Artist Spotlight: i11evn

The artist this time is…

i11evn korean rapper 3

i11evn

i11evn started rapping at a later stage in life than others, discovering his abilities while in the military at about 21-years-old. He’s self-proclaimed “picky” about his tracks, and it appears that while he wants to rap, he doesn’t want the restrictions that can come with being labeled as something and seems to dislike being tied down to a label.

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Artist of the Week: Zico

Here is the Artist of the Week! Posted on Wednesdays as something to get you through the rest of the week~

This week’s artist is…

Zico

Zico, born September 14, 1992,  is the leader of Block B. His real name is Woo Jiho. In Japan they added “-co” to the end of Jiho… and that’s where his stage name came from.

You see, Zico lived in Japan for awhile, (as well as Canada and China). While he was there, he performed as an underground rapper with the name Nakseo, (which means “Scribble/Graffiti”), with Dope Squad and Undisputed. It lasted three years until he got together with Park Kyung – who was then known as Holke – and they created the duo Harmonics. Harmonics released a Korean single in 2009 called “The Letter”.

Cho PD, who created Block B, heard “The Letter” and recruited Zico, (along with Park Kyung), into his company, Brand New Stardom. It was then that Zico became known as Zico and he released a mixtape called “ZICO on the BLOCK”.

About a year after that, Block B debuted with Zico as the leader, since he had the most experience in the music scene.

In 2011, Zico became the first “idol” rapper to be nominated into the Korean “Hip Hop Playa Awards“. Voting ends Febuary 5th, 2012.

Interestingly, Zico has a real sibling in the Kpop scene. His older brother Taewoon was actually supposed to be a part of Block B, but he moved on to another company and debuted in the group Co-Ed instead at the suggestion of Block B creator, Cho PD.

Zico’s big brother, Taewoon.

Trivia:

  • There’s a rumor going around that Zico used to be a SM Entertainment trainee, but he himself said it wasn’t true. He did go through some screenings/auditions, but was never actually a true trainee.
  • He used to have dreadlocks even though he was an “idol” because he liked how it made him stand out from the crowd. However, he had problems such as lice and sores on his scalp, so he decided to get rid of them.

Videos/Music:

Artist of the Week: Tymee/E.via

Here is the Artist of the Week! Posted on Wednesdays as something to get you through the rest of the week~

This week’s artist is…

Tymee

She’s known as the fastest female rapper in Korea. She used to go by the names of Napper and E.via … and actually has a song with both her personas – Napper and E.via – performing together called “My 약” or “My Medicine”.

Because of conflict with her company over payment, (they claimed her overall earnings over 2 years were only about $2,500), she decided not to renew her contract with them. Since her company owns the name “E.via”, she was forced to choose another stage name, which is why she uses Tymee and Napper now.

Although she’s currently 25, she seems much younger… if you see her music videos, it’s pretty obvious that she likes the contrast between cute and sexy/BA. However, even though she likes to look cute, it doesn’t really reflect her music. You can’t even picture someone with that image rapping her music, but that’s one of the charms about it.

I consider Tymee an independent. She writes her own music and isn’t with any top companies. Even so, she isn’t underground and has had opportunities on the TV show Music Bank.

One of her most well-known songs is the controversial  “Oppa! na Haedodwae?” or “Oppa! Can I Do It?”… which has a double meaning. It can be about her asking to rap or asking about sex. It even has her moaning in the background of it, so it’s really not surprising that it was banned in Korea from being performed on TV.

She doesn’t really seem to be mainstream yet, but I’m not sure if it would be accurate to say she’s not well-known….

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