Meet the Sexy and Talented Rapper, Jessi!
Born as Jessica Hyun-ju Ho, this South Korean-American rapper and songwriter is best known by the stage name Jessi. She made her debut under the stage name “Jessica H.O.” in 2005, with the single album “Get Up” and released the second single album, “The Rebirth”, in 2009 but she did not get much popularity at the time. She took a break from music and left Korea to return to the United States to appease her discomfort with Korean culture. Afterwards, in 2014, she changed her stage name for the name “Jessi” and appeared in various performances, returning as a member of the hip-hop trio Lucky J, with rapper J’Kyun and vocalist J-Yo. But in August, 2016, the hip-hop trio group Lucky J had disbanded because all of the members were more focused on promoting individually and through collaborations outside the group.
Jessi’s Profile and Facts
Would you like to know more about Jessi? Take a look at her full profile below!
Jessi’s Full Profile
Born name: Jessica Hyun-ju Ho
Korean real name: Ho Hyeon-ju
Hangul name: 호현주
Stage name: Jessi
Other name: Jessica H.O
Birthdate: December 17, 1988
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Age: 30 years old
Weight: 47.3 kg
Height: 164.8 cm
Star Sign: Sagittarius
Chinese Zodiac: Dragon
Blood Type: O
Education: Korea Kent Foreign School
Family: Father, mother, 2 older brothers (Eric and Brian)
Participation in Groups: Uptown (2005-2007), Lucky J (2014-2016), Sister’s Slam Dunk special project girl group “Unnies” (2016)
Official Facebook: Jessi Ho (https://www.facebook.com/jessimusic88)
Official Instagram: @jessicah_o
Official Cyworld (but it is no longer active since 2012): Jessica H.O’s Cyworld (http://cy.cyworld.com/home/47834594)
Official Blog (but it is no longer active since 2007): Jessica H.O’s Naver Blog (https://blog.naver.com/jessica_ho)
Jessi was born in New York but she raised in New Jersey.
Her parents are Korean immigrants to the United States. She once wanted to be a makeup artist or fashion designer but, during her school days, her music teacher listened to her sing and praised her, and other people around her stated “Your power voice is great”, which made her want to become a singer. After that, her parents gave her a karaoke machine and she practiced songs by Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera. She even got vocal training with a professional vocal trainer until, finally, she was convinced of her talents. She moved to South Korea alone, at the age of 15, in March, 2002. In 2003 she auditioned for Doremi Media using songs she wrote, and was accepted.
After she finished her two-year training period, on December 1, 2005, she made her debut with a single album, “Get Up (겟 업)”, under the stage name “Jessica H.O.”. At the time she said, “Before my official debut, I had produced a pre-production album and a music video, and after that the total production cost exceeded 800 million won (or equivalent to 704,165.82 USD).” She was produced by composer Hwang Sung-jae, who was also a producer for singer BoA. Despite a lot of publicity, she did not get a great response.
On May 25, 2006, the pioneering South Korean hip-hop group, Uptown, picked her up as a guest member to replace Yoon Mi-rae, who left Uptown to pursue a solo career, and the group made a comeback with the album “Testimony”. When she was part of Uptown, she showed her impressive rap and vocals in “My Style (마이 스타일)”. Unfortunately, just before Uptown’s new album release, another of the group’s members, Steve Kim, was caught for drunken driving and the leader of Uptown, Chris Jung, eventually canceled all his plans.
Afterwards, she went on a hiatus from the music industry for three years. She struggled to become accustomed to Korean culture. She faced the difficulties after her debut, and her parents sent her money. She struggled with homelessness when her cash ran low.
On January 15, 2009, she made a comeback with a digital single, “Life is Good (인생은 즐거워)”, that critics liked, but still didn’t get much of a public response.
She took another hiatus from the Korean entertainment industry, for two years this time, and returned to America in 2009. Many netizens speculated that the cause for the hiatus was because she insulted BoA on SNSD Tiffany’s MySpace.
In 2013, during her break from Korean entertainment, there was a controversy about her being accused of assaulting a woman and causing multiple injuries during a brawl that took place at a nightclub in Itaewon. However, she insisted that she only tried to stop the fight between the professed victim and her friends, who were visiting Korea from the States, according to Wikipedia and Allkpop. Soon after, the professed victim dropped the charges and complaint against Jessi, and the investigation was closed.
Despite her efforts to be successful, she did not achieve such a success and she completely gave up her career as an artist and started studying in America. However, she realized that music was the only thing she wanted to do. She decided that even if she didn’t become a big success in music, she still wanted to pursue a career in it. She was practicing to prepare a solo record under YMC Entertainment since 2011. She returned to Korea and became a member of the hip-hop trio Lucky J, formed by YMC Entertainment in 2014.
The group debuted with the digital single “Can You Hear Me? (들리니)” in July, 2014.
From January to March 2015, she appeared on Mnet’s first season of the “Unpretty Rapstar” survival show. On April 25, 2015, she released the digital single “I Want To Be Me (나이고 싶어)”, which was gained popularity due to the popularity of the “Unpretty Rapstar” survival show. She wrote the song during the long vacancies, the sluggish performance as a singer / rapper, and the pain of worrying about her career.
Throughout 2015, she was featured in JYP’s single “Who’s Your Mama?” and appeared its music video; she also appeared as a guest on various popular variety shows, like SBS’s “Running Man” and KBS2’s “Happy Together”.
On September 15, 2015, she made a comeback with the digital single “Ssenunni (쎈언니)”, and the live and stage performances were popular.
In 2016, she starred as one of the permanent members on KBS2’s “Sister’s Slam Dunk” reality show, which resulted in her becoming the part of “Unnies” special project girl group.
On July 13, 2017, she released the first EP album, “Un2verse”, which had five songs and which peaked at #31 on the Gaon Album Chart and at #4 on the US World Albums Chart.
After Jessi’s contract with YMC Entertainment ended in October, 2018, she signed an exclusive contract as the first artist with the entertainment agency PSY set up, named “P-NATION” in January, 2019.
Interesting Facts About Jessi
Now that you’ve taken a look at Jessi’s profile, here are some interesting facts about her that you shouldn’t miss!
- She’s is very good at sports. Her favorite sport is jogging.
- Her IQ is 137.
- When she was at Korea Kent Foreign School, two of her classmates were SNSD’s Tiffany and Jessica Jung. After not seeing for a long time, Tiffany cried while brushing her teeth in a public restroom because she accidentally ran into Jessi.
- She actually passed the audition for SM Entertainment but she decided not to continue because she felt the SM music genre was not her style.
- Jessi can drive a both a manual and an automatic, also can drive a pick-up car and a bus.
- When she was a part of “Unnies”, she was often scolded by JYP because of her “not-intense” dance, but she also became JYP’s favorite student because of her cool vocals, JYP complimented her, “Everything sounds dope. You sound like Mary J. Blige.”
- She has a total of 8 tattoos. One of the tattoos on her arm, the tattoo of a swallow, is to remind her of her loving fans every day. Her fandom’s name is “Jebbie”, which sounds very similar to the Korean word for the swallow bird, “jebi (제비)”.
- She has been close friends with Tiffany from Girls’ Generation since they attended the same high school. She is also friends with the former 4Minute member Hyuna, Sistar’s ex-leader Hyolyn, F.T. Island’s Hongki, and GOT7’s Jackson.
- Because she’s an American citizen, she works on an E-6 visa in South Korea. For your information, E-6 visas are for Artistic Performers (예술흥행), and there are two types, E-6-1 and E-6-2, according to Wikipedia.
- She also appeared for the advertisement “SK Telecom” with the popular South Korean boy-band BTS in 2016!