With “Black Panther” breaking records at the box office, it’s only natural that the soundtrack would feature record-breaking artists. You've likely heard the catchy tune by global superstar Psy, as he teamed up with Snoop Dogg, creating a Wakanda-style sensation that was perfectly placed in the Marvel masterpiece.
As part of the movie was shot in South Korea, the K-hip hop song, “Hangover,” is just the right amount of fun that adds to the film’s universal appeal. Grace Jeong, Editor-in-Chief at Soompi.com, knows everything there is to know about Korean pop culture and recently gave AXS some insight on some other songs to check out on the heels of “Black Panther.”
Here are five K-hip hop songs Grace Jeong says everyone should get acquainted with:
5. Woo Won Jae - “We Are” (Feat. Loco and Gray)
This song and the people behind it illustrate the current landscape of mainstream Korean hip-hop. Woo Won Jae is a rising star in mainstream Korean hip-hop, as the second runner-up of the most recent season of the Korean hip-hop competition show "Show Me the Money." "Show Me the Money" has not only highlighted rappers but helped hip-hop music producers like Loco and Gray become household names.
4. Yoon Mirae – “Black Happiness”
Like its American counterpart, Korean hip-hop is dominated by male artists. Yet female rappers have painstakingly carved out a space for themselves in Korea, and Yoon Mirae is one of the most well-known and respected hip-hop artists in Korea. Her story is not just a struggle of overcoming gender stereotypes, but as half Black and half Korean, also a story of her struggle against racism.
3. Jessi – “Gucci”
Jessi is another well-known hip-hop artist in Korea, bringing a female voice to an overwhelmingly masculine landscape. She's not your typical Korean artist. She’s loud, tanned, and unafraid to voice her opinions. It's exactly what makes her stand out not just in the hip-hop genre, but in the Korean music industry overall.
2. Zico – “Fanxy Child” (Feat. Fanxy Child)
Zico is an example of a successful K-pop idol/individual artistry crossover. Zico, the leader of K-pop boy band Block B, has not only found success with his group but also as an individual artist, especially in the hip-hop genre. He moves easily from solo artist to Block B, from Block B to Fanxy Child – his hip-hop crew – elevating not only his reputation but also the artistry behind K-pop, which is generally perceived as factory-produced bubblegum pop.
1. BTS – “Come Back Home”
This song brings together two icons of their respective generations – Seo Taiji and Boys and BTS. Seo Taiji and Boys, the original artists of "Come Back Home," are often described as "President of Culture" for their experimental style and controversial lyrics on societal issues that really spoke to the youth of their generation. While BTS's version is definitely a modern take on the iconic ‘90s song, it also points to the timeless struggle of youth trying to find a place to belong.
You can click here for the complete "Black Panther" soundtrack.