Every day until the end of February, we’ll highlight one of our favorite Korean rappers on a countdown to #1.
Bringing us into the final stretch at #3 is my honey, my sugar, my baby…
… NCT’s Mark Lee.
MARK. LEE. Look at him. Just look.
I’m not really even sure where to start or if I even should, lest I just turn this into a post about how I have run out of room in my heart for how much I love Mark Lee. But I feel like I have to at least mention it because that is part of the reason he is one of my favorite rappers.
But while I do, since I can’t write 500 words of pure-soft stan shit, I’m gonna overwhelm you with Mark Lee gifs. Because you deserve Mark Lee face. We all deserve Mark Lee face.
So before I talk about any feelsy things, let me try and be a little objective: I speak a lot about expressiveness and I go on and on about clarity and articulation when deciding who my favorites are, and Mark Lee hits all of those.
He checks every box on the matrix, so to speak, of what I consider an excellent rapper. He’s not the fastest rapper but I don’t think that means he couldn’t if pressed; it just isn’t really his style of delivery.
Guess what? More gif time.
He has a decidedly Western style that I dig, one likely influenced by his hemisphere of origin. That style does a good job at adding some ~normalcy to all of that experimental style that characterizes NCT’s works.
With so much wild shit happening in every NCT song, something familiar and even like Mark Lee’s flow or Taeil’s classic vocals are what help to keep it grounded instead of some chaotic mess.
That doesn’t mean it’s predictable and boring, though. Quite the opposite.
His personality is so huge that it seeps into his voice even when he’s being Serious and Sexy Professional Mark…
… like so, instead of laying down cringey verses in shoe shops and LA street fairs.
What Mark Lee has is a one of a kind personality that shines through in every syllable, coloring all of that technical skill with something truly one of a kind flair.
If it wasn’t his cheesy smile…
…or his iconic Mark-isms…
…or his dorky, vibrant laugh…
or his awkward mannerisms, it would be all of that skill that drew me in and made Mark Lee not just my NCT bias but one of the contenders for my ults.
[ pictured: me with mark in my headphones]
He just makes me feel good, fuzzy feelings, y’all. The world just seems okay when I hear his voice with so few things being any good these days.
Like literally. Watch this and tell me you don’t feel Just Slightly Better about the state of our world not just because he’s in this song but because he is being so VERY Mark Lee while doing so.
For all of the flavor that Mark Lee adds to NCT and SuperM songs and for all of the light he brings to my life, he’s made it to #3 on my list of favorite rappers.
Check out some Mark Lee grooves below and come back tomorrow for #2.