Although they become idols, they still exude the charisma of real rappers.
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Around the late 80s and early 90s, Hip-hop began to grow very strongly in Korea and became extremely popular until now. Hip-hop is an indispensable part of Korean music culture, followed by the birth of many Idol Rappers when K-pop idol group culture also goes up.
There have been adventurous rappers who have temporarily abandoned underground to become an idol rapper, where they are not free to express 100% of their personality and have to temporarily give up dramatic battles that show their personal. They must focus on public service but not so that their background is taken lightly. When needed, surely all these idol rappers are willing to leave behind the built-in idol image and handle personal affairs by a rap battle. Because of each activity and being rubbed with famous underground rappers, even though they become idols, they still exude the charisma of real rappers.
Here is a list of some idol rappers who coming from the underground.
TOP - BIGBANG (debut 2006)
TOP has debuted to become an idol for 14 years. He is active and has many achievements in both film and fashion but few people know that TOP is actually a free rapper from the underground. Before becoming a rapper of YG and BIGBANG, TOP was active in the underground world under the stage name T.E.M.P.O when he was a high school student and also built some fame during this time. He once became the winner on 'KBS Radio's Rap Battle'.
TOP's underground quality was not lost, his solo song 'Doom Dada' clearly showed TOP's personal thinking like a real rapper.
ZICO - BLOCK B (debut 2011)
It can be said that Zico is a famous name in the underground world. He is one of the few idol rappers recognized and praised by the veteran rappers in the profession. With the ultimate freestyle rap and breathing control techniques, Zico has made his own style. Not only a talented rapper, but leader Block B is also a producer with many songs that have taken high positions in digital music charts in Korea. Any group when releasing a new song must be wary of the "digital monster" Zico. He is the last solo artist to hit the top of MelOn, also the solo artist with the record for the song with the most PAK hours ('Any song').
Before joining the military, Zico built his career very successfully as both an idol rapper and an underground rapper. It can be said that Zico is one of the most successful solo artists of K-pop.
P.O - BLOCK B (debut 2012)
With the experience had since participating in underground activities, P.O quickly integrated with K-pop and became one of the prominent faces of his group. P.O also builds an idol image very well when appearing in several fashion projects, variety shows, and dramas.
MINHYUK - BTOB (debut 2012)
Minhyuk looks very gentle, but few people know that Minhyuk also had a booming underground period.
During high school, Minhyuk was active as an underground rapper under the stage name HUTA. Despite his young age, he rapped and composed many songs such as "Delete", "The Game of Love", "Still" (feat Zico & Kyung), "I'm OK" (feat Postmen), ...
Currently, Minhyuk is one of the main composers of BTOB. He recently appeared with Eunkwang, Changsub, and Peniel in the sub-unit BTOB4U.
BANG YONG GUK - B.A.P (debut 2012)
The leader of B.A.P used to work underground under the stage name Jepp Blackman. Before joining TS, he worked with a group called Soul Connection. He takes on the role of songwriter and main rapper. During this time, the male idol released a single titled "Cherry Flower".
Yong Guk debuted in 2012 as the leader and the main rapper of B.A.P. Yong Guk is also the main composer of the group. Currently, Yong Guk is one of the idols with the most music compositions registered by KOMCA with 127 songs.
LE - EXID (debut 2012)
LE is one of the few K-pop female idols who started from the underground world. She is the only female member of the underground rap group Jiggy Fellaz. She used to work in the underground world with the stage name Elly, so when she debuted under the group EXID, the female idol still retained her own personality as an under-rapper with a distinctive rap voice. Not only has a rapping talent, but LE is also known as a co-producer of a series of popular K-pop hits. Some of LE's typical compositions include 'Trouble Maker' - Trouble Maker unit, 'French Kiss' - HyunA, ...
RAP MONSTER/ RM - BTS (debut 2013)
RM used to work in the underground world under the stage name Runch Randa. He released a number of songs and collaborated with other underground rappers, including Zico. Despite being a new-generation underground rapper, RM possesses the ability to rap at a fast pace while still adjusting each lyric to the rhythm. He once joined the Daenamhyup group but failed to achieve success, until he joined Big Hit Entertainment and became a member of BTS that RM's talent was known and recognized by the public.
Suga - BTS (debut 2013)
Before joining Big Hit, Suga was an underground producer and rapper in Korea under the stage name Gloss. With his professional rapping skills, he has built a name for himself when he was a high school student. Suga joined a group called D-TOWN, one of his successful compositions at that time was "Who Am I" (Reflow).
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MINO - WINNER (debut 2014)
When working in the underground world, Mino was known as the Hugeboy Mino. It was not until he became a trainee of YG Entertainment and participated in "Show Me The Money 4" that his talent was known and recognized by many people.
Mino is the runner-up of Show Me The Money season 4. Mino also received respect from the underground profession. Producer Code Kunst (AOMG) once said that with Mino's talent, being an idol is quite "wasteful" because Mino can do more than that. Of course, as an idol, Mino has achieved a lot of success with his group WINNER and as a solo artist. Not only with music, but also in other fields such as fashion, variety show, and painting, he all has very special achievements.