Mark Lee’s Appearance On Mnet’s ‘High School Rapper’: His Dilemma Between Being a Rapper and an NCT Member

A Little Information about NCT’s Mark

Hello, readers! It is time for more news about Korean artists. This time, it’s about NCT’s Mark and his appearance in ‘High School Rapper’.

Before we get started on the main topic, Mark Lee, or as people know him, NCT’s Mark, is a member of the South Korean boy-group NCT and its sub-units NCT U and NCT 127. He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on August 2, 1999. Mark is a Canadian rapper and singer-songwriter based in South Korea. He was an SM trainee for about 4 years before his debut.

And now, let’s move on to the main topic. Keep scrolling, readers.


Mark’s Appearance in ‘High School Rapper’

Mnet’s High School Rapper is a South Korean survival hip-hop television show that aired from 2017 until present. High School Rapper is a high school students’ counterpart of Show Me the Money and Unpretty Rapstar.

This television show was presented by Jeon Jun-ha and Haha in its 1st Season in 2017, and then by Nucksal in 2018 and 2019. High School Rapper runs for about 70 – 100 minutes per episode.

NCT’s Mark appeared in the first season of the show. According to, in an interview on April 2, 2017, Mark shared his thoughts about his experience competing in ‘High School Rapper’. He said that it was an amazing opportunity for him, since that was his last year in high school and Mark thought that was his chance to express his thoughts and feelings as a student. He also said that for the previous two months on the television show, he was able to show a different side of himself.

“…I was able to improve my skills. I will look back on this experience as a memorable time in my life when I felt new emotions and was challenged by new experiences,” Mark commented, according to

“I specifically enjoyed being around people my age and sharing my passion for music. Both the camaraderie and fierce competition helped me stay motivated and improve. From now on, I want to take more risks and attempt a wider genre of music,” said the talented rapper.

mark’s appearance on High School Rapper was also part of his promotional obligations under NCT 127 and NCT DREAM (during that time. He’s since graduated from NCT DREAM). Although he was at a disadvantage due to his busy schedule, he was able to rock the competition by practicing in between his short breaks.

Mark and the other contestants in ‘High School Rapper’ were also able to get past the stereotypes that idol rappers are actually unskilled at rapping. Mark proved his abilities through his hard work.


Got A Lot Support From NCT Members and Fans

Many Korean fans voiced their worries about Mark’s appearance in High School Rapper. They worried about other people’s thoughts about their beloved idol. As this was mentioned in the previous part, the stereotypes about unskilled idol rappers are still a big issue. Many fans thought that the show could do anything as ‘evil editing’ to increase the ratings.

But Mark proved his abilities. The fans’ worried less than before, because Mark’s performance was a good opportunity for him to demonstrate that he deserved to be there.

Mark said that his great performance was also because the support from his family, NCT members, and his fans. The other NCT members supported him so much in all Mark’s performance in High School Rapper. Receiving so much love and support from his team in NCT, Mark was motivated to get better and better in every performance he went through in the show.


Mark’s Performance Compilation

From episode 1 to episode 3, the preliminary round was on the air. High school students from six areas participated in the preliminary round. Only 10 students survived in each area. Mark is in the Seoul – Gangseo area. In this stage, Mark survived the preliminary round.

After the preliminary round, there was a Cypher Battle. Contestants from each area competed with another student who received the same grade from other areas. Contestants who won first, third, and sixth place would compete in Cypher Battles. Contestants had to create lyrics on the spot and show his/her rap with the beat that mentors offered.

Mark was in 6th Cypher with Johny, Choi Suk-hyun, Kim Dong-hyun, Park Min, and Sung Yong-hyun. In their battle, the beat that mentors offered were DJ Bob & Fabobeatz ft. B-Will-Twerk 4 IT and The Notorious B.I.G – Hypnotize.

And then, the 1 vs 1 Battle. On the show’s seventh episode, the 1 vs 1 Battle was on air. In this stage, 100 members of the audience voted for the rappers and the loser was dropped out. In this battle, Mark competed with Bang Jae-min and the result was that Mark won with 57 votes and Bang Jae-min got 43 votes.

In the final episode of High School Rapper, Mark was featured by Red Velvet’s Seulgi and they performed ‘Drop’.


Evaluation For Mark’s Performance

According to, Mark proved his abilities as a rapper through the show. He rarely made mistakes and showed consistent improvement throughout the progression of the show.

Mark admitted that the pressure of competing on the show was really intense, as a singer who already debuted. However, he also shared the positive aspects of participating on the television show. He said that his competitors all made a big impact on him and helped him gain a lot of experience from competing with them.


Comments From Judges

Mark got a lot of compliments in every performance on each episode. It was also because Mark proved that their expectations of Mark weren’t about his popularity, but rather his abilities and skill at rap.

In the final episode of ‘High School Rapper’, Tiger JK said that Mark received a lot of criticism from the audience for being under an agency, but because he practiced a lot, Mark was able to impress the audience.


Comments From Viewers

At the outset, the audience really underestimated Mark and gave him a lot of criticism because he was an idol rapper. That’s what made his fans worry about his appearance on the show.

But then, once again, with his abilities and skills, Mark tore away those stereotypes and finally received positive feedback from the audience, and made it through to the final.


Final Episode

In the final episode, he was joined by Red Velvet’s Seulgi.  They performed ‘Drop’ and gained 184 points. Although it didn’t bring him to the victory, he really raised the bar for the audience’s expectations of an idol rapper.


Latest News From NCT’s Mark

In May, 2019, Mark, along with all the members of NCT 127, released a new mini-album, ‘We Are Superhuman’, and also uploaded the music video that went along with it.

In their official Twitter account, on July 17, 2019, there was a post about NCT’s Johnny, NCT’s Yuta and NCT’s Mark together in the video.

NCT 127’s Official Twitter account also uploaded a teaser for their new music video on July 20, 2019.

That was all about Mark’s appearance in ‘High School Rapper’ and his latest news with NCT. Keep supporting Mark and the other members of NCT and don’t forget to leave your comments below.