Korean Hip Hop; Illionaire Records And Their Rapid Growth
Korean Hip Hop
Ever heard of rappers Dok2 ? The Quiett ? Beenzino ?
Here they are
If your answer is still “No” then join the club, because like me, neither had I, that is until a few months back. Until then my music knowledge of Korean Hip Hop started and ended with K-Pop and the worldwide success of PSY and Gangnam style.
To give you a heads up these three rappers are biggest selling hip-hop artists within Korea and they are both signed to Illionaire Records which is the biggest independent hip-hop record label in Korea. Illionaire Records was formed by these three and they are also the CEO’s of the company.
They took their brand of Korean Hip Hop to the states. The shows at New York times square was a sell-out. Because of the language difference, there songs were unknown to the audience, but nevertheless, they came, they saw and they made a statement.
In terms of stature in Korea, they are what Jay Z and Kanye are too many. They are the go to people. They are Korea’s first hip-hop superstars. The rise of these Korean Hip Hop is at odds to Korean culture where the statement “A nail that sticks out gets hammered” in common throughout of Korea. It’s precisely the more “stick out” and “show out” a hip-hop artist you are, is what is required, certainly as far commercial success goes.
Don’t get it twisted, these rappers are not humble about their wealth, they will flash the cash and show the flashy life style in a way they will give Rick Ross a run for his money. For example Dok2 lives the classic bachelor lifestyle in a swanky apartment in Yeouido-Korea and has all the trappings and luxuries that fame brings.
The other difference is that these rappers are from wealthy backgrounds which is at odds to poor deprived starts that is associated with traditional hip hop artists. There are no contracts and the only rule is that between 10% and 20% is giving back to Illionaire savings account. The rest of the money goes to the artist themselves
Korean Hip Hop can be dated back to Seo Taiji and Boys when they copied, B-Real from Cypress Hills high pitched delivery in the song “Come Back Home.” Other off shots of their success include Jay Park and Keith Ape
Out of the trio Beenzino was the last to join the stable, but is the most popular, originally with a group called Jazzyfact. He rejected bigger offers to join Illionaire. His single Dali, Van, Picasso was down loaded 600,000 and that’s without a music video.
Illionaire’s latest release is the album Multillionaire and their latest single release is Riatch
They still harbour ambitions to collaborate with their rap heroes like Lil Wayne and Drake. They have already came and they are beating the drum for Korean Hip Hop and they have already working with Pete Rock and Dj Premier for future ventures. But for now, they are still rocking their way to the top and it’s only a matter before the rest of the world hears it to.