Everything About Rapper ONE: Profile, Acting Career, Discography, and More!

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YG Entertainment’s Hidden Blue Chip

For a long time, YG Entertainment has been known as the pioneer of hip-hop-based K-Pop in the Korean entertainment industry, starting with its founder’s, Yang Hyun-suk, sting with the group Seo Tai-ji and The Boys. The agency has produced quality act after quality act who have then become cultural phenomenons, such as SE7EN, PSY, Epik High, Big Bang, 2NE1, Winner, IKON and, most recently, Blackpink. These acts have dominated the industry for over 10 consecutive years, making YG Entertainment one of the most powerful players in the industry today.

Yet, recently, the company seems to have gone into a slump, criticized for prioritizing their popular acts and not paying enough attention to the acts the company has acquired through survival and audition programs. Not only that, in recent months they have also gotten caught in a nationwide scandal that puts into question the credibility and trustworthiness of the company. Despite it, they came through with a few acts still making their promotional rounds and renewing the image of the company, one of them being the rapper and actor, ONE.

ONE is YG Entertainment’s most unique act, in that the way he got into the company and promoted under the company is very different from his peers. From debuting in a small agency as part of a hip hop duo, to making it big through an Mnet survival show and then getting picked up by YG Entertainment as a solo rapper-turned-actor is far from the ordinary K-Pop star journey. So are you curious about ONE’s journey throughout his career? Or what he has been doing recently, aside from his musical career? Well wait no more as we dive into ONE’s profile, career journey and latest activity!

Full Profile

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Name
Jung Jae-won
Birthdate
March 29th 1994 (25 years old)
Birth Place
Seoul, South Korea
Astrology Sign
Aries/Dog
Height
176 cm
Weight
58 kg
Blood Type
A
Agency
YG Entertainment
Debut
1PUNCH 1st single album ‘The Authem’ in 2014

Random Facts

  • His stage name, ONE, is taken from the last syllable of his real name, Jung Jae-won. When he promotes as a rapper he uses his stage name, but as an actor he is usually credited under his real name.
  • His life motto is ‘No Regrets.’
  • He thinks that his strength is his ability to listen to others very well, while his weakness is obsessing over one thing for a long time.
  • His ideal type is Amanda Seyfried, he fell for her at first sight and even followed her during her promotion tour in Korea.
  • For him to sleep soundly, he needs up to 3 pillows to use in his sleep.
  • He has a palm tree at home that he takes care of.
  • He likes natural light more than fluorescent light.
  • He stars in Lee Hi’s music video for ‘My Star,’ as Lee Hi’s love interest.
  • He cameos in MOBB’s music video for ‘Hit Me.’
  • When he was little, ONE dreamed of being a movie director when he grew up. This lead him to quitting school at 17, writing scenario after scenario, participating in drama productions and attending auditions.

Debut as 1Punch With Samuel

ONE first started out as a rapper under Brave Entertainment, who debuted with the group 1PUNCH. The group consisted of himself and former Produce 101 trainee, Kim Samuel, who, at the time, still promoted under the stage name Punch, hence the group name. The duo debuted in 2014 with the songs ‘Nightmare’ and ‘Take Me Back.’

What drew fans to the group is that Punch used to be a trainee under Pledis Entertainment who trained with SEVENTEEN, and also the age difference between ONE and Punch, which is 9 years, something very rare in Korean groups. Not long after their debut, a year and several singles later, ONE decided to try his hand at the Mnet variety show, ‘Show Me The Money 4,’ which led to him leaving his company and group to sign with YG Entertainment.

Show Me The Money

After he spent some time off from 1PUNCH promotions, he decided to go on Show Me The Money 4 in hopes of achieving fame and recognition. He felt that he could promote the group and also improve his skills by going on the show. When he first was seen on the screen, he was dubbed as one of the three Flower Boy Rappers, alongside actor Kim Min-jae and SEVENTEEN’s Vernon. He received glowing reviews and all passes in the first and second rounds, but as he reached the third, rapper Hanhae had put down his decision down and did not pass him for the round.

In the one-on-one rap battle, he had to go against MONSTA X’s Joo-heon head-to head. The battle was fierce and intense, but he managed to scrape through the round and made it in Zico and Paloalto’s team. When the team performed during the digital single mission, they deemed that he was underperforming and decided to let him go from the team, eliminating his chances of winning on the show. He might have been eliminated from the show, but this eventually led him to be picked up by YG Entertainment.

After a year of training with YG Entertainment, ONE decided to once again challenge the variety show and auditioned for Show Me The Money 5. This time he had the bear the weight of being another rapper from YG Entertainment, an agency that had produced the previous two winners, setting the bar high from him. In the first round, he was thankfully passed by Dok2, but in the second round, he was actually failed by the Illionaire team. Not only that, by the cypher mission, he actually had made a lot of mistakes regarding his lyrics and forgot part of them, so he ended up repeating himself.

In the one-on-one battle, ONE was faced with Lee Gyu-hwan, an amateur rapper that had been receiving glowing praise from the judges. At the time he was not feeling well, so he took some vitamins and medicine that made him a little drowsy, causing him to forget the lyrics and having to rely on his freestyle. Due to his failure to rap properly during his beat, without the consent of Lee Gyu-hwan, he started rapping over Lee Gyu-hwan’s beat, causing him to lose part of his verse. Not only that, after Lee Gyu-hwan finished his verse, he started rapping again at the tail of the beat, since there are still some left. The judges ended up picking ONE for his creativity, but it doesn’t mean that Lee Gyu-hwan was a bad rapper.

This one-on-one battle also caused him to receive some criticism from the judges, who were stating that if it was not for his handsome face and YG Entertainment backing him up, most people would not think that he had the talent to be able to reach the finals. After the battle, he chose to go with Simon D and Gray’s team, although he kept being cast as the black sheep and was always up for elimination from the team. As part of the team, their first mission was the mission in which he failed the first time around, the digital single mission. Due to his failures, he worked twice as hard and prepared to the last detail. This resulted in him delivering his best rap yet.

During the team diss battle round, he was matched up with rapper Seo Chul-gu, one of the strongest candidates when it came to fan support and expectations to become the winner of the competition. The two partook in a diss battle that brought up some interesting points about one another, such as ONE’s choice to ditch 1PUNCH and Brave Entertainment to join YG Entertainment, as well his choice to join Show Me The Money again under a YG subsidiary, THE BLACK LABEL headed by YG producer, Kush. These sorts of disses took him off-guard and caused him to once again forget his lyrics.

For his final performance, ONE went head to head with rapper G2 and Sharp Gun. G2 is another competitor that had high expectations of winning the trophy, but that does not mean that ONE was lagging far behind. ONE performed his final performance with his producers, Simon D and Gray, with the song ‘Comfortable.’ The song is described as very sweet and easy listening, something of a specialty of producer Gray, and also matched well with ONE’s rapping style. The song tells a story from ONE’s point of view, about his troubles and challenges and his honest thoughts about all the things he has been through. Sadly, he was unable to receive the votes and money to advance to the next round, as the other competitor managed to raise a lot more money than he did. Despite it, ‘Comfortable’ ranked no.1 once it was released on online digital streaming sites.

Become Solo Rapper and Actor Under YG Entertainment

Right after his riff on Show Me The Money 4, ONE was offered an opportunity to join YG Entertainment. This comes off as quite shocking because, at the time, he was only a year into his debut with 1PUNCH; people did not expect him to leave his current company and abandon the duo he debuted in. Despite that, industry insiders told the press that the rapper had recently joined YG Entertainment, and that he had already started training with the agency. ONE’s associate told Daily Sports, “YG was really interested in ONE when he was on Show Me the Money 4. They thought he had the skills to be one of the top rappers on the show. He also has looks of an idol. He still needs to improve, but he’s a real gem. He is currently training, so there isn’t a set schedule for an album release yet.

As ONE headed off to YG Entertainment, his former member, Punch, said he will still be preparing for a solo comeback. “1Punch is now practically disbanded,” Brave Entertainment said on September 21. “Even though ONE has moved managing agencies, Punch will still be performing under the name 1Punch. He is currently preparing for a comeback.” Earlier that morning, several news sources also reported on ONE’s new contract with YG Entertainment, with the agency stating that, “It is true that we have signed a contract with ONE.”

The recent news about ONE joining YG Entertainment also sparked rumors about the rapper being IKON’s new member, as the group was still going through some preparations for their debut following their hit survival show, MIX&MATCH. The rumors started on September 23, when a source insisted that ONE would become a new member of iKON but, soon after, a representative from YG Entertainment addressed the rumors and spoke with news outlet Star News saying, “iKON has already started their debut project and filmed their music video with seven members. There is no truth to claims of One joining iKON.” The representative continues, “iKON’s members were determined by a competitive survival [show] so adding a new member would be difficult.

It took awhile for fans to finally get updates about ONE’s activity and debut preparations, but, thankfully, by 2017, it was announced that ONE would be making a debut under YG Entertainment as the first solo artist the agency would debut in 14 years, following SE7EN’s debut in 2003. He officially made his debut on July 11th, 2017, with the song, Gettin’ By. ONE responded, “It’s definitely something I feel a lot of pressure about. After seeing articles, the burden is definitely there but I’m doing my best to control my mind so as to not feel it as much.” The rapper also talked about how Yang Hyun-suk showed his support for ONE’s debut and said, “I want to thank Yang Hyung-suk. He sent me a text saying, ‘Work hard and be healthy,’ and the ‘be healthy’ part was unexpectedly really moving for me.”

Despite initial hype for his debut after his appearance on season 4 and season 5 of Show Me The Money, YG Entertainment was unable to sustain it long term, with fewer and fewer projects allotted to ONE. For a while, all he did was photoshoots and appearances at brand events, but no new singles or comebacks were in sight. It was then, in late 2017, that it was announced he would be diving into the world of acting through the drama, Hwayugi: A Korean Odyssey. Ever since then, ONE has been promoting under his real name as an actor, mostly focusing on dramas, but he is due to debut on the big screen this coming May.