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K Indie Update: The Hip Hop Edition

March 2, 2015


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I’d like to first say thanks to Simon for making me look like a round potato for this week’s Korean Indie Update. Seriously, the lighting was shining underneath my chin and if I don’t already struggle with having no jaw it totally disappeared along with my cheekbones and eyelashes. *falls to the ground sobbing* LIGHTING IS SO IMPORTANT! Alright, I’m over it.

So we’ve returned with our first Korean Indie Update of 2015 with a heavy focus on Korean Hip Hop and a Trap track. I like saying Trap Track because trap is so hot right now (Mugatu FTW) and Trap Track sounds like something my mom would say and somehow it makes it feel less cool. HAHAHAHAH sorry mom love youuuuuuu but mom’s can . Interestingly, two out of these three songs have non-Koreans in them, so it’s quite an international playlist.

Zion T & Crush 자이언티 & 크러쉬 “Just 그냥”

Now if you didn’t already know, we’re big big big Zion T fans at the EYK Studio, so we are all totally excited when we hear about his return. And that’s literally all I’m saying about it because everything Zion T touches turns to gold in my heart. Yeah.

Dynamic Duo & DJ Premier 다이나믹듀오 “AEAO”

Ayo: Simon here. Martina wanted me to talk more about DJ Premier, because he was a bigger part of my life than he is in hers. I listened to a lot of Gangstarr growing up, as I’m sure everyone who wanted to be a rapper did as well. Yes I wanted to be a rapper shutup. Anyhow, back to DJ Premier: I remember first hearing Korean Hip Hop and thinking to myself how much it sounds like the good ole days of hip hop, and how the beats sound very Premier-esque. I still hear it to this day, even in Epik High songs which I don’t know the name of but I hear playing at the gym all the damn time. So when I heard that DJ Premier was making a song with Dynamic Duo, it actually made a lot of sense to me, moreso than a, G-Dragon and Missy Elliot song. And, in this case, it was a great combination, and makes me feel like I’m a kid again. Freaking great match up Dynamic Duo and DJ Premier.

Keith Ape “잊지마 It G Ma” feat JayAllday, loota, Okasian, Kohh

Back to Martina! Last up is Keith Ape with “잊지마” and I totally know some of you are going to love this song and some of you are going to hate it. It’s trap so it already has the simple kindof beat to it but the rapping itself ranges from yelling to squaking which might be hard for some people to digest. As for me, it’s not normally my thing but I find myself mesmerized by this song and walking around screaming it. This song and video is getting a lot of international attention for a controversial reason. People are divided on whether or not Keith Apes is paying homage or stealing OG Maco’s “U Guessed It” concept. Now supposedly Keith Apes clearly said that yes, he was inspired by OC Maco’s song and is in no way pretending to have never heard of it. All this online drama of “he copied this, no he didn’t” made it to OC Maco himself and he had a couple of angry things to say about it on twitter.

Frankly, I don’t care about this drama within the rap world and it would be opening a ginormous can of worms to try and explain to OC Maco that this video was not actually trying to mock him. So I’m just going to baaaaaack away and instead focus on what I liked about this song. It wasn’t easy to find info on all the rappers in this video so please correct me if I get anything wrong. So Keith Apes and Okasian are the only two Korean rappers in this collaboration (and Keith might also be Korean American I think…) while JayAllday, Loota, and Kohh are all Japanese rappers. I gotta say I was really into the last husky voiced Japanese rapper in the video named Kohh who comes in at the 4:25 mark. Both his lazy style of rapping and his lyrics are very intriguing to me. He has a diverse collection of topics ranging from letting go of things and being happy with what life gives you and then switching into a talk about walking down the street in a leather jacket and cheap Converse while listening to the Japanese rock band The Blue Hearts and chewing gum. I’ve just…I’ve just never heard someone rap so casually about life, merge in talks about being happy, and then yell out select words like AIR FORCE or BLUE HEARTS so angrily yet awesomely. So if you find yourself unable to get through this song please at least jump to Kohh’s part and tell me what you think about his section.



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Korean Indie Playlist


K Indie Update: The Hip Hop Edition


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  1. Always loved AEAO, now 잊지마 is up there. Thanks for the playlist!

    5 years ago
  2. I have missed your K-Indie segment so much! I’m in love with the songs and artists you recommended. I used to listen to Zion T when he first debuted but grew out of touch with this side of the music industry (;.;), but I’m getting back into it again thanks to you, Martina \(^_^)/

    5 years ago
  3. Oh my gosh, I got so freaking excited when you mentioned they mentioned the Blue Hearts

    I freaking love that old school band. It’s like 70s/80s punk rock where the vocalist has this deep gravelly, not melodic or pleasant voice at all. It’s kinda scratchy and strained. And it’s flipping fantastic the music is upbeat and things you can jump around to, or chant loudly with, or blow people away with being so crazy at karaoke/noraebang. Anyone who mentions the blue hearts in their song means I have to like them~

    This made my day

    5 years ago
  4. I know I’m late to the party but ERRRRR MY GAWD a new indie playlist!

    Now that it’s out of my mind… I never was into hip-hop before, I’m more of a rock person like Martina, but I have to say I totally dig Korean hip-hop. Not sure why. Maybe I just like the way the Korean language flows when they sing? Anyways. I love Dynamic’s Duo song the most out of the three.

    Definitely looking forward to more indie music, even if it’s just once in a while^^

    5 years ago
  5. I don’t know much about the Korean hip-hop scene but i’ve been getting more and more into it recently because of my love for BTS, kekeke (i know they are a boyband, don’t judge me XP)

    Martina if you like Zion T so much, what do you think about his collab with Shinee’s JongHyung?

    I hope that you guys can start talking about k-music again more (whenever you feel like it) without feeling pressured, because i really miss it and you guys are the reason that i’m into k-pop at all, soooo…. :p

    5 years ago
  6. Hello c: Being a big fan of Hi Lite Records I couldn’t stop myself from commenting on this video. Keith Ape is part of Hi Lite Records probably the biggest underground rap company out there (they always headline shows, if they aren’t headlining they are right after AOMG and Illionare). He is part of the group COHORT (do you still follow me XD signed under Hi Lite but part of Cohort). Cohort is known for releasing videos like this. Not because they don’t have the money to create better videos, but just… yeah I dont know… they’ve always had weird videos like these. They are talking about an “underwater squad” and “orca” because the logo of Cohort is an orca’s tail x)

    5 years ago
  7. Thought Martina might appreciate Livii’s MV (SAILOR MOON)


    Also, if you haven’t yet, I suggest checking out Choi Sam.


    5 years ago
  8. K Hip Hop and K Indie give me life guise, please don’t stop giving your recommendations :)

    5 years ago
  9. Amoeba Culture at its best. Everyone should check out Life is Beautiful – Dynamic Duo & Zion.T & Crush. A collab they did with Yoo HeeYeol. Wish I was in the U.S. to see them live for their tour.

    *Zion.T fans*
    How many times have you clicked me??

    5 years ago
  10. Love all of these songs! I really missed k-indie stuffs^^

    5 years ago
  11. Of course I love ZionT, Crush and Dynamic Duo but I didn’t expect to get into the last one. It’s definitely not my thing but I gave it a chance and I think it’s pretty good. I liked Kohh the best too.

    5 years ago
  12. Do my eyes deceive me?! K-Indie Playlist! After sooooooo looooooong! Thanks guys :)
    I love the Zion T song :) I even really loved his ‘Miss Kim’ (don’t know if that’s recent or really old, I only got into Zion T recently, sorry!)

    I also really love Gaeko x Yankie’s song Cheers featuring Beenzino and Babylon. Don’t know if that counts as hip-hop or R&B but its pretty awesome :

    5 years ago
  13. Loveeee thisssss!!! About the whole og maco thing, I’m gonna state the obvious here—everything US rappers come up with is gonna be copied by Korean rappers. Everything! They can choose to feel disrespected by it or see it as the height of appreciation. I don’t think they were mocking him either but I can see why he feels they were. Korean rappers are just caricatures of Black rappers, let’s be honest here. Some of their lines dont even make sense unless you know American rap and the context/history of it. As someone who listens to both forms of hiphop, I choose to interpret it as, they just love US rappers so much they wanna be just like them when they grow up.

    5 years ago
  14. Hell yeah they’re a complimentary duo!!! I’ve been waiting for Zion.T and Crush to do a collab ever since i first knew about them! (about…2-3 years ago) It’s because of them i even properly got into that kinda music! AMOEBA CULTURE WHOO!!!!

    WHOA!!! AHAHAHAH i was actually shocked you talked about ‘AEAO’ since it’s SO old now!!!

    I only know that last song cos of the controversy surrounding it! Haha! Personally didn’t think it was a good song though…

    5 years ago
  15. Thank you for this!! I love your k indie videos!!

    5 years ago
  16. Great to see the indie playlist back.

    5 years ago
  17. OMG!!! Finally!! K-Indie is BACK!!!! Thank you for bringing this segment back! I missed it so, so much~ *tears of joy*

    5 years ago
  18. OMG I have been listening to It G Ma for a month straight. I sort of hated it when I first heard it, but by the end of the music video I was in love. I told the busboys at my work about it, and now we just yell “Underwater Squad” and “Squah Squah Squah!” at each other too haha.

    And you should definitely get into Kohh. There is an interesting Vice documentary about Kohh on youtube, and his song “Fuck Swag” is really good, too. Actually, his whole album Monochrome is pretty great.
    Also, you can get It G Ma for free on Keith Ape’s soundcloud.

    Here’s Fuck Swag for the interested…

    5 years ago
  19. I loved all the songs on this indie playlist. Already knew about Zion.T’s Just w/ Crush…had heard about it thru an old tweet. I may have broke the repeat button after I first heard it. It’s so bitterly sweet I can’t help but bawl a little when I hear it. As far as trapped music goes. I don’t consider myself any kind of expert on it but I have a friend who listens to that style of music I definitely plan on sending a youtube link to that It G Ma song.

    5 years ago
  20. YESS!! FINALLY!!! K-INDIE – and more importantly – K-HIPHOP!!! BOOYEAAHHHHHHHHHHH

    Oh and don’t think I didn’t notice that Epik High mention. OOOHHYAAAAAAA. Their latest album, Shoebox, is a masterpiece. Everyone should buy it if they can. If I recall, even iTunes was promoting it.

    These days I listen to Korean Indie on Spotify. It was pleasantly surprising to see the huge range of Korean indie artists who post their music on Spotify – considering it isn’t even available in Korea. My K-Indie playlist there is pretty popular hehehe *proud*

    I’m a big fan of Zion.T, Crush, Dynamic Duo, and Okasian; but I haven’t heard of the rest. I’ll make sure to check them out!!
    Dynamic Duo performed in Australia recently – DARWIN of all places – but I couldn’t make it~~~ *cries*

    Btw, I noticed something ever since the EYKA Hip-Hop award….but K-HipHop MVs are almost exclusively black-and-white. Their photos online, too. Is that a thing?

    Hey, can we still request stuff for K-Indie/K-Hiphop? There was something I wanted to recommend the other day, though I can’t quite remember now…

    FROM THE AIRPORT!! That’s right, they have a new album, ‘You Could Imagine’. I saw them at EXIT Soundholic last year and fell in love instantly (I got to chat to them a bit afterwards wheeee). I think they recently joined Fluxus too…
    Anyway here’s their latest song, Flying Walls:
    From The Airport – Flying Walls

    5 years ago
    • I feel your pain, Dynamic Duo, Zion T, Primary and Crush performed in Atlanta recently….had school…priorities lolz

      5 years ago
    • I take it you’re excited :D

      Also, we just got into Spotify. Had issues getting it in Korea, but I found a way, so for the past two weeks I’ve been exploring it, trying to see if it’s a good iTunes alternative. Since I can’t use iTunes radio, being Canadian and all, I think that Spotify could fill in that gap.

      And, yes, you can still request stuff for K-Indie. We’re almost ready to put our revised KpopCharts (aka, K-Indie charts) back on the site. They’re almost fully functional and non-server-destroying!

      5 years ago
      • I put a post together a while ago which is a list of korean artists that can be found on spotify (and also bandcamp and soundcloud): http://jeliza.livejournal.com/737655.html that you might find useful. (some artists I think only show up in some markets, and I’m based in the US so your mileage may vary a bit.)

        5 years ago
      • Haha of course I’d be excited~~!!
        K-Indie is one of those things that is a huge part of my life now, and I owe it ENTIRELY to you guys. And Ryan. How is he anyway?

        Yeah Spotify is as good as it gets, when it comes to streaming music. I tried using a dozen of online radios (Pandora, TuneIn, 8tracks, Grooveshark, Rdio, Guvera, Soundcloud, Jango, Last.fm, Google Play); and for a non-paying user, Spotify has the biggest range and flexibility – plus it’s legal (yay!). They let me play single songs on repeat too. Yes there’s ads, but I don’t mind them too much. I get them on youtube anyway. *cough*followfuuko4869*cough* #ThisPostWasNotEndorsedBySpotify

        Oooh, K-Indie charts??!!! Get ready for a zillion Mirrorball videos lol

        5 years ago