My post roughly a week ago on my favorite Korean singers seemed to do surprisingly well (honestly, i thought it’d flop) and I promised to do a rapper version, so here it is! I won’t sugar coat this – I had absolutely no interest in rap and the R&B or Hip Hop genre at all but then I noticed the rapping in some of the BTS songs I was listening to and was drawn in.
From there on out, I had a newfound appreciation for rap, or at least the rap in my favorite K-Pop songs. This post will showcase some of my favorite Korean rappers – note how I said some. There will be many that I love but won’t be part of the list!
also note how i still don’t care much for american rap – it just doesn’t sound good to my ears most of the time and they usually only rap about drugs and partying and sex and money and it just doesn’t appeal to me – so don’t expect an american version anytime soon
You knew he was going to be first, just admit it. Whether you like K-Pop or not, there’s a very big chance you’ve heard of G-Dragon. He’s very big in Korea and international as well. For good reason – I originally thought he’d be one of those artists that everyone talks about but isn’t anything special. I’m happy I was wrong.
This is an older song of his, but it’s so iconic and it shows just how crazy but refined he is as an artist. He’s a rapper and a wonderful vocalist – something I love about him. Plus, whereas most popular songs from rappers of his popularity would’ve most likely had a lot of smoking and drug usage and women on his arm, Crooked is more about being lonely and sad, which you wouldn’t originally think from the upbeat feeling you get from the song.
Favorite Songs: Crooked, Untitled 2014, That XX, A Boy, Heartbreaker, basically everything.
Lisa isn’t actually Korean (she’s Thai just like GOT7‘s BamBam! Which I feel like I already knew but must’ve forgotten) but she’s one of the rappers in BlackPink. One of the reasons I like BlackPink is because of her rapping, to be completely honest.
Like I mentioned earlier, the main thing that stood out to me when I first listened to BlackPink was Lisa’s rapping. I like Jennie’s rapping as well, but not as much as Lisa’s for some reason. Lisa has a powerful voice that catches your attention.
Favorite Songs: Playing With Fire, Whistle.
The rapper that got me into rap *gasp* it actually wasn’t anyone in BTS. I just love the way he raps – his voice is easy to listen to and it flows nicely. He can sing as well (a lot of Korean rappers that I’ve heard can sing surprisingly well).
I’ll admit that I haven’t listened to his mixtape *hides face in shame* even though I like the rappers in groups I don’t go out of my way to listen to their solo stuff (besides Hixtape – Hixtape was the exception). But I have heard the mixtape song Jooheon and IM (the other rapper in Monsta x) did together with this cute video (i know, including this is kinda cheating because it’s not only jooheon but i had to include it) Their voices work really well together which I think is very important with rappers in the same group.
just like with the singers version, if they don’t have any solo work, or if i haven’t listened to it, i’ll mention their group songs where their rapping is my favorite
Favorite Songs: Calm Down, Hero, Trespass, Interstellar, Beautiful, everything.
It was such a hard choice to only choose one rapper from BTS (sorry joon and hobi) but I ended up deciding on Suga. It’s hard to say who is the ‘best’ rapper in the group since they all have much different styles from each other, but Suga stands out to me a lot and can rap very versatile.
I haven’t listened to any of his stuff under the name Agust D yet (i already apologized for this above so don’t attack me pls!) so I can’t judge his rapping as Agust D, but I always love his rapping parts in BTS songs. First Love shows his softer side, but he can rap really fast and it can get a bit intimidating to be honest haha. That’s how you know he’s a good rapper.
Favorite Songs: First Love, Cypher 4, Fire (soley for bultaoreune), Mic Drop.
So he’s actually Chinese, not Korean, but that’s not important since he raps in Korean group GOT7. Considering the fact that Korean isn’t even his first language, yet he raps in Korean, is impressive itself (like the other GOT7 rappers, but their rapping doesn’t stand out to me as much as Jackson’s).
So this solo song of his is actually in English (yes, he raps in Korean, Chinese, and English – I don’t think there’s anything he can’t do). I think most of his solo work is in Chinese but I’m not 100% sure. I don’t know what it is about his voice but I really like listening to it – it’s calming but it also has this power that tells you to listen to what he’s saying.
also, before i started listening to GOT7 i kept on hearing people saying that jackson can’t rap?? so i had very low expectations when i started liking them and i got so surprised because that was such a lie
Favorite Songs: Papillion, Okay, Just Right, Never Ever, I Like You.
I have liked EXO since the beginning of my K-Pop discovery (Monster was the first K-Pop song I ever heard so it has a special place in my heart) but I, for some reason, thought Chanyeol was a singer? He doesn’t look like a rapper at all. He has a baby face and looks too – what’s the word… innocent – to be a rapper, if you get what I’m trying to say.
With that being said, I love the sound of his rapping. I find it similar to Suga’s, but still unique. I still find it hard to think of him as a rapper because since I started listening to EXO (i haven’t really watched their videos to see how they are as people) I thought he was a singer instead of a rapper and only found out that it’s the opposite a few weeks ago so I’ve been adjusting to this.
Favorite Songs: Hand, Monster, Overdose, Lotto
i didn’t realize until now that i forgot to include baekhyun in the singers post *shrug* oh well, i’m mentioning him now
Zico is the leader of the group Block B and has such an interesting rapping style. It’s super fast but he slows down at times too so it’s like whiplash but I love it. His rapping is what first got me to listen to more Block B music. I haven’t listened to any of his solo work but it’s been on my list for a while.
I love when in Block B songs it seems like everything else stops besides his rapping and it’s like his rap is the beat to the song (I know this is common in rap, but somehow his seems different). His rapping fits really well with the fast beats to the point where you don’t think he’s actually saying words but just making random noises haha.
Favorite Songs: Nillili Mambo (seriously listen to this now), Her, Jackpot.
The first thing that drew me to his voice is how deep it is. A lot of rappers have deep voices, but Yongguk’s voice is an entirely new level of deep. It’s like you put his voice into a machine and turned it down all the way. It’s like he swallowed a bass.
Whereas V is the deep voice of singers, Yongguk is the deep voice of rappers. I don’t know what his real voice sounds like, but when he raps it’s super deep and kinda soothing at the same time. I don’t know, I find most of these rappers’ voices soothing to listen to. Is that weird? But also, his rapping can be really hardcore and intimidating like Suga’s and Jooheon’s.
Favorite Songs: One Shot, Wake Me Up, Skydive.
This is where I talk about the other rappers that are in the same groups as some of the ones I mentioned above. The honorable mentions is going to be long too, so prepare for that.
- TOP – It pained me to only include GD and not TOP in this list, but I like GD slightly more. I like the song they did together, Good Boy.
- IM – You knew this was coming from my mention of him in Jooheon’s spot. Him and Jooheon are also so close for me. I only slightly like Jooheon’s rapping more.
- RM – It pained me to only include Suga. I also love our Hope but RM slightly more. It was so close. It really depends on my mood who’s rapping I like more at the moment.
- Jennie – The other rapper in BlackPink. Again, it was really close, guys!
- S. Coups – I love Coups but I just haven’t heard enough of his rapping to give it anything more than an honorable mention.
- BamBam – I love Mark to bits but I love BamBam’s voice slightly more. It’s hard to describe his voice, but it has this tone to it that I find quite unique.
- Zelo – It was so close again between him and his fellow member Yongguk, but at the end of the day, Yongguk won.
- Ravi – He also has a really deep voice. Solely because I haven’t heard too many songs from him, I didn’t choose him to be part of the list.
this list could seriously go on forever, but it has to end eventually
crap i just realized i forgot that nct exists *face palm*
Out of the ones I mentioned, who is your favorite? Any I didn’t mention that you think should be mentioned? Do you like any rappers, English or Non-English-Speaking?