In South Korea, Korean hip-hop music is often called “Gookhip” (국힙), which is the compound of Hangook (meaning Korea’s) and hip-hop’s “Hip”. Gookhip is the most popular subgenre in the South Korean music industry. Many Korean teenagers want the success as rap stars. There is even a long-running hip-hop competition TV series called “Show Me The Money” and private lessons teaching how to rap. But there is also criticism about this trend, as current hip-hop boom focuses only on success and swag instead of musical achievement.
In this hollow golden era of South Korean hip-hop, Bulssazo released an album named “Han(Gookhip)hop” (한(국힙)합), or “(Kor)ean (Hip)hop”. Although their music is far from hip-hop – in fact, they’re a post-rock / garage punk band – Bulssazo materialize the so-called “hip-hop spirit” with noisy guitars, skate punk-influenced melodies and solemn samplings derived from 1990s documentary about early Korean hip-hop scene. “Hip-hop is underground music… It’s not hip-hop if you’re concerned with other people”, serious voice with Tangerine Dream-ish synth says. Boom, that’s real hip-hop.
It is regrettable that you can only listen to this album with cassette tapes, and there’s no way to get the digital copy of the album except three songs on their Youtube channel: “(It’s Bigger Than) Hip Hop”, “Why Hip Hop Still Sucks in ‘16”. “18 ½ (for Skateboarding)”. But that can’t reduce the value of this humorous and danceable “Korean hip hop masterpiece” (Bulssazo said it). The fourth album by the most amusing post-rock band in South Korea proves that they don’t lose their sense of mixing humor and great music.
♪♫ Listen: “Why Hip Hop Still Sucks in ’16”