10 Best Korean Hip Hop Artists

by Katt Lee


Korea is well respected for their KPOP artists;  whether you like the genre or not you can't deny the catchy melodies and choruses that can't seem to leave your head. Yet there's another underground scene that not many Americans have latched onto, but trust me they sure will with in the next couple years.  Of course there are talented rappers in KPOP groups but their rhymes have been chimed over a cheeky and polished beat.  Although this underground scene has not caught the popularity it deserves, these young artists are the antithesis of the bright, colorful and happy pop music (and you guys all know I'm always cheering for the underdog).  I am OH SOOOOO excited to see what these musicians come up with in the near future.  I believe in REAL artists and I'm sure their art will be thought provoking, honest and pushing the bounds of the social norm.  



One of my FAVORITE rappers of all time, (side note: I have the biggest crush on this guy, call me up if you read this lol) Keith Ape, he has been called the "Korean OG Maco" and is also noted for his performance in 2015's South By Southwest show in Austin, Texas.  Although he may be known for his trap beats his melodies are just as superb.  

Although Korea is known for their KPOP stars, Keith Ape is the complete opposite of what pop culture stands for.  His single "It G Ma" was one of the first songs that had a prominent influence in the Korean rap scene. Soon after the song was released Ape released the remix featuring A$AP Fer, Dumbfounded, and Waka Flacka Flame.  This rapper comes as original as it comes and I dare anyone to come close. 

Kim Eun Young otherwise known as "Cheetah" beat out her competition winning the show "Unpretty Rap Star."  She launched her in single in 2010 with "Stop (Money Can't Buy Me Love?), and is currently signed to C9 Entertainment

After dropping out of school, she appeared in rap TV shows called "Show Me the Money," thereafter she joined the hip hop group Crush (that didn't do so well.)  Finally working as a solo artist she started making way with her first EP "Cheetah Itself" which "showcased her powerful rap and drew attention to her talent as a solo artist." As her popularity grew so do her business and musical career; collaborating with Kim Junsu and working along side with fashion brands and numerous endorsements. While she was on top of the world Cheetah fell to a coma yet her health improves each day and I'm 100% sure this set back will only make her work harder.  I LOVE this girl and she is huge inspiration for all young girls!  

We all CL from the group 2NE1 and the face of the numerous high fashion brands such as Jeremy Scott,  yet her genius lies in her being a rapper, singer, dancer and entertainer.  She's worked the creme of creme in the music industry, with artists such as Skrillex, Diplo, OG Maco and is produced by Will.I.Am. 

We can name all her accomplishments but it would fill up at least 500 page.  Yet what makes her most interesting artist is that CL "wants to make history by becoming the first Asian female artist to launch a viable career worldwide.  Known as the "Baddest Female" I'm 100% sure she will will make it out here in the US and trust me we all can't wait! 

Beginning her music career in 1999 Myro was featured by the underground hip hop group Honey Family.  Myro then transitioned as the rapper for the group Brown Eyed Girls and debuted their album "Your Story."  Her talents don't just stop with music  but she was also a producer for the rap competition show "Show Me the Money" (and not to mention she was the ONLY female judge).  While working on all these projects she finally debuted her solo albumj MIRYO aka JO HONEY.  Remember to check out this talented sexy star!!!

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Lee Joon- Kyung, other wise known as Dok2 is signed Illionaire Record (started by The Quiett).  During this time it was a small company, but after years of hard work it is considered one of the most influenced hip hop labels in S. Korea.  At the age of 13 Doc2 was writing and producing for esablished Korean hip hop artists such as Drunken Tiger, Epik High and Dynamic Duo.  He then released his first solo mini-album, Thunderground under Epik High's now Map the Soul Label in 2009.  In addition to his music, Dok2 was the judge for the TV rap competition "Show Me the Money" and was a producer behind the winner Bobby in the group IKON.  You guys MUST check out this talent he's on his way to being a super star; his flow and lyrics are unlike anything I've heard of…I'm definitely a fan! 



Dynamic Duo is consisted of Choizo & Gaeko and rose to fame with their 2004 debut album "Taxi Driver " which also became the best selling Korean hip hop album ever with sells of 50,000 copies in the first week of their release! In addition their next album "Double Dynamite won Best HipHop Album at the Korean Music Awards in 2006.  Even with their hectic schedule these two started a hip hop label "Amoeba Culture" while releasing their their album.  Not only are these two talented hip hop artists but their resume doesn't stop there.  Both individually producing and recording their own songs through "NoWorkend" project (the sound was a complete opposite of the sound they normally were producing, which many fans found confusing). These hard working guys put out their 8th album "Grand Carnival" and I'm sure they'll be pushing out new music for a long time. 



​An essential contributor from the hit song "It G Ma" Okasian is a apart of the Cohort.  Many not know but this rapper and Ape have known and worked together since their teen years and " significant game-changer in K-Rap’s underground for years."  He's lived in Seoul as well as the U.S. which is why his sound is original and stands out from the crowd.  His style consists of Asian and modern American rap. His music is grimy with a raw element, yet his tone is somewhat soothing and calming.  I can't wait to hear more of this hottie <3

Not only is Okasian an amazing artist his fashion style blows my mind, instead of wearing what everybody else wears he has his own eclectic style.  Whether he chooses to wear a vintage t-shirt that costs five bucks to a Chanel jacket or a bright colored fur top, this guy doesn't give a fu**.  I love a man that takes chances and I LOVE HIM for being brave and giving no fu**s<3

Lim Sung Bin aka Beenzino is a Korean rapper and MC signed with Illionaire Records.  Beenzino had his first appearance with Dok2's Hustle Real Hard Concer in 2011 then continued releasing his three solo albums working with producers such as Primary, Shimmy Twice. He then hooked up with Hot Clip where he is noted for his melodic rap style .  After hitting the mainstream with "Dali, Van, Picasso he then toured as a solo artist in the US.  When listening to his music it's pretty cute and sweet yet is juxtapositioned with a raw sound. 



Ayeeeee, so we all know the music industry is a piece of sh** but for some reason I have an affinity to this girl.  Baby J is a pop star, rapper and singer.  She is also a rapper for Jewelry and is the sub unit for Eun Jun.  She's OBVIOUSLY is a well accomplished artist…I mean check the receipts!  We can't wait to see what she comes up with next <3 

Digital Singles

Collaborations / Other



If you haven't heard of Epik High yet you've got to be hiding under a rock. This group consists of Tablo, Mithra Jin and DJ Tkutz and trust me they aren't new to the game. Being the first Korean Hip Hop act performing at Coachella;what a fuc*in huge accomplishment for these young men. Their music stands out from the rest for they have an alternative style and are known for combining different styles of genres and working with artists that you would never think would go together.  Due to the chances  have taken the have created an eclectic sound that no other groups can compare.  Epik High produced eight full albums which is completely outlandish (their work ethic is out of control).  Their new song "Born Hater" is said to be "a testament to their ability to keep things lighthearted with addictive beats, while simultaneously delivering just enough arrogance to keep you rooting for them." 

SIDENOTE: You guys gotta check out these up and coming musicians that didn't make it on the list, but let me tell you give them a couple years…they'll be on top of the world and I CAN NOT WAIT! 

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