In the past, idol rappers truly had a bad rap (pun intended). And although there is room for criticism, the stigma against idol rappers is, for the most part, unjustified. The quality of idol rappers has been steadily rising over the past few years, coinciding with the growth of the K-hip hop genre. So as a tribute to some of the best idol rappers in the game, I present 10 lit songs released by idol rappers.
Note: The rappers included are only those who are active as idols. K-hip hop artists, who are not idols, have been wholly excluded from this article.
1. Mino – “Okey Dokey” (Feat. Zico)
Known as both the main rapper of WINNER and runner-up of “Show Me The Money 4,” Song Mino is no stranger to the Korean rap scene. Having had numerous successful solo releases from SMTM, his most memorable performance is without a doubt “Okey Dokey.” If this song isn’t stuck in your head the entire day, then you’re doing something wrong.
2. Agust D – “Agust D”
Under the alias Agust D, Suga of BTS released his long-awaited mixtape in 2016, and he did not disappoint. Following the success of Rap Monster’s mixtape, Suga’s skills only further established BTS as a force to be reckoned with in the realm of Korean rappers. The self-titled song “Agust D” is a power anthem that asserts Suga’s rapping ability and serves as a way to call out his haters.
3. HyunA – “Roll Deep” (Feat. Ilhoon)
For many years now, HyunA has been known as an all-around entertainer. She can sing, dance, rap, and has charisma for days. With fellow rapper and label mate Ilhoon of BTOB by her side, HyunA showcases her unique rap style in the catchy song “Roll Deep.”
4. Ravi – “Bomb” (Feat. San E)
After having spent several years as VIXX’s rapper, Ravi finally released a solo of his own early in 2017. His unique style of rapping may not be to everyone’s taste, but the individuality of the song is what makes it a good listen. The beat is intense from start to finish, giving “Bomb” the hard-hitting feel the title suggests.
5. G-Dragon x Taeyang – “Good Boy”
If you don’t already know this song, please take a few minutes to listen to it. Of the countless BIGBANG solos, this has to be one of my personal favorites. GD’s rapping is always on point, and Taeyang’s vocals do well to back him up. As one of the long-standing, respected idol rappers, G-Dragon is a must-listen for any fan of Korean rap.
6. Yezi – “Cider”
Hailing from girl group FIESTAR, Yezi was a competitor on “Unpretty Rapstar 2.” Her fierce style of rap is what really draws you in, and the sick beat is what makes you keep listening. In an industry where female rappers are unfortunately sparse in comparison to males, Yezi is really a breath of fresh air.
7. Zico – “Bermuda Triangle” (Feat. Crush and Dean)
In this epic collaboration, Zico joined forces with Dean and Crush to create the ultimate powerhouse trio. Having already made a name for himself as a solo artist, Zico’s influence as both an idol and a rapper is, needless to say, huge. With Crush and Dean by his side, the quality of his music has improved exponentially.
7. Jooheon x Mad Clown – “Get Low”
As any fan of MONSTA X would know, Jooheon can really spit some fire when the occasion requires it. Together with rapper Mad Clown, Jooheon shows his stuff in the electronic-inspired track “Get Low.” The two rappers’ styles blend quite well together, as they both have similar tones and styles.
8. Bobby and B.I – “Anthem”
As members of YG’s “idol hiphop group,” you’d expect that these two would know a thing or two about rap. And you’d be absolutely right, because this song is audible proof of their rapping expertise. With Bobby as winner of “Show Me The Money 3” and B.I as the leader of iKON, you have a winning combination of young, talented rappers.
9. Jimin N J.Don – “GOD”
Having shown her skills on “Unpretty Rapstar,” AOA’s Jimin had the chance to release a solo track called “GOD.” Performing alongside labelmate and N.Flying leader J.Don, Jimin shows that she is small but fierce. Her distinct voice is her signature, and it contrasts well with J.Don’s deep and steady tone.
10. CL – “Hello Bitches”
Throughout 2NE1’s career, CL was never one to shy away from a badass concept, and “Hello Bitches” is no exception. As she dances with her crew, CL oozes confidence in a way that only she can. Fluidly mixing English and Korean lyrics, “Hello Bitches” truly captures the essence of CL and what she can do.
Which of these songs was your favorite? Which rappers do you think are missing from this list? Leave your response in the comments below!
jadicus35 is a ordinary college student by day, and a not-so-closet fangirl by night. She spends her time on Tumblr when she’s not (but really should be) studying and/or pretending to be a functional human being.