• Tigana

    Ree… You’re my new girl crush. I love your articles, they make sense, they’re interesting, they’re sufficiently long and well-argumented.

    While listening to B2st’s “Beautiful” the other day, I thought the same thing – are they trying to insult my intelligence? “So beautiful my girl, ah ah, in the cube” and then more incomprehensible konglish rapping. Sorry to B2st’s avid fans, but except in Fiction and Take care of my girlfriend, Junhyun’s raps are a slurred mumbo-jumbo of nonsense.

    Yunho’s rap doesn’t sit well with me. Especially that nasally thing he first started doing in PL.

    Actually, the only rappers I like are: CL, GD&TOP (I dislike GD but I genuinely enjoy his raps), Kush, Jia & Kahi.

    Yonghwa’s and Hyunah’s laughable attempts to rap make me throw up a little in my mouth. I acknowledge Miryo’s and Bekah’s skill, but I don’t like their voices. They are skilled tho.

    • Tigana

      I forgot U-kiss’ AJ and Infinite’s Dongwoo-Hoya tandem. They’re very good IMO. AJ is a good rapper and a darn smart kid as well, from what I’ve had the chance to see, too bad he’s so underrated.

      • Anonymous

        The interesting thing about Hoya and dongwoo is that the write ALL of their own raps for the Infinte songs which let’s face it, is rare in an idol group.

        • Anonymous

          actually it seems like most idol rappers write their own raps. i’m not saying they’re not still spoon-fed their technique, but junhyung, minho, and baro have all said they write their own parts if i’m not mistaken…

    • tiffany

      I agree the English in Beautiful is really sort of awful. I always think of the simonandmartina video review of it lol. “Make a love baby” 
      But horrible English aside, I think that Junhyung as a rapper isn’t terrible, and he features as a rapper for a ton of other people, like Wheesung. I actually thought he was pretty good, but I’m not an expert on rapping either. Besides he can freestyle, so that’s a plus right?

  • Dana D’Amelio

    In my opinion, the most useless rapper in all of K-pop is T-ara’s Hwayoung.  I cannot for the life of me understand what she brings to the group.  I actually liked Hyomin and Eunjung as rappers (TTL and TTL2), but Hwayoung is not spectacular at what she does and ever since she started performing with T-ara, I’ve found the group’s case of IRS to have gotten much worse.  Take “Roly Poly,” for example – does the song in any way need that wacky rap interlude in which Hwayoung goes, “I like-a like-a dis, I like-a like-a dat!”  Does it in any way contribute to the song?  I just don’t understand what it is doing there, and moreover do not understand what contribution, exactly, was made by adding Hwayoung to the group.

    On a more positive note, I loooove when miss A’s Jia raps – am I the only one who thinks she sounds like a boss?

    • http://twitter.com/denzelwynter Ashaley

      JIA IS A BOSS!

    • asianromance

      I was a fan of T-ara from their debut, but after the focus shifted form vocals to new-crazy-concept-itis and after they added Hwayoung, I lost some of my interest in the group. I think Hwayoung is a decent-ish rapper (but yeah, what the eff is which that dumb rap in in Roly Poly?!), but CCM should have put her in a separate group that needed her instead of being lazy and sticking her with an already established group that doesn’t need her.  Hyomin and Eunjung are fine at what they do and it’s not like they’re being burdened with lines. 

      I love Jia’s rap too!  I love how she’s not even from Korea and can own that rap better than some of those who are from Korea. 

      Anyways, I think IRS has been around since kpop began.  And it only seems worse now that there are like a bajillion groups, each of them having 2-3 designated “rappers”.  That’s just too many faux-rappers.  I think IRS isn’t as bad as inappropriate dance sequence syndrome- when you’re taken out of the flow of a song by some random 30-second dance just so the boys can show off their moves. 

  • chewy

    Yunho would be my favoriate “faux-rapper.” ….?…. His tone turns very high pitch when he raps, which is weird considering he sings the low part back in the old DBSK5 days. It’s kind of annoyanying actually, but after a while, it gets stuck in my head & I find myself unconsciously singing to his verses.

    • Van Nguyen

      haha I actually like Yunho’s rap part in “Mirotic”. It’s really catchy. I sometimes can’t help but skip to that part just to hear it….then go back to the beginning. =)

  • pandahaya

    well said. 
    But Miryo’s voice was actually quite pretty, maybe not as powerful as other girls in BEG, anyway she’s a brilliant rapper.

  • http://twitter.com/dokidoki_danger Jonsu

    Mine favorite faux-rapper is HyunA and Woori (from Rainbow). 

    You put in words everything I think about k-pop rappers

  • Anonymous

    There are groups with songs that are tailored to the rapping (Big Bang and 2ne1), but other groups have songs where the rapping is just this random foreign thing. They try to ram a square into a triangle until it somehow fits. It doesn’t help that the designated rapper is usually someone who originally auditioned as a singer (Minho). I honestly don’t understand why kpop companies do it. Does it make the song more “cool” or “swag”? Why would you need swag in a pop song, anyway? And do the Koreans like raps embarrassingly inserted like this?

    My favorite kpop rappers are GD&TOP. Unlike idols who are made to be rappers, these two set out to be rappers to begin with. It was their choice and maybe that’s why their songs are so much better.

    My favorite faux-rapper is Yunho. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY??? His voice is arguably the weakest of DBSK, but it’s still damn good compared to other idols. Why do you have to ruin it by making him rap in that chipmunk style of his? When I first listened to Mirotic and Purple Line, I stopped the music at the rapping parts and refused to give the songs another try until a long time later. Now, whenever I hear the rap, I still cringe. Yoochun’s “I really wanna touch myself” just makes me laugh. Yunho’s rap (and Jaejoong’s in the case of Purple Line) makes me embarrassed to show others the music I like.

    • Anonymous

      “I really wanna touch myself” is one of those things that is so BAD, it’s good. I listen to that song solely for that line because it never fails to make me crack up.

      I also listen to “O”-Jung Ban Hap solely for “Yo Yunho, lets try some noisy beat” for the very same reason.

      Oh, guilty pleasures..

      • Ilovemandoo

        HAHA so true.. I’m also guilty of this. To be honest, I’m actually quite a fan of DBSK’s (okay, mostly Yoochun’s) engrish…… .__.; I don’t know what that says about myself.

        On another note, I remember the time Junsu tweeted about Yoochun writing the rap lyrics for Mission (which by the way MAKE NO SENSE AT ALL. It actually includes the line ‘puppies and cream.’ WTF). He mentioned how Yoochun wrote it in 5 minutes and how he was a genius. I was LOL-ing in real life. 

        Getting past the hilarity of that tweet though, I don’t like how often Korean artists try to incorporate English in their raps–actually their songs in general–when some of them don’t even have a basic grasp on the language. I wish I could go to Korea and edit some of the song lyrics before they are released.

        Also, I noticed that members who speak English proficiently are often deemed rappers as well, even when they can’t rap (see: SNSD TIffany, 2pm Taecyeon). Lulz. Living in America doesn’t mean that you’re automatically a rapper, yo.

  • LaLa18

    First of all, this is seriously like the best article ever. You just articulated what everyone was thinking perfectly!! Rapping is just a joke in Kpop for the most part, and they just put vocally untalented singers (but hot and cute ones) in the position of “rapper.” Hyuna being the most painful to bear. Her voice (rap or otherwise) is unappealing period. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJ4GQGXHP6ZQ7ULE2PQ2M5S7I ic

    Wait, does NEWS have a rapper? Ohhh Koyama? 

    • Anonymous

      I’m guessing she means Shige. I lurve him but he really can’t sing :).

      • http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

        They don’t really have a rapper, just some really unimpressive vocalist. Like yeah, Shige for one- not that I don’t like him, but you have to admit… I mean even Ryo too.

        • Anonymous

          I love Ryo so I’m really not impartial when it comes to him.  Even though NEWS are not the best singers, they’re a group that I really like and enjoy listening to.

          • http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

            I love Ryo too, and Koyama, and Shige. NEWS aren’t the most talented ones out there, but they’re a cute bunch :)

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJ4GQGXHP6ZQ7ULE2PQ2M5S7I ic

            dude, NEWS have Tegomass, two of the best singers in JE so they should be fine.

          • Showmesomepositivity

            Yeah, but that’s 2 out of six :/ I mean, I guess they’re okay- but as said, not the most talented ones out there. Better than Kanjani8 though >.<

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJ4GQGXHP6ZQ7ULE2PQ2M5S7I ic

            but Kanjani8 has Subaru. Lol. and I think Ryo shines more in K8 than in NEWS, his voice gets more focus at least, they sing more complicated songs than NEWS so I’d give props to them. 

          • Showmesomepositivity

            Subaru is good, but even then Tegomass explode all over em. I think Ryo gets more shine in NEWS too- but sometimes I think Kanjani8 gets songs TOO complicated for them. There are times when their lives are almost unbearable. 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XHJ4GQGXHP6ZQ7ULE2PQ2M5S7I ic

            yeah sometimes. but i like the K8 band and their songs. but if we’re talking about rappers, then that has to be Koki and Sho. A lot of KAT-TUN’s songs were especially made to fit the rap..and the beatbox.

  • http://twitter.com/yangn4074 yangn

    I think GD has talent as a rapper and it is probably because of the attitude that he brings to it. Something about it is very catchy, but my favorite has to be Jia. I find myself actually wanting to rap the parts that she raps and most of the time I feel it’s the highlight of the song.

    I agree with most people about Yunho’s rapping, the high nasally voice mode that he goes into is kind of strange and unbearable but like everyone else there is still something about it that makes it stick to your head. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing but it really sticks out, besides in Purple Line I was more disturbed by the way he was dancing over his rapping. Looks like a chick.

  • Gnattie

    I am angry at SM for a lot of reasons but primarily because they’ve pushed back SNSD’s comeback from my birthday to weeks later. I will refrain from using profanity to describe my frustration at their ineptitude.Rap is one of those things that looks easy until you try it and realize that it’s not easy at all. You need to have the right attitude, tone, flow, and lyrics to make it work or else you’ll look like a joke. I’m a Gleek and I’ve always felt that they should cast a designated rapper/singer on the show because it can be awkward when Artie, Mr. Shue, Puck, and especially Finn rap. Maybe Mercedes’s new beau will cover rap songs? Usually Artie or Shue rap and they’re proficent but they ain’t Jay-Z.In other news, I just saw the leaked second teaser of SNSD’s comeback. I couldn’t hear the song well because people were talking in the video but I guess Tiffany’s going to start rapping. I have mixed feelings towards Tiffany. I like her but she comes off to me as a poser, especially when she tries to act cute or use American slang. I know that she grew up in America until she was 15 and flew over to Korea to start her career, and maybe that’s why SM thinks that she should rap and use American slang, but I don’t know if I consider her that great of a rapper. You sort of need a ghetto, bad*** attitude to successfully pull off rapping and Tiffany doesn’t have that. It needs to be effortless, not contrived.If you want to see the leaked second teaser, try to find it on YouTube or go to Tumblr and search under the tag “SNSD.” Sones are like ninjas when it comes to SNSD and they have that video posted everywhere. To me, it looked like more of the same and there wasn’t anything new or striking besides Sunny’s new look. Sunny looks adorable! But, yeah, the second teaser reminded me of SM’s recent music videos.     

    LOL I had this and the SM/Hageng article open in separate tabs and I read this first but accidentally managed to submit this comment to the other article lol. I’m such a ditz.

    • Gnattie

      That long paragraph WAS three paragraphs once, so sorry about that. I have gone to school, I promise.

      Just to let you know, the second SNSD teaser is at twitvid as well. I watched it again and came to the conclusion that the video is awkward. A-Cha awkward. Maybe I’m too harsh a critic.

  • http://twitter.com/fuzzymogwai twang

    (also inexplicably enamoured by dont don…i think its the explosions.  and the running.)

    i think my fav rapper is hyukjae, but i think thats because he raps those aggressive things the your article talked about, but he also raps totally ridiculous things that are totally ridiculous.

    but i also love listening to jia rap its like…empowering…

    and reading this article i kept thinking of HaHa and how on old Xman he would “rap” all over the place…but I guess thats not really totally related…but i guess to me wot i tolerate as “rap” in kpop is broader =D

  • Mgflutie87

    Well its hard to find REAL rappers…like G-Dragon, CL, Minzy, Dara, Supreme Team, Heechul, Micky, Yuhno, Hyuna especially are chucklehead wannabes…really the only real ones I can think of is 1TYM, Jinusean, Dok2, Epik High, Tiger JK, Tasha, Lexy, Dynamic Duo…that’s it really

    • TmL

      Actually Supreme team are real rappers. Have you ever checked out their earlier stuff? I’m actually kind of insulted as a fan of E-sens… -_-

    • thunderandsmoke

      its not good to bring underground/outside/lesser known talents/those from a different era into this conversation because their talent is really incomparable to the useless that presently floats around in the kpop sphere: one example is the rapper E.via…her flow is out of this world, and her lyrics are quite raw. I remember when I found her i was like…whoa, what is a CL… what is a Miryo. too bad she looks like she’s 12 because she has some serious talent and some really interesting songs.

      but i can understand what you mean: at times i question the “realness” of CL, GD, and TOP. but I mean they grew up with hip hop, thats what influences their musical style and what they always did (i mean GD has been rapping since he was like 5…TOP used to be an underground rapper before he joined YG, & CL has had excellent flow since before she was even famous) as well as what they were trained to do, so I consider them rappers. And they all seem to have a passion for it and are good at it, so in that respect I give them credit for their efforts and productions. Are they the best in Korea? Not by a long shot, but I think they have their place and can hold their title as true idol rappers in a very concrete sense. 

      • TmL

        was TOP really in the underground? I’ve heard so many conflicting opinions on this. I know YG says he was, but I also know that a lot of people who were and are in the underground or who know a lot about k-hip hop say he was never there, even under his “old name” Tempo. 

        They keep saying he had one song and then all of a sudden he was in Big Bang. 

        • Anonymous

          watch secret BIG BANG ( not the drama parody)

  • Michael Park

    favorite faux-rapper is Woori from Rainbow.

    dang this girl… i don’t even know where to begin. The whole ‘To Me” song was awesome because of her raps and she really pulls it off.

    No offence but NONE of the 2pm boys can rap. after jay left the raps in their songs are just jokes. 

    minho makes me sick

    and when I mean ‘rap’ i mean i have a standard. I don’t want to hear just words spoken in a ‘rap’-ish rhythm. that’s not hard… anyone can imitate that. its like following the rhythm and saying the words in a right time. 

    but REAL RAP – that is RAP as it IS and SHOULD be – is about the flow. and for those who don’t really listen to rap (ie angry butthurt fangirls in denial right now and are gonna say stuff like i’m an idiot and check this video out cos minho can really rap) it’s hard to distinguish. 

    but i suggest everyone go check out Tiger JK. cliche, yes but this guy is the real deal. especially with KOREAN rap. 

    RAP is not just about the flow (which many idols don’t get and i bet their flow is taught by some recording producer), it’s about the lyrics, the attitude, the style etc. 

    it’s like dancing. Everyone can dance – you follow these moves in a rhythm. thats why many idols can dance. but can they REALLY dance? like as a good dancer? or a dancer that you would recognize straight away YES that’s a dancer? 

    • Pg13247

      I think Woori trained under Outsider hence she seems to be better at rapping than other idol rappers.

  • http://twitter.com/ovenfreshhhhh ovenfreshhhhh ☆

    My eyes were tearing up in agreement throughout this whole article. Except for the Don’t Don part because I don’t like that song. (Sorry.)

    What makes a good rapper in Korean pop? » Talent. You either can rap or you can’t rap. The difference between those who can and can’t is very clear, so I don’t feel like I have to elaborate on that too much.

    Favorite idol rapper? » Miryo and TOP. And sometimes Jay Park, if he’s not rapping in English.

    Favorite faux rapper? » None. I skip their parts or skip to the next song when it comes up.

    • http://other-worldly.org Justine

      This. I actually don’t like it when Jay raps in English haha.

  • Noona971

    I just loved your article so funny but also so cute and accurate. IRS LMAO !!! Cheers for that one :)
    I was always stunned to hear in most of k pop songs a rap part which usually seems odd (like what the hell are they doing ?), but then understanded that they find that rapping is “cool” it is the new gimmick specially if you’re not supposed to be the rapper of the band ! Rap is supposed to make the song more powerful and strong. Morover fan are usually “so happy” to finnaly hear their idol “rap” (aka talk a fast an low engrish) for example in latest AS shampoo song where nana or lizzy (or was it kahi ? are “rapping” or even recently with KARA and nicole “rapping”. Fans are just overjoyed because they can say that their favorite idol is fully talented and thus so cool and fierce ! Rap has always been associated with a “violent culture” that only bad boys were doing. So it’s not surprising that agencies actually oblige their trainee to learn how to rap, or write a rap (Cube Entertainement assign as a homework for its trainee to do a rap. But thanks god in kpop maintsream industry they’re a least real rappers GD and TOP <3 who write their lyrics and…hell that's all ! ^^ Seriously some band as 2NE1 or 4minutes have some strong rappers, not all badass but people who know how to do their job well.
    Using of rap in kpop songs is a real show of hyping their music, because rap is a way of singing, of posing your voice, it doesn't have to always be fast (check some of Tasha songs).
    I think it will be the end when SNSD will "rap" (cough) after all KARA dit it !

    • Pg13247

      Just a little fun fact here: KARA has always rapped even in their 1st album. SNSD has talk-rapped before in RDR and judging from the new leaked teaser of The Boys, there’s more to come.

      • Chewy

        If i’m not mistaken, Tiffany actually does some faux-rapping (I’ve seen it at some of their j-pop concert). I sure hope it doesn’t continued.

      • Noona971

        Well my mistake, besides their huge hits i’m not a hardocre fan off these both groups ! Still does’nt change the fact that they use rap as a gimmick in pop song (or talk-rapped)

        • Pg13247

          I don’t like the rap gimmick either. I did not mean to come off as condescending with my response above. It’s hard to get a less serious tone across in text.

  • Sarah Kay

    Kpop has been this way for awhile! Each group usally has at least one dancer, visual, singer and rapper. Anyway, the rapping in Kpop is added to songs so the member(s) who rap aren’t left out! Yes, some songs really do suit havin a rap. But kpop is becoming slightly boing nowadays. It’s always a rap after the second chorus.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1356901062 Pantiwah OneZeroo

    i honestly can NOT stand when entertainment companies name someone a “rapper” in a group when they dont have the talent to make up their own lyrics.im a HUGE hiphop fan so when it comes to rapping i get feisty and im real quick on shutting down anyone i think who doesnt have the talent.even though i dont understand most of what is said in the songs the ONLY people i truly acknowlegde as rappers are GDRAGON….TOP…BANG YONG GOOK…ZICO…KYUNG…SIMON D simply because theyve proven that they have the talent of writing their own music n its always amazing.as for faux-rappers,cant stand them especially minho i love shinee but it gets on my nerves when people say he’s a great rapper.anyone can rap but it takes a TRUE rapper to be able to write their own stuff and make it sound good =]

    • http://twitter.com/flickaddi Felicia Addison

      i fricken love Zico and all his mixtapes

  • http://twitter.com/clazzigirl BoBGirl

    I don’t know about “real” rappers but I do wonder whether GD&TOP are really considered as rappers ? I mean, if you compare them to others kpop groups rappers their flow is better and their songs doesn’t include rap as a gimmick part of their songs. I have no knowledge about rap but you can’t deny they have “ok” skills. I am one of their fan and I dig their flow but just tell me what’s really wrong with their raps (maybe too mainstream ? or lost the original spirit of rap of denouncing flaws of the society ?) ! 
    If you give me an example of “real” rapper giving me the most famous rappers such as Tiger JK, Tasha, Epik High or Lexy, it doesn’t really help because come on, everyone agrees they are great rappers ! 

  • http://twitter.com/sing_h jaswin singh

    i love this article.. very nice way of saying that rapper aren’t useless… but saying in general that if you’re not good at singing (that includes rapping) then you are useless.. :D 

  • http://twitter.com/flickaddi Felicia Addison

    faux rappers are my pet peeve with kpop! Thank you for writing this article!
    i will not download a song purely based on the fact that i hate the rap
    Just one thing i didnt like though there are rappers that can sing
    e.g. G-Dragon
    and you should check out Hanhae hes not well known but he raps and sings and is really good at both

  • http://twitter.com/AxiomStarr Ricky Sharma

    As a hiphop fan I really enjoyed reading this article. I wholeheartedly agree with your “pillars of a good rapper.”

    I think the most talented rappers in kpop are the women. I promise, it’s
    not because I’m totally crushing on CL or anything, but that’s how I
    genuinely feel. I do have a lot of respect for big bang, though. I think
    they have struck a good balance with rapping and singing. The women
    however take the prize.

    I want to just leave this here for anyone who is interested:


    These are korean rappers outside of kpop and idol world. Just some guys
    who I think are really talented and deserve more recognition.

  • TmL

    Agree with all of this. 

    I’ve actually always found faux rappers a tad insulting. I think they make a mockery of all true rappers that work hard to perfect their craft. It’s pretty much like large talent agencies are spitting in their faces and saying “I can take a random teenager, write them a few nonsensical lines against a beat with a heavy bass and they’ll be the same as you.”

    If I was a rapper in the K-music industry I would be pretty annoyed. Then again I’m extremely sensitive when it comes to my hip-hop.

    • Kpopboi

      I just had to add that.. for me, this unfortunately includes most of current YG Ent. GD and TOP are bordering plain hip pop now. They surf the trends and ride the fan waves now.

  • asdf

    I wouldn’t say that they’re useless all the time. Okay, fine, some kpop rappers are just painful to watch and listen to, but for those who can, at the very least, make up for it with stage presence, tone and flow, the result is pretty good. 

    What I find really annoying is that some kpop songs just add rap sections as afterthoughts and so it sounds really awkward and out of place. And for what? To give the non-singers parts? 

  • http://other-worldly.org Justine

    My favorite faux rappers have to be Eli and Mir. I really like Mir’s rapping. IDK if he’s a faux-rapper but he’s good at it. When I first started recognizing MBLAQ I was surprised the kind of flow he had in Y and I guess I was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t expect anything from him.

    Junhyung’s rapping is pretty good too, although I think he’s much better as a singer. They should utilize his singing voice more, because it’s pretty good. But then again when Cube artists start spewing out raps in English (looking at Hyuna and Junhyung), I think they’re better off doing it in full Korean. HORRIBLE, horrible Engrish raps.

    Most cringe-worthy faux rapper has to be Thunder. I cannot stand listening to the guy rap!! I should probably be comparing him to Khun because they’ve both got English backgrounds and don’t have the best singing voices but there’s just something about Thunder that can’t rap at all. Khun is okay because he can still have faux-flow and beasty English phrases and probably learned a thing or two from Taec. Can I also mention that girl from T-ara? OH GOD. What is up with all the random english phrases that don’t even mean shit? lol worst case of IRS ever!!

    Although Minho might not be a great rapper, but I do think he’s okay because he’s got the deep voice, especially coming out of those cute eyes. So yeah, I’ll give him a faux-raper pass.

    Miryo is amazing, especially in Sixth Sense. That’s what I really call a rapper. CL may be great, but the thing with 2NE1 songs is that the rapping is rhythmic and pre-determined so it’s easier for her to do it.

    Last notes:
    G-D and TOP still takes the top K-pop rapper spot, but that Zico kid may take their place soon. He’s seriously good.

    I think Chansung should stick to rapping instead of singing because he’s so much better at it. Love, 2PM fangirl.

    I miss Bekah! I thought she was really great.

    Props for this great written article! I loved it! You focused on a lot of good points and it may have had bad points but didn’t necessarily feel the need to mock anyone.

    Oh god this comment is like a blog post lmao.

    • TmL

      I agree with you on Mir. I think he has a lot of potential. I think when he`s older he may go the way of eun jiwon or leesang`s gil and gary and become a more legit rapper after his idol days. Although I`m not the biggest fan of eun jiwon he does represent a past idol who managed to get accepted by the rap community.

    • I agree with Mir as well, and I’m glad someone mentioned him. He’s always stood out the most to me in terms of K-pop rappers, and his parts in the songs are always nice to hear. That said, I agree with what you said about Thunder too; compared to Mir (or, er, most people I suppose), this kid has no flow… or whatever that’s missing. I’m not a rap expert, so I’m afraid I can’t elaborate, heh.

      Apart from Mir, I also like GD, TOP, Miryo, CL, Epik High, and Zico. :D Junhyung is also all right, but there’s something missing; it just doesn’t feel very creative sometimes. Now that you mentioned it, Bekah also sounded ok, too. Jia is also pretty fantastic.

      As for rappers I don’t like, probably 2PM in general, Minho (because the rap always sounds out of place), Amber (because the lines she’s given sometimes are meh)… Actually, come to think of it (and I don’t mean to generalize) I don’t really like most rappers from SM.

      • http://other-worldly.org Justine

        I get about what you say about 2PM despite them being my number one group. I don’t think Khun should rap at all.. but I do think Taec’s beasty voice makes up for his lack of rapping skills and Chansung’s ability to talk fast also make up for it too. They’re not the greatest rappers but at least they don’t put bad shame into being one, hehe.

        I generally don’t like SM rappers either. I like Super Junior but their raps almost always throw me off. I’m glad SNSD doesn’t really rap and while Amber’s okay because she speaks English they give her the most ridiculous lines.

      • TmL

        Zico is also an amazing one. I don’t even know if he qualifies as an idol rapper. He’s that good. Look up old block b mixtapes. They’ll have you wondering why the heck the kid isn’t solo.

  • http://other-worldly.org Justine

    I just want to add that I LOVE Supreme Team. Simon D and E-Sens are great rappers but I don’t generally consider them K-pop that’s why I didn’t mention them in my comment :)

  • Pg13247

    I feel like SISTAR’s potential is being hampered by forcing a rap into ALL of their songs. It becomes really blatant when they do covers of ballads. Soyu/Hyorin even Dasom hold their own and then Bora seems quite useless because she doesn’t get to sing unless she raps one of the lines that was originally meant to be sung. She seems to be able to carry a note in some of her rare singing roles (Ma Boy is not one of them since she lip-synched all the time). Does managment not allow her to sing?  

    I’m not against Bora rapping but the group is not very rap oriented but more vocally based so I feel like they could really follow the footsteps of Big Mama and CSJH if were allowed to train further in that skill.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FS52P3WGP37JJ6YJNRLPPBVS4E A

    True rappers are the freestylers who are known for their lyrical sense as much as their delivery. They’re musical poets; lyricists who work magic with a beat.Imo, calling them “faux rappers” is pretty insulting considered there are a TON of them in the US-market who do the SAME thing and come off as being legit.  

    There are only two kinds: good rappers and bad rappers.

  • Derek Tan

    i feel like we have to look at rap differently in kpop; whether it adds to or distracts from the song. personally i really love how mblaq, beast and block b have incorporated raps well and seems like a natural part of the song itself – granted sometimes not perfectly. whereas you have some other groups where it just feels way too forced and makes you wanna poke your eadrums out.

  • thunderandsmoke

    I wonder if Minho ever gets offended that they never have a place for his raps in SHINee’s song. I mean they seriously just lace his horrible lines over some of Jonghyun’s ad libs at the end most of the time: chronic IRS…its quite unfortunate too because I think I read somewhere that Minho actually writes a decent amount of his own raps for their songs. this to me just makes the whole situation even sadder because it means Minho is just really bad at everything rap related…at least he’s handsome though right?! Its weird the SM has no decent rappers at all (i think Amber of f(x) is their best, but she’s not a naturally talented rapper, just trained very well). You’d think they’d scout for at least one decent rapper to compete with YG and JYP. I guess they have DJ Doc.

    Shifting to another kpop group though, I’d have to say my favorite faux-rapper is probably Mir. He’s the most charismatic member of MBLAQ (sorry to Lee Joon fans, but that kid is a walking theatre joke…) and i think he has an excellent rap voice. I also think Baby J is a good rapper as well, but her talent and style is wasted in Jewelry, especially with their recent musical style change. 

    • Gnattie

      I feel bad for Minho! He doesn’t appear to be a bad guy but it’s agreed by almost everyone that he’s the unneeded member in SHINee. Not that this covers for his lack of talent, but it’s sad all the same. I wonder if he knows he’s bad?

    • Mer

      I have to defend Minho a little bit here.  I personally think his raps in the promoted songs are so bad because of the legnth and the songs themselves.  I will admit they’re bad.  But then he and Key do a song like Get Down and he’s a totally different rapper.  A better, more natural sounding rapper…
      Come down now the fantasy you’ve fallen inis just a different dream,Take note all fans and antisOne of you will faint (that’s right)Even if some fool shows up in my placeas a poor imitation of me,Even if you close your eyesHim and I are incomparableHe’s inferior, what are you doing?His charms are whatever

      • Ilovemandoo

        Agreed. Minho’s overall flow and rapping in general have improved so much, but part of the problem lies with the songs. SHINee’s singles generally have IRS, but when the rap actually has a purposeful place in their songs, Minho is not bad. He’s still not a great rapper, but he becomes at least serviceable and useful. 

  • Pilk

    Having a designated rapper is just part of the idol group concept. There’s hardly any group that DOESN’T have a rapper. SNSD is the only one I can think of, and having one of the girls rap is a painfully awkward idea.

    • Gnattie

      Tiffany’s going start rapping, I heard. In the leaked second teaser, she’s heard rapping.

      It’s awkward for me because Tiffany does not have a rapper girl attitude.

  • Katherine

    So I wasn’t the only one that thought it was a joke when NichKhun became a “rapper” for 2PM. Don’t get me wrong I adore him and 2PM with and without Jay Park but when I heard him rap, I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous it sounded.
    MinHo’s rap in Hello, I love the song but man I was disappointed that I couldn’t even hear what he was saying during his part in the song. I only discovered he had English lyrics in the song when SHINee did a joint performance with fX and Amber rapped along lol.
    I think everyone knows that there are no real legit rappers in Idol groups the only exceptions would be GD/TOP/CL/Zico. I’m not going to include Drunken Tiger, Epic High, Leessang etc because they are not idol stars. 

  • http://twitter.com/stroplok stroplok

    I have to be honest, Nichkhun is my fave faux-rapper as well. I always felt that him and Chansung shoudl have switched parts in most of their songs, because in all honesty I think Nichkhun’s voice is better suited with wooyoung and junho’s, while chansung’s tone sort of stands out… maybe that’s just it.

    On another note, yes Minho’s raps are awkward, but in all honesty i don’t actually think that’s his fault. I think he does actually have some talent in rapping, he just hasn’t had the chance to show that in SHINee’s songs.

    Special note to the new rapper in T-ara. She might be good, I wouldn’t know, becuase her part can in no way be called a rap.

  • Kpopboi

    I know were talking about ‘KPOP’ rappers n such. But if you all want a taste of true hip hop and raw emcees, check out The Movement. The greatest Korean midstream hip hop crew ever. I say midstream because they have members like Tablo and Eun Ji Won who are seen outside the undeground as well. Artists include: Tiger JK, Dynamic Duo, Sean2Slow, Leessang, Dok2, Roscoe Umali, Lady T and TBNY.

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  • Nabeela

    “And not gonna lie- I did kind of want to touch the guy who wanted to touch himself, but that was it.”LOL REE 

  • Kyana

    I know that Minho is the supposed “talentless” member in SHINee, but i seriously beg to differ. Really in my opinion, Key is more talentless than Minho. Sure Minho’s raps may stink to high heaven, but his singing really isn’t that bad. I really think he’s one of those members that were trained to be only a rapper and not as a singer. Everyone thought Taemin couldn’t sing either, but the more they trained his vocals the better he got. 

    • Showmesomepositivity

      I disagree. Key is definitely more talented than Minho. He’s undisputedly a stronger singer, and dancer than Minho. 

    • Guest

      lol Key schools Minho in what he does best – rapping.

    • Angy8993

      Actually Key is more talented that Minho. His singing is stronger and so is his dancing. He can reach a pretty wide vocal range.

    • Jen0193

      I agree with you! I think Key doesn’t specialize in doing only one thing because he’s not the best in either of those three talents. Minho’s just not given credit for the talents he has. Key is given more credit because he kind of shows it off.

  • http://funlifefun.wordpress.com/ reglest

    My fave as, you tought gor group is Big Bang, GD and TOP, for personal it’s MC Mong and co, seriously MC Mong’s rap is the one that I’ve never success to do!

  • jolyn_nhy

    Bang Yong Guk is a good rapper rookie :P
    Nice voice!

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  • http://twitter.com/DarylBastien Cloud

    I dont think rappers r the rappers because they  dont have vocal talent, that’s just what us fans think. Cause most rappers have vocal talent (Sometimes more then some other members) like (well you’v named them already) Minho, Nichkhun, CL (she really is good) also G-Dragon (Kinda), Zico (honestly think he can sing better then B-Bomb & U Kwon), and Amber. 

    Also i think your wrong bout rappers dont have to know how to sing cause i think they sould atleast have some vocal talent if they’re gonna be in a “singing” group

    • http://twitter.com/phannan Ana Hannah

      And G.O.! I don’t know why the heck he even bothers to rap.

  • James

    heres a great formula:

    1) listen to a song2) time how long a rapper raps for3) less than 15secs than most likely = useless


  • http://twitter.com/GideonB234 Gideon Brett

    I honestly think they should all take a look at how these guys perform on stage (Bae Chi Gi, Outside MC Sniper etc.)
    Those guys are truly good rappers in my opinion, they have flow, they work well together and they fucking own that stage
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvAtsqH4Nfo&feature=related – This video = proof

    Ideally a rapper should rap the way the song goes and not change the tone of the song. If the song doesn’t need a rap section, don’t add it, just use the “lead rapper” for something else (like backup vocals or something idk)

    • http://twitter.com/GideonB234 Gideon Brett

      Sorry I meant Outsider, it won’t let me edit it

  • Mgflutie87

    When they’re idols…pretty much. So pretty much Simon D, G-Dragon, Yoochun and Yuhno, Hyuna, Dara posers like that should have concrete poured down their throat

  • http://maddieloveskpop.tumblr.com Maddie

    I’m pretty sure the primary reason why Nichkhun was assigned the role of rapper after Jaebeom left 2PM was because he speaks English. And maybe because they’d rather not have him singing, even though I certainly would. (That said, I’m a sucker for his rap in “I’ll Be Back” – the only part of that song I like.)

  • Guest

    Most raps are so unneeded in kpop songs. I don’t think American songs (other than Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ and Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’, if that says anything) have a random rap in a pop song, at least not the popular ones. It’s usually an intro. Either do the whole thing or at least 75% in rap or just stick with singing. :s I’m a little bitter at the random raps because some of my fav songs have been ruined by poor rapping skills. It was catchy without it. =__=

  • Anonymous

    I LOOOOVE DONT DON! its actually the only suju song i love..the rest are mediocre for me! i so dont get suju’s popularity..

    besides that i was lmao at Nickhun’s rap! it is so awkward hahaha

    will it be a big surprise if i say my fav rapper is yunho :p
    but i totally love GD and TOP rap dynamic in BB songs! i mean BB songs are what really turned me into a kpop lover!

    • khun

      oh yeah,, and i never like BB song ,, so i dont get BB’s popularity too,,

  • Painless J

    I love Korean rappers too much (Outsider, Epik High, Leessang, Leessang, Leessang; a new love is Illinit; I like Supreme Team too although not as much as the first three) to take idol rappers seriously. With one exception. I LURVE Block B, a rookie idol rapper group. IMO they have nearly everything a rapper needs, and give them a couple of years for getting a proper grip, they will become seriously good. Ok, from the idols, BIGBANG. Not TOP per se, I just like how rap fits into BB songs.

  • Painless J

    Oh, and on a barely related note, I like it how Infinite’s rappers (they guys they label as rappers) can sing. Hoya actually has lines in Paradise.

  • http://twitter.com/hi_nysha Nysha J.

    I agree with this but this isn’t just happening in korea happens all over. and it saddens me. a lot of people are getting IRS.

  • Anonymous

    what a long ass article, I want to read it, but on the other hand it’s too long

    rapper make songs sound better, but for example in ‘nobody’ yubin hardly sings
    it depends on how many lines they get

  • Anonymous

    Totally and completely agree with pretty much everything you’ve said, except for one small thing… you said:

    Why do most people consider CL to be a good rapper despite her not… writing her own raps?

    She has actually written her own raps, she just hasn’t gotten to do so for a 2NE1 song yet. She wrote her rap from the 2007 Gayo Daejun, her part in YMGA’s ‘What’, her part in GD’s ‘The Leaders’, and co-wrote ‘Fine Lady’, which they’ve used in performances, with Teddy and GD. I think, but am not completely sure, that she also wrote her part in Uhm Jung Hwa’s ‘DJ’ as well.

    • http://twitter.com/EvilFrenchFries Sol Power

      lmaooooo CL is not a rapper sweetheart. If someone writes your rhymes, you’re not a rapper.

  • should be doing homework…

    REE I have to say I love reading your articles. I read this one yesterday and went all creeper fan today reading your others. Your way of expressing things is amazing. (I blame you for the fact that any conversation between my roommate and I involving SHINee or SNSD must now include the phrases “most troll-tastic rap of all time” and “oppa seducing hoes.”)

    I wouldn’t say that it was my favorite but I think the most interesting recent incident of k-rapping was in SNSD’s The Boys, considering I was unaware that there was a rap (or rapper) in the song. Luckily an interview showed me the error of my ways by pointing out that what I had taken as slightly cult-esque chanting was in actuality a rap. Who knew? The Korean version is growing on me, though the English version, not so much, probably because I give the benefit of the doubt when I don’t understand it.

    I will also admit to having a soft spot for Don’t Don although I recently watched the live performances and I’m not sure if I can look myself in the mirror again after admitting that. There’s something about a badass dude shredding on his electric violin that makes everything better, although “U” does win out purely because of the movie (i.e. the use of excessive hip-thrusting and teleportation).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anngelica-Aguilar/100000185514336 Anngelica Aguilar

    My favorite rapper is Tablo. From Epik High. He’s going solo for now but I think he’s just as awesome. He release the first part of his new solo album! I think he’s one talented rapper. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anngelica-Aguilar/100000185514336 Anngelica Aguilar

    Favorite idol rapper is Tablo from Epic High, Faux-rapper Mir from MBLAQ

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  • Music=Love

    I agree with this article a lot. A lot of companies seem to think the rap can be easily done by someone with no talent, but they fail to realize that a bad rap can completely ruin a good song, for example Katy Perry’s E.T featuring Kanye West.

  • Anonymous

     I must thank you, Ree, for the links to Purple Line and the Hell No! parody. Seriously, they both made my month. I laughed So. Freaking. Hard. I always assumed all the guys in DBSK could sing the way people go on about them, and what with them being an A Capella band, but what do I know? but Yunho is the little engine that could, and that dance… can’t help but love the guy.
     IRS spreads through k-pop music like the chicken pox amongst a kindergarten class. I feel bad for those who are stuck in a singing group even though they may not be the best vocally. For someone like Nichkhun, obviously he knew what he was getting into, but didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to be famous. Other artists, like Minho, were young when they started. He didn’t know what type of group he was going to be put into. And maybe his prepubescent voice sounded like an angel’s.
       A perfect example of IRS (and I hate to say it): Jay in SM The Ballad’s “Hot Times’. Love ya, Typhoon, but fast, angry talking does not a rap verse make. (Although the parody for *that* song is epic.)

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  • Jen0193

    I’m a SHINee fan and Minho is my favorite. It’s hard to admit but I have to agree that his existence in their group is not necessary. I also quite agree that rap parts in songs don’t make a much of a difference or improve songs. But that’s what Minho chose to do. Maybe he just doesn’t know what suits him the most. And also, I think they didn’t have much choice since their roles in the groups were assigned to them. Well, I think Minho’s singing voice is really good. Their agency just doesn’t appreciate it for what it is because they pay more attention to the established and more popular ones in the group. No offense to fans of SHINee’s Key but I think he’s not that great as a singer as well as a rapper. But despite all that, he is given many singing, dancing and rapping time. Well that’s just unfair, right? RAPPERS ARE NOT  TALENTLESS OR USELESS. THEY’RE JUST EITHER NOT GIVEN THE CHANCE OR OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW WHAT THEY CAN DO BEST OR THEY JUST DIDN’T FIND OUT YET WHAT THEIR REAL TALENT. So you can’t say they’re useless. 

    • Jen0193

      And I must also add that they look useless because that is how their fans think OR MADE TO THINK. 

      Anyway, I love reading you articles. You have such great ways of expressing your opinions and bashing the idols I admire. 

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  • Anonymous

    For me, I was never really a huge hip hop fan and I didn’t like listening to rap at all. Though I’m sure the hip hop rappers are definitely more skilled and talented, I guess it’s just personal preference that I actually like idol rapping in songs. Seriously, I hated rap until I found Jpop and Kpop.

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  • Lux magelet

    I found this article when I googled “why does kpop have rap?” and nearly every other article listed was about who was who’s favourite rapper. Did kpop -always- have raps in them or is this a recent trend? It just seems so weird whenever a song with a nice flow suddenly takes a pause for the rap to appear. 

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  • Monica B

    Minho is totally my bias. I actually love listening to the raps in SHINee songs. I hate english rapping. Even though Minho has an amazing singing voice as well, I think he chose to rap because it might be just what he enjoys most.Also, I don’t think he’s given very much opportunity to sing as much as the other memebers

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  • firehawkkat

    This was a really great and definitely fair and well thought out article. :)  I agree with the idea that most raps in Kpop songs are trolltastically unnecessary, but just as you’re endeared to Nickhyun despite everything, I think I’m endeared to the kpop “troll-rap.”   But, I’m going to try to focus my energy on the “Case in Defense of Minho.”

    I mean, you’re right, Minho’s rap in Hello sounds ridiculous (and Minho
    is my bias, so I understand how distressing that is to us Flammers,
    haha.)  However, while it might not be written into the songs well, I’ve slowly realized that Minho’s raps ARE necessary.  It happened while I was listening to Clue+Note from Sherlock and I actually found my self sighing in relief when Minho started his little rap. . .I realized suddenly that if there was no rap in that song…my ears would have started bleeding. XD  SHINee is SUCH a talented group with so much vocal power that they pretty much SHOUT the songs (it is a sound I love, but it is a sound that too much of can cause irreversible damage :p ).  Having Minho in the group is a great way to give the listener a break.  His tone is so beautiful (literally, I wish I could just take his Hello rap out of Hello and listen to it without the vocals over it) because his tone is soft and low and it’s the perfect contrast to the tenor driven power and strength of the rest of the group.  Now, perhaps it’s too much of a contrast that it sticks out…but I always love when it’s time for his rap because my ears get a reprieve.  And I think SM MIGHT be learning how to actually use Minho’s rapping in the songs.  In Sherlock they juxtaposed it to a lot of full noise and then put Key rapping after him to pull the song back toward the edgier/louder sound that Jonghyun pushes.

    Anyway, maybe I’m just too much of a Minho fan girl.  Or maybe I’m just so blinded by Kpop love that I can’t really see how bad the raps are…but I think I’m happy to accept the Kpop raps for now, even if they are bad and unnecessary in 90% of songs. 

    (sidenote:  best out of the blue rapper ever is definitely
    Leeteuk.  I laugh so hard at his rap in Super Man…he sounds like he’s
    coughing up a lung XD <3   They should just let him stick to using that beautiful singing voice of his… XD  <3)

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  • VividlyLivid

    I was thinking about this just a few days ago. The fact that companies seem to think that every song their artists produce needs a rap in it just really annoys me. Majority of the time, the rap just does not fit, and it really throws off the song and makes me sort of cringe at that part.

  • kaiyung

    Amber from f(x) is a pretty good rapper in my opinion.

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  • Fabiola Sanjur

    hahahahah DON’T DON! classic! lol i am also part of that questionable minority who are inexplicably enamoured by Don’t Don hahahaha actually don’t don is what got me into suju! and kpop as a whole. i actually heard tvxq before suju but thought it was meeh.. then i heard suju’s don’t don and i was hooked XD lol

  • Jemie Then

    I got into Kpop because of HARU HARU. It’s a great song, the rap, the voice, the mv, the dance, everything just worked out. In many Kpop songs, the rap portion is always awkward but I always thought Bigbang was an exception. Love the contrast between TOP’s and GD’s rapping voice and the very distinct singing voice of Daesung & Taeyang as well.

    My take at groups that have rap verses that makes the songs better:

    BIG BANG, BLOCK B, BTOB, B.A.P ( OMG ALL Bs!!!!), 2NE1, Teen Top,

    Groups that I rather they not do any rap:

    Shinee, Super Junior, SNSD, T-ara, 2PM, Mblaq, SPICA (Amazing voices)

  • KpopPandaGamer

    This is kind of true, I think. The record labels are trying too hard to pretend “Oh look at this guy, he can’t really sing too well but he has a nice voice. Oh, I know! Let’s NOT help him sing better and instead make him rap! That’ll totally make everything better!”

    Admittedly there’s been some really good and really bad rapping in Kpop. Some really good rapping I think comes from GD, Super Junior, Exo, B.A.P (Yongguk and Zelo), and – in my honest opinion – the new group BTS (they are basically one big rap/hip hop group, but they make it work, ESPECIALLY Rap Monster). I really don’t listen to the bad rapping, most of the songs I listen to don’t really have much rapping (okay, Boyfriend’s song ‘Boyfriend’ has Minwoo do a little bit of rapping, but it’s like faux-rapping and not too bad).

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