7 Must-Listen K-Pop/Hip-Hop Collaborations from 2014

If someone told me in 2010 that big names of Korean underground hip-hop would collaborating with chart-topping idols by 2014, I would’ve told them to take their jokes elsewhere. K-pop and real hip-hop? Collaborating like it’s no big deal? Please.

But that’s exactly what happened.

In 2014, we had breakthroughs by artists from season three of “Show Me the Money,” followed by another hugely popular season of the Mnet hip-hop competition, as well as a series of chart-toppers coming out of Starship X, the newly established hip-hop label of Starship Entertainment. Not to mention numerous other talents that teamed up for unexpected but loved collaboration tracks. 2014 was the year of hip-hop (and sexy girl groups).

Here’s a look back at some of 2014’s best collaborations between hip-hop artists and K-pop stars. Some of them you’ve probably heard already, but we hope you’ll also discover new gems to add to your playlist.

You can’t really go wrong with anything by Ailee and Swings. Smooth yet snappy rap verses, a catchy chorus, and lyrics that touch on the cookie-cutter social ideals imposed on young Korean women. And who knew that Ailee could rap?

Established rappers Vasco and Giriboy, who you might also remember from “Show Me the Money 3,” teamed up with up-and-coming soloist Shannon for this beautiful pop ballad. It’s emotional, but still packs a punch with its passionate rap and Shannon’s high notes.

Crucial Star is known for pairing up cutesy female vocals with his distinctive trendy sound (if you listen to the song, you’ll know what I mean). For his latest hit, he recruited the help of Girl’s Day member Sojin, who proves her versatility through this unique number.

Park Jae Jung is actually the winner of “Superstar K 5.” It’s unfortunate that he was overshadowed by the fact that his season was such a lackluster, because his debut track is incredibly catchy! And Beenzino‘s rap verse is very much on point, as expected.

There’s something extremely attractive about the combination of J’Kyun‘s flirty rap style and Navi‘s crystal clear vocals. Imagine listening to this on a sunny winter day with clear skies and snowy streets. An ideal soundtrack, right?

I have no idea how this collaboration came to be, but I’m certainly not complaining. Huh Gak‘s heart-wrenching vocals and Simon D‘s deep voice are a perfect match for this stunning break up song.

This might as well be called the unofficial (or official?) summer anthem of 2014. It’s cute and catchy, easy to sing along to, and somehow you just don’t get fed up with it – no matter how many times you put it on replay. Just a perfect feel good song!