Tag Archives: Korean Hip Hop

A few random notes before closing up shop

– So, this will be probably my second to last post here. I leave for Mexico this week where I’ll teach high school writing and literature. I really hope they speak decent English because I’m not quite ready to spend another year sucking at a 3rd language. Plus they don’t give me a co-teacher.

– I haven’t decided yet if I’ll start another blog while I’m in Mexico. I probably will, but not immediately. I kind of want to take a break for a few weeks, just to get used to Mexico. If I do start a new blog I also want it to be more focused than this one, and since I have yet to choose a focus I have yet to create a new blog…but when I do I’ll post the link here for anybody interested. In the meantime you can keep checking me out at instablogs.

– One thing I’m worried about in Mexico, besides being kidnapped, is tequila. Tequila is either the best idea ever or the worst, depending on whether or not you enjoy ripping your shirt off in the middle of a club and dancing to “Sexy Back” even though the songs not playing at the moment.

– Was in Itaewon this past weekend for a goodbye drinking session with a few friends. At the end of the night we decided to get some Kebabs from the Kebab van. It was later in the night and they were running low on meat, luckily I was in time to order. Some of the guys behind me, not so much. A fight ensued behind me between two foreigners and a Korean guy when the Korean guy tried to cut in line. Now, the kebabs are delicious – I should know, I ate 3 – but when the Korean guy grabbed the kebab sword and started swinging it at the two foreign guys, even I thought that was a little ridiculous. I mean, it’s not like we were all waiting in line for the last ribwich…that I would have understood.

– I don’t know if it’s just Korean cab drivers that like to pretend like they’ll pick you up, only to speed up once they get a closer look at you, but I know I don’t like it. It’s not like I’m a violent looking person with a kebab sword. But I doubt that yelling obscenities as the taxi drivers passed by helped our cause.

– I’m upset that Korean men suck at basketball so much. I think if they were better, we might actually get some men’s basketball coverage here in Korea. It’s really the only event I care about, and if I have to see a replay of archery, judo or the men’s 400 something event in swimming again I might just up and move to another country – oh yah.

– Additionally, not only does South Korea field no mens’ basketball team, but they do field a women’s basketball team. I think I’d rather watch archery or Garden State, rather than women’s basketball. (and those who know me know how much I hate Garden State)

– A final note about the gum lady post. It was actually inspired by my friend Noreen, who was attacked in a hit and run by the gum lady, when she refused to buy her gum. The gum lady punched Noreen, and then ran off the subway in what is one of the funniest mental images I’ve ever had.

– The new Batman movie is sweet, but I don’t suggest sneaking beer into the theater unless you want to leave halfway through to go pee. It’s a really long movie.

– Finally, I was going to leave you with my Korean Underground Hip-Hop playlist, but when I started putting it together I thought I’d just rather give you a few artists and songs you should type into youtube. No matter how much I talk about the K-pop stars, my first love is always hip hop. It’s the thing that first made me enjoy writing when I was in high school. Anyways, the list goes as follows

1. Dj Soulscape – Story
2. 리쌍 (leesang) ft. 정인- Rush
3. Infinite Flow – 20’s
4. Deepflow – Bring Rap Justice
5. Mild Beats – Deal with us
6. Garion – Ancient Story
7. Primary Skool – So Much Soul
8. Da Crew – City of Soul
9. E Clue – Keep ya head up
10. Basick – Better than the best
11. The Unforgiven – What’s the Name
12. Digiri – 아이에서 어른으로
13. Paradigm Shift – Bewylder
14. Superman Ivy – Yes Yes Ya’ll
15. Kebee – Feeling You
16. DJ Shinin Stone – The Hypnotize

There’s a bunch more I didn’t include, like Drunken Tiger, MC Sniper or 45 Rpm because they’re big enough that you’ll stumble across them eventually. Or Paloalto and Quiett because you should really just listen to everything they have. Then this video below, because it has a member of Big Bang in it, but still a decent song.


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I hate people who pun the words Seoul and Soul

I haven’t been posting as much lately, sorry I guess. It’s a combination of nicer weather making me want to be outside, a preference to studying Korean rather than writing and an aversion to just posting for the sake of posting. Also, any idea I’ve had lately seems to fit into a series of posts I’ll probably start posting in the next two weeks Except for one that I’ll hopefully be able to get up tomorrow before I leave for China for a few days.

That said, a few random thoughts

– The other day I saw a man pissing on the street. Not a side alley way, not a darkened corner, but a street with traffic and people walking up and down it. I guess it says something about me that I didn’t even find this behavior abnormal. I actually thought the man had balls. I would have shook his hand had it not been otherwise busy.

– People who pun on the word Seoul and Soul bother me.

– Why do foreigners always stare at each other like we’re marking our territory?

– Myths about Koreans we can officially discard: they are efficient and they can’t hold their liquor. They do however study lots.

– Again, Seoul – Soul? Do you really think you are being clever?

– The other day was teachers day here in Seoul. This meant I received 30 cards with messages like this

From the philosophy 101 class:

Dear Teacher. Today is teachers day. You are teacher. Today is you.

From Paul, future hairdresser:

Hi Matthew Teacher. My English name Paul. Very very very thank you. I love you.

Some try to say more than they are able to:

Hi Methu. My name is UnJohng, Methu, very, thank you, teacher, health, please, bye bye

Some just need to be posted so everybody can enjoy:

Today is teachers day. Do you know? So…teacher!

And some seem to overestimate their place in my student – teacher letter hierarchy:

Dear teacher, I love you. How are you? I’m good because UMMMM….Not think! haha. And please my letter is NOT TRASH!

To Shellina

From teacher

That last one was my personal favorite. At first I thought it was to me, but then I realized it was From me and I was supposed to give it back to Shellina, so I sent it to myself…and then I got bored…

I really did appreciate the letters though, I’m glad they can write anything in English. Furthermore, considering Rachel can’t stop laughing anytime I write in Korean I guess that makes my students and I just about square.

– 45 rpm is making me rethink lots of my previously held notions about Korean music…are they an anomaly of creativity or is this the future? I have my own theories, but like every other topic I have in my head it’s being added to my upcoming series of posts.

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Death Row Records – South Korea Styley

So far we’ve seen what would happen if Maroon 5 was a Korean rap group.

Here’s what it would be like if the Black Eyed Peas were from South Korea.

Finally here’s the gangsta rap side of Korean rap music. Comes complete with Korean Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Lady of Rage and gang signs…we’re talking some ol’ skool Death Row/Chronic type ish here.

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Your Daily Shot of Soju: Korean Music Week – Hip Hop

Introducing “Your Daily Shot of Soju” This is going to be my daily format for sharing random cultural thoughts, pictures and basically anything I want to in an easy to digest and read format. Expect to be updated Monday-Thursday, and probably once on the weekend. Yes, I changed the name. I like this one better.

Something for you to read:

As a privileged, upper-middle class, white American male it is only natural that I embraced Hip-Hop at the age of 12 and have since thought of myself as kind of gangster.

I tried to feel sad when Tupac died, even though I only knew like 2 of his songs. When Biggie died I tried to feel angry as it was retribution for Tupac’s death even though I knew like 3 of his songs. I wore my pants down around my knees. I rocked flannels with only the top button buttoned and was pretty much the definition of a w-w-w-wigga

…middle school was weird for all of us.

With that said, I am still a fan of hip-hop for life. It taught me things like how to dance and how to write. I’m not sure which of these skills is more beneficial, but one of these two has helped me meet girls while the other has merely taken up lots of my free time. I think that last sentence can be described as a digression.

As I have mentioned before, Hip Hop culture is one that is fairly respected in South Korea. And while it is still commercialized by companies the art form seems to maintain a certain dignity among higher social classes that seems to be pushed to the side so easily in the States. B-boys are still called B-boys and not “breakdancers.” Dj’s perform with classical ensembles and graffiti is viewed as a viable form of art (provided it’s legal).

Perhaps I could see these types of things in larger cities, particularly New York City which is the birthplace of Hip-Hop. But as a mid-westerner from a medium sized town I really haven’t seen the culture respected on as wide a scale as I do here. And since I can only bring my unique perspective to the table I will omit New York from my discussion…besides, it would probably invalidate my point, and that would really piss me off.

Hip-Hop also taught me how to speak really fast…a skill which is not useful in Korea

Visual Stimulation:

Korean traditional instruments play Cannon and are accompanied by the Korean Biz Markie and B-Boys.

This really reminds me of a Sprite commercial.

More Visual Stimuli:

Dynamic Duo – Insomnia

A pretty cool video. I suggest watching the whole thing. Also, if you want to get a sense of what my apartment looks like, the mouse has pretty much the exact same set up I do.

Anyways, Dynamic Duo has been around in Korea for a pretty long time. They’re videos seem to remind me of the Beastie Boys in that they always have fun and never really take themselves too seriously. Try checking them out on YouTube.

Pretty much the rest of the post is videos:

ChopD – Dear Friend

The song is pretty cool, but for true entertainment fast forward to about the 2 minute.

Also, I originally was going to post this video by ChopD but decided for the other one at the last second…another pretty cool song.
It just feels like the DJ is more important to Korean Hip Hop than it is to it’s American counterpart.

The rapper who takes himself way too seriously…and so of course he’s my favorite:

He also has a cool name:

Drunken Tiger

Here’s another video of his I really like.

And this one too.

I recognize this beat from some Camp Lo song…ol’ skool Drunken Tiger.

I suggest that if you really enjoy Hip Hop and don’t mind not understanding all the words checking out some of these videos…they’re pretty nice.

Sorry…one more thing to read:

The word “Nehga” here is essentially a reference to oneself, kind of like saying “I am” (more or less)

Lots of songs use the word and it stands out in my mind as it is pre-conditioned to react to any word that sounds like N!&&@.

Anyways, I promise Korean people don’t hate black people…they just stare at them and hold their purses extra tight when they’re around

A few more video links then I’m going to get drunk:

DJ shine…the former DJ for Drunken Tiger is coming out with his solo album pretty soon…he advertises by rapping to House of Pain…makes sense

The girl in this video is one screwed up piece of work…”If he doesn’t love me, the whole world will pay…thank god I have this degree in advanced nuclear physics”

Seriously though, Korean girls are insane

just one last song…yep…my beer is cracked open and I’m gettin crunked

Election tomorrow…maybe I’ll talk about it…maybe I won’t

Planning ahead is not one of my strengths

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