South Korean singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Psy is known domestically for his humorous videos and stage performances, and internationally for his hit single “Gangnam Style.” The song’s refrain has entered into The Yale Book of Quotations as one of the most famous quotations of 2012. 

On October 23rd, 2012, Psy met United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the UN Headquarters where Ban expressed his desire to work with the singer because of his “unlimited global reach.” On December 21st, 2012, his music video for “Gangnam Style” exceeded one billion views on YouTube, becoming the first video to do so in the website’s history. Psy was subsequently recognized by the media as the “King of YouTube.” On May 31st, 2014, the video for Psy’s Gangnam Style hit two billion views. As of December 2018, it is the sixth most viewed video on YouTube, with over 3.2 billion views. 

In December 2012, MTV noted Psy’s rise from being little known outside South Korea, to being hailed as the “Viral Star of 2012.” On December 31st, 2012, Psy performed in a globally televised New Year’s Eve celebration with American rapper MC Hammer on-stage in front of a live audience of over a million people in Times Square, New York City.

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The “Gangnam Style” star was summoned as a reference witness for prostitution allegations involving the founder of his former agency.

South Korea’s booming music industry has been hit by a scandal that has seen a far-reaching network of K-Pop stars, business moguls and even cops implicated in bribery, tax evasion, and sex crimes, with an ongoing investigation summoning the likes of “Gangnam Style” star Psy for questioning by police.

On May 27th, South Korean network MBC’s investigative news program Straight broke the story about Yang Hyun-suk, founder of K-Pop giant YG Entertainment, allegedly procuring prostitution services for foreign investors at a dinner in July 2014. Psy had previously been represented by YG Entertainment for eight years, including the time that saw him have much global success with “Gangnam Style,” until May 2018. He is known to have remained close friends with Yang, with whom he attended the dinner in question.

Psy has denied having been aware of any illegal activity that took place during the event, which was attended by Southeast Asian investors, including disgraced Malaysian businessman Jho Low. A fugitive who is wanted in Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S., Low has also been known for throwing lavish parties attended by the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Paris Hilton — and Psy.

Shortly after the show aired, Psy posted an Instagram post saying, “Jho Low is indeed my friend.” He continued by saying, “Jho Low was quite active in the Hollywood show business sector during the time I knew him,” referring to the period he rose to international stardom with YouTube mega-hit “Gangnam Style,” and that he had introduced the businessman to Yang. The singer, however, said he and Yang left early after dinner and drinks.

Local authorities said that they are making thorough investigations, but have “yet to find any substantial evidence.”

Meanwhile, Yang was interrogated by police for over nine hours Wednesday into Thursday. He has denied all accusations of prostitution mediation, tax evasion and the cover-up of a drug scandal. On June 14th, he announced that he decided to step down as CEO of YG in order to avoid further damage to the firm’s artists over the accusations.

Former YG artists have been under fire in the ongoing scandal: B.I., previously rapper of the band iKON, has been accused of trying to purchase drugs, while ex-Big Bang member Seungri quit showbiz over sex bribery accusations and other crimes involving a high-end club called Burning Sun.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called for a thorough investigation, and tax authorities have since launched searches of more than two dozen clubs and bars.

Tablo

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Daniel Armand Lee was born on July 22nd, 1980. He is better known by his stage name Tablo. He is a Korean-Canadian hip-hop recording artist, lyricist, composer, and record producer. Tablo is best known as the leader and producer of veteran Korean hip-hop group Epik High, and the founder of independent music label HIGHGRND (High Ground), which houses bands Hyukoh and The Black Skirts.

Tablo became employed as a lyricist while still in high school. Under the supervision of Tobias Wolff, Tablo graduated from Stanford University with honors in English literature and creative writing. He then moved to Korea, where, in 2001, he formed Epik High alongside DJ Tukutz and Mithra Jin. The group has since released ten full-length albums and one EP, with Tablo having produced and co-written all the songs. His debut solo album, Fever’s End, was released in 2011.

Outside of Epik High, Tablo is a record producer and songwriter for other artists and has been involved in collaborative projects such as Borderline, Eternal Morning, and Anyband. His music incorporates numerous styles, ranging from trance, trip-hop, to rock. Tablo is also the author of the best-selling book Pieces of You, published in both English and Korean, and Blonote. He made his film debut acting in Nonstop in 2005. In 2016, Tablo left his radio show, MBC FM4U’s Tablo’s Dreaming Radio, after eleven years to focus on YG’s music sub-label HIGHGRND.

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Tiger JK

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Tiger JK was born on July 29th, 1974. He is a South Korean-American rapper, record producer and entrepreneur best known as a founding member of the Korean hip-hop group Drunken Tiger. He has also founded two record labels, Jungle Entertainment and Feel Ghood Music. He is currently a member of the hip-hop trio MFBTY. He is considered a highly influential figure in the development of Korean hip-hop and is credited with helping bring the genre into the Korean mainstream. The Los Angeles Times referred to him in 2011 as “perhaps the most popular Korean rapper in America, Asia, and the world.”

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