Lookin’ Back: 1999 – DaeHanMinGuk (대한민국) MCMXCIX

Anyone who is a fan of K-HipHop should know about this album. It was the highly influental debut of a series that would launch hip-hop as a legitimate genre/culture in Korea for the first time. As the culture and music rose to the forefront of the public eye, the DaeHanMinGuk series of hip-hop compilation albums launched and showcased many acts still in the industry today.

This first album alone featured Drunken Tiger, Team, X-Teen, Honey Family, LeeSsang, Uptown, Diva, Kim Jin Pyo, Thanos, IIMC, Bobby Kim and more…

Almost anyone who is anyone in the k-hiphop business was somehow involved with this series. Although it would fizzle out after a few years, this series helped propel the genre to new heights and encouraged a new movement.

I recommend you DL this album. It’s nearly impossible to find now and is a must-have. (Click the cover to DL)

Historical Context:
9 years ago Korea was going through a lot of change. Reeling from a huge asian economic breakdown that took place just a couple of years earlier, the effects were widespread and the ramifications huge.

Yet as the economy fell, Korea began to see an explosion in the Hip-Hop scene as it went from very small and underground to full-blow trend and mainstream (over) exposure. Suddenly out of nowhere, group after group of rappers were releasing albums in an industry that until that point was dominated by primarily pop dance music and sappy drama ballads. While rap was in nearly every upbeat song, there were hardly any “purely hip-hop” rap songs out there. Up until this point there was very little rap music, merely songs with a rap verse in them.

This drastic change would only list for a few years as hip-hop saw a renaissance. While the surge in popularity was short-lived, the era helped establish the genre as a mainstay in korean music. In a related story, Korea would go on to compete and win high profile global break dancing competitions. The late 90’s boom in hip-hop in Korea is similar to the 80’s birth of hip-hop here in the states.


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