Artist of the week – MC Mong
Real name: Shin Dong-Hyun
Date of birth: 4th September 1979
Height: 180 cm
Blood type: B
Hobbies: Snowboarding, playing computer games, listening to music, reading comics, water-skiing
Education: Baemyung High School & Dong-A Broadcasting University
Debut: 1998 ~ Hiphop Nation (Hip-hop dance video)
1999 ~ Joined People Crew
2004 ~ Solo debut “180 Degree”
This week’s featured artist is MC Mong, the king of mainstream hip-hop in Korea. Though he debuted in 1998 with the group People Crew, he started gaining acknowledgment when he acted in the MBC comedy show “Non-Stop 4.” He made his debut as a solo artist in 2004 and has been enjoying massive popularity ever since, thanks to his fun-loving, comedic style.
MC Mong has found success in music, TV (Non-Stop 4, Sad Love Song, The Great Catsby) and film (Riverbank Legends, Myodo Wild Flower) and has become a household name. He has collaborated with big names like Lisa, Park Hyo-Shin, Ivy, Kim Tae-Woo, and MayBee. With his success in “Non-Stop 4”, MC Mong released his first solo album in the Spring of 2004, and his pop oriented hip-hop songs (which he called “neo hip-hop”) quickly gained mainstream popularity.
The title song “180 degrees” made it to the top 3 on the chart in just a few weeks of release. The follow up song “A Man Like That” also hit the top 10. But most people might remember this album for the song “A Letter Written To You” (featuring Lyn). Even though this song was not officially released as a single, it appeared many times on Non-Stop 4. MC Mong and Lyn even performed this song on gayo shows a few times. At that time, the song was probably the first k-pop exposure for a hip-hop mixed ballad.
Early 2005, MC Mong returned to acting and participated in a mega-produced TV series “Sad Love Song”. Sadly, the rating of this TV series was very low. Later that year, MC Mong released his 2nd album titled “His Story”. The title song “Invincible” again hit as high as No. 2 in the music chart. But the follow up song “I Love U, Oh Thank U” (featuring G.O.D.’s Kim Tae Woo) finally became MC Mong’s first No. 1 song.
Like “A Letter Written To You”, MC Mong proved to us again that hip-hop and ballad can harmonize well together. It is not often in k-pop that a follow up song is more popular than the title song. “I Love U, Oh Thank U” did just that, and was one of the most popular songs in all of k-pop in 2005. As a result, MC Mong was named top 10 artists on many award ceremonies in 2005.
In October 2006, MC Mong released his long awaited 3rd album. The title song “Ice-Cream” has a very catchy melody. In this song, MC Mong has increased his singing part as well. The song hit No. 2 on our chart. This album featured a lot of well known artists like Park Hyo Shin, Maybee, Ivy, and also Lisa of the Japanese group M-FLO sang the song “A Letter Written To You Part 2”.
For 2008, he released his 4th album. This time around, he wrote, composed, arranged, and produced all the tracks in the album. His album is not complete without guest singers, as he worked with famous female singer such Yangpa, Big Mama, and R&B diva Park Jung Hyun for this album. Title song “Circus” became another No. 1 song for MC Mong. He was named “Top Male Artist” on our year end soompi gayo award.
This year there is so much happening for MC Mong. He released his fifth album. With a new concept and image, he produced this album by himself and went straight up the chart. The title track, “Indian Boy,” featured his good friend Jang Geun Ee and a young talented rapper that he discovered, B.I. As usual, he invited talented singers to be featured in his album and this time it is all male stars such as SG Wannabe, MAC and Jo Sung Mo.
For all his 5 solo albums, MC Mong has released 5 singles so far, and all 5 songs are chart topping hits. Also, his album sales are better with each new album released. MC Mong is largely responsible of bringing mainstream hip-hop to today’s popularity. Many rappers had debuted after his success, but still none has the impact as much as MC Mong. He is definitely a man to look out the k-pop scene for years to come.
* 180 Degree (1st album, 2004-04-23): Intro, Ah-Oop, 180°, Because I’m A Man, My Memory in 1995, Food, 20021222, Dream Telegraph, Oh My Boy, A Letter To You, Love Is, Thank U, Because I’m A Man (Acoustic Version)
* His Story (2nd album, 2005-05-13): Intro, Youth, Life in Duodecimal Notation, Drama, Invincible, Skit, Mong’s Party, My Bro, Skit, Eraser, I Love U Oh Thank u, 1st Love, On The Radio, Right Side Left Side, Jonathan, Home Run, Outro
* The Way I Am (3rd album, 2006-9-25): News, Ice Cream, A Letter To You (Part 2), The Winner, Prayer (Feat. Park Hyo-Shin), Life’s Discovery, Huckleberry Mong’s Adventure, Poison, Mute, The Way I Am (Feat. MayBee, Gil (Lee Ssang)), Lost In Music, Unfinished Movie (Feat. Ivy), Secret, Beautiful Day, Life’s Rediscovery
Purchase this album
* Humaniman (Vol. 5, 2009-07-23) :
Source from : KBS World + Melon/YahooKR + YesAsia/Youtube
Thanks to : edward1849