This month, we’ve counted down our favorite Korean rappers on the path toward number one.
Stealing the very top spot and topping off our list is…
Oh, Min Yoongi.
You know how when you see something really adorable it makes you angry? You legit, like, want to shake the cute thing in a fit of cute rage?
That’s how I feel about Yoongi, except instead of throwing chairs across the room because he’s adorable (although he is), I get what I can only call hype rage.
When he starts going, he is SO GOOD that I want to throw a filing cabinet through sixth floor office window.
Just like this.
That probably sounds weird, but its hard to describe how else I feel when I listen to Yoongi rap. It literally gives me a physical reaction. The very first time I heard him, I knew that I would never, ever hear another rapper as good as he was come out of Korea. Never.
And I was right. Yoongi is bursting with technical skill, spitting bars as quickly as nearly 10 syllables per second and doing so with more personality and expression in one millisecond than I, as a sad millennial, will literally ever exude in my entire life.
His style is unparalleled, and–I mean no shade to other K-rappers, as clearly I have deep love and respect for many of them, if you’ve been following this series–but ever since Yoongi stepped on the scene, the Korean idol rap scene changed, and it really seemed like everyone wanted to sound like Yoongi in terms of style.
WHICH ISN’T A BAD THING! Please don’t come for me! Artists from all over the world take inspo from other artists! And what I think they took from Yoongi was that very expressiveness.
When he came on cackling and yelling and squeaking and spitting like he does on every track, serious idol rappers started doing the same.
A lifetime spent passionate over hip hop and being born with so much natural talent made Yoongi a rapper that could usher in a brand new style to the industry, and he did so well.
His expressiveness doesn’t only come in his wild delivery when he really gets into it–it also translates in a quiet, introspective way such as in First Love and So Far Away. It’s always appropriate to the song being sung, and every word he speaks is equally as intense, whether it’s in-your-face or turned inward. You feel that shit.
Yoongi’s good at keeping tabs on the emotional aspect of hip hop while also messing around with rhyme and rhythm and wordplay. As I’ve mentioned before, that can be something of a task for any serious rapper who does so in Korean.
So, the entirety of Daechwita is just a big fucking flex, wherein he even told fans not to worry about what the lyrics of the song are and to instead just feel the vibe.
It’s pretty remarkable that, even knowing how hard that can be to accomplish, he tells the audience to listen to and enjoy the sounds and the rhymes above all else. To enjoy how it sounds.
And how it sounds is INCREDIBLE. It’s like the fucking Bohemian Rhapsody of Korean rap. It sounds like a dozen songs in one.
Really, it sounds like eight different personalities step into the ring to take over every 16 bars or so with how frequently he changes it up.
Follow me here.
It starts out with the traditional Korean vocals and instrumentation in the beginning, showing him to be a producer as thoughtful and inventive and talented as he is a rapper. Immediately he’s in your face in classic, passionate, aggro-Suga style, and by the :47 timestamp he’s jumped down into that almost laughing-style he’s known for.
At 1:01, he slows up his rhythm and clears his voice up a bit before breaking the beat in half with syncopated spitting that hops all over the damn place like rain hitting a tin roof and bouncing off, all to collect in a neat little pool where all of the above styles come together for the seamless chorus.
At timestamp 2:14, he’s on the first half of the second verse showing off his articulation, making every single syllable punctuative and on point in contrast to the first half of the first verse, each consonant crystal clear. At the same time, he’s building it up, starting to show off his speed to really show you he knows what he’s doing.
The best part of the song arrives at 2:40 where he speeds it up EVEN MORE but drops his volume down way low, sounding almost like a hush without his words ever sounding jumbled and hard to understand.
Y’all understand how hard that is to do?
He carries the rest of the song out in that classic Yoongi style you’ll find in most BTS’ tracks, complete with his iconic tone, his impassioned breaths and yells, bringing it all home.
The entire track is hard-hitting and vocally over the top. It is absolutely wild. It is BURSTING with technical skill at literally every single possible point, showing you the full, incredible spectrum of what he can do like he’s checking off a list of all the things that makes a rapper good and showing you how it’s done.
And that is Min Yoongi for you, neatly wrapped up into one track.
At the 1:21 timestamp in his title song Agust D (which sadly isn’t available on Spotify, so I can’t just put it on the playlist), his talent will speak for itself in just *one* display of technical skill–his remarkable speed–or his tongue technology, as he calls it.
And none of that is even taking into account his lyrics. Yoongi gets real with them, not skirting around issues of depression and anxiety. He’s just got it all. All of it.
For every single thing that makes him stand out on top, Yoongi is number one on our list of favorite rappers.
We’re starting another project for March tomorrow–favorite male vocalists–so check back to see who kicks that off. In the meantime, here’s a quick list of some of my favorite Yoongi verses. Pretend that the Agust D track above is on there, lol.
ab6ix astro ATEEZ baekhyun blackpink bts chung ha cix cravity dreamcatcher DRIPPIN exo gidle golden child got7 hoppipolla ikon itzy iu Kang Daniel mamamoo MCND mirae MONSTA x nct Oh My Girl Oneus ONF OnlyOneOf Pentagon PIXY Purple Kiss Red Velvet Seventeen SHINEE stray kids Super Junior T1419 Twice TXT Up10TION Verivery Victon WEi WJSN