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Artist Spotlight: Giriboy

If you combine cute, good looks with a made for variety TV dorky persona, and rap-songwriting skills, what do you get? Not an idol, that’s for sure. Or at least not in Giriboy’s case. The up-and-coming not-so-underground-anymore Korean rapper with his big rimmed glasses and soft, melodic flow has been creating a flawless bridge between this genre and K-pop since his debut in 2011.

Signed under Swing’s label Just Music Entertainment, Giriboy has been taking the Korean entertainment industry one step at a time by releasing several solo albums, stacking up the featurings on other artists’ songs, and appearing on TV shows. Many might remember him from his participation in the hip hop competition program Show Me the Money 3 and as a mentor and judge on Mnet and Starship Entertainment’s survival show NO.MERCY.

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Hong Si Young’s stage name translates to “to see the way” in Korean, which, to him, means that no matter what he does, the things in front of him are bright and promising. “Giriboy” serves as the best metaphor for the multifaceted rapper and singer. Because even if he’s signed under the Show Me the Money 2 fierce winner’s label and on the roster with artists like Vasco, Nochang, CJamm, and Black Nut, Giriboy is the type of rapper the ladies love. No, seriously, he has a big female following…

giriboy profile korean rapper

via imcheol @ Tumblr

As opposed to what’s trending in hip hop nowadays, Giriboy’s style is similar to that of Crucial Star. His flow is soft spoken and tender, and the music and beats he tends to rap over are feel-good with melodies at the hook that are easy to sing along to. Which, in theory, completely clashes with the notion that Swings consistently features on most of his songs, starting with his debut single You Don’t Look Good To Me. And yet, Swings puts the yang in Giriboy’s yin. Swings generally kicks back and delivers a slower paced rap, never diminishing Giriboy’s style. In last year’s Camp, both artists contrasted swag with emotion seemingly effortlessly.

The thick rimmed glasses wearing rapper’s discography includes Fatal Album and Sensual Album, while his latest solo release is Evil Cut. As is accustomed by rappers, many other of his acclaimed peers have collaborated on songs for his albums, such as You’re a Chemical with Beenzino and 계획적인 여자 with Zico.

Last year, critics speculated that his distinct style might have been the reason why he didn’t perform as well as the other contestants on Show Me the Money 3. But even if he didn’t survive long among traditional rap heavyweights, he quickly won Tablo as a fan, who was eager to work with him, but Giriboy ultimately chose YDG’s team and the Epik High leader often sulked about it. Moreover, upon his increasing popularity, the mainstream rapidly jumped on his mellow flow. Some of his K-pop collaborations include Anticipation Note with NS Yoon-G and Arm Pillow with SISTAR’s Soyu and NO.MERCY trainee Kihyun, and this is only the beginning.

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Giriboy’s voice and flow are a great alternative to the traditional hard, jumpy, EDM infused hip hop that’s so hot right now. His assertiveness lies in his lyrics, proving that you don’t have to spit aggressively to be a valid rapper.

giriboy profile about korean rapper

via huckleberryb @ Tumblr

Do you like Giriboy? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

Artist Spotlight: DaeNamHyup

Nowadays, it’s not just K-pop that benefits from the Hallyu craze. Korean hip hop has been on the rise for the last two years, with more and more rappers achieving international fame and recognition, like Beenzino, Dok2, and Simon D. After years of struggle, Korean hip hop is rapidly finding and cementing its way to the mainstream. And while there are big names out in the game killing it, you can’t forget where they came from or the one’s who are still underground. Hell, some of our favorite idol rappers started out in the underground in crews.

Such is the case of DaeNamHyp, short for “great southern joseon [Korea’s last dynasty] hip hop cooperative,” a Korean hip hop crew comprised of rappers and producers Marvel J, i11evn, DJ Snatch, Supreme Boi, Kyum2, Samsoon, ILLIPS, Iron (아이언), Kidoh, and Rap Monster. Yes, you didn’t read that wrong. BTS’ Rap Monster and ToppDogg’s Kidoh are still part of the collective, even though they currently focus on their idol groups. Marvel J is the crew’s leader, and their ages range from 28 to 21-years-old, with several ‘94 liner members. They have been active since 2009.

DaeNamHyup profile

via rapmon-dongsaeng @ Tumblr

DaeNamHyp, or DNH, as a group, is not signed to any label and release their music the old fashioned way, through mixtapes. Their latest release 제 1차 회동 (First Meeting) features all of the members with the exception of Rap Monster (who was really busy last year with BTS) either rapping or producing. Their sound draws influence from Southern rap (the American South, of course) and krump. While their flows and rap styles vary, they all spit with a little aggression, dropping their verses hard. As opposed to the established rappers’ albums, 제 1차 회동 lacks overproduction, and its rawness and emphasis on the members’ rap is what gives the mixtape a fresh and authentic feeling.

Their rapping styles are best represented on the tracks where they show their clique love, DNH Cypher and Crew Love. As for sound, Do It and Uranus show the range of talent DaeNamHyp has, going from the hard hitting beats to the mellow, easy-going raps, but killing it either way.

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However, hip hop crews are not like idol groups who are always together. It’s more of a group of friends who share the same interests that sometimes release group material, but also pursue solo work. While Rap Mon and Kidoh are the only members currently in idol groups, Supreme Boi is a producer for Big Hit Entertainment and has worked with BTS before. He recently dropped the fresh and feel-good track Hawaii under Big Hit.

Iron, for his part, came in second place on the competition TV program Show Me The Money 3 and recently delivered a rap verse for SHINee’s Jonghyun’s first solo project Crazy. He previously released his first mixtape Ixtape, and has featured on other artists tracks, such as Hyorin X Jooyoung’s Erase. Iron has a deep, hoarse voice that is reminiscent of BIGBANG’s T.O.P, but his spit and demeanor are far more aggressive than the BIGBANG member’s raps. Moreover, Iron was once part of the original BTS lineup, but is now signed with Polaris Entertainment and is slated to debut in a group called HIVE.


Marvel J and i11evn are not as active as the previous members with their solo work, but do upload tracks to their soundcloud pages. i11evn is signed to Factory Boi Records and recently collaborated with Supreme Boi on Kidoh’s So Busy at 1 o’Clock off of his solo mini album Small Album.

As mentioned before, Kidoh is part of ToppDogg, but missed out on a group promotional cycle in order to release his solo mini album Small Album last year. This release was different from what was previously seen by him under ToppDogg or DNH since he sang more than rapped. The title song, Taxi on the Phone, is a jazzy, piano and electric guitar lead song. His fellow ToppDogg member Sangdo featured on the track, but Kidoh kept DNH love flowing by having Iron appear in the music video playing a drunk. Moreover, So Busy at 1 o’Clock, with Supreme Boi and i11evn, sounds more like DNH material, being the only traditional hip hop track on the album.


Rap Monster, as A.R.M.Y. (BTS’ fanclub) knows well, uploads solo tracks to BTS’ soundcloud now and then. His verses on these tracks show a less restrained Rap Monster, spitting about topics he wouldn’t on his idol albums.

Samsoon and ILLIPS, for their part, are said to be currently inactive in DNH activities and haven’t released any solo work lately. Kyum2 is currently in the army and has released solo songs, but requested that fans wouldn’t upload them to any platform. Lastly, DJ Snatch is still grinding, uploading pictures to his Instagram in support of Supreme Boi’s recent showcase and a video with Kidoh in a studio, which suggest he’s still working with his DNH members. He is also expected to debut with HIVE.

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DaeNamHyup’s released their latest mixtape early last year and had a showcase in March. They also held a concert with Royal Cla$$ in the summer, attended by Kidoh but not Rap Monster. And in order to bring 2014 to a close, Iron, i11evn, Kidoh, Supreme Boi, Marvel J, and DJ Snatch performed at Speakshow with other rappers like Crucial Star, GEEKS, and Giriboy.

Even if some of the DNH members are in idol groups and others are pursuing their own solo careers, the boys always support one another by holding showcases together or featuring on each other’s work. All of the members are still in their 20’s, which, contrary to K-pop idols, means they’re just getting started. Whether it’s as DaeNamHyup or as solo acts, the crew are on their way to slay the Korean rap game.

DaeNamHyup profile dnh

via dementho @ Tumblr

What’s your favorite DaeNamHyup song? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

5 Reasons to Attend Beenzino’s “Up All Night” Party in LA

After tearing it up at the Asian Music Festival in May, Beenzino is back in LA for his Up All Night album release party. The rapper has been making his rounds in Korean clubs promoting his latest record by the same name and now he’ll bring the party to U.S. soil.

Beenzino is one of the hottest rappers in the game right now, even collaborating with big names in K-Pop like Epik High and HA:TFELT. And since Korean rap is on the rise and might be the next big thing from Korea, it’s understandable that he’s performing in major U.S. cities like NYC and LA.

But if you’re not so well acquainted with Beenzino or are not really sure if you should attend the show, here’s a quick persuading list that might sway you into going. Truth is, there are many more reasons why the Up All Night party will be dope, but these are the highlights.

1. Music

Beenzino has made his mark in the Korean hip hop scene by professing his love for art and fashion through his lyrics. He raps about his art influences, fashion preferences, and, of course, girls and relationships. Because of this, his music has been well-received and seen as relatable by fans. All of this is embodied on his track Dali, Van, Picasso, his manifesto as an artist.

2. He Puts On a Hell of a Party

K-Pop shows are fun. You dance around, you wave your lightstick, you somewhat sing, but it’s still a concert. The Up All Night Release Party is, well, a party. The venue is a club where Beenzino will perform some of his songs from his latest album Up All Night. This will be a night to party, and dance, and sing, and grind, and drink, and have some adult fun. Here’s a video from the same party held in Busan on October so you can see what you’re in for.

beenzino los angeles gif

via jazzyfact @ Tumblr

Also on KultScene: Artist Spotlight: Beenzino

3. No Kids

Speaking of adult fun, the event is 18+ to party, 21+ to drink. Sorry kiddos, this is not the place for you. If you’ve ever been to a K-Pop show being over 18 yourself, you will have noticed the herds of teenagers, thus making you feel a little odd being there. This show however will have none of that. You’ll be able to turn up without someone complaining they can’t see their oppa. Or at least we hope so…

beenzino in la up all night gif

via drunkenanimal @ Tumblr

4. Small Venue

The fact that the event will be held at a club means that you’ll get the chance to see Beenzino in a small, more intimate and dynamic setting. It will feel as if you’re seeing an emerging artist or a regular hip hop show rather than an established artist who’s already famous. Furthermore, because of the size of the event and venue, hopeful attendees who purchase the different VIP tickets will get a chance to meet and greet Beenzino and even attend the sound check prior to the show.

beenzino la up all night

via xlinahx @ Tumblr

5. He’s Hot

Not to objectify him and say that him being crazy attractive is the reason to go watch his show, but it’s definitely a contributing factor. The way he carries himself onstage with full confidence and that little smug smirk give him a strong stage presence which make his performances great. Moreover, there’s just something very hot about a guy being fashion conscious and dressing stylish, which Beenzino has down, obviously. Check out the promo video for his LA and NYC shows looking hot and fly as hell:

Also on KultScene: Playlist Sunday: Korean Rap Edition

Beenzino’s Up All Night party presented by KTOWN Night Market in L.A. will be held at 333 Live on December 6th. Tickets start at $40 for general admission. The New York City show will he held a day prior at Stage48 (this event is 21+). For more info, go here.

beenzino la up all night gif

via thetakeone @ Tumblr

Are you going to Beenzino’s show? Because we’re going! Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

[Picture by Cheonbong Ko for Freshness]