We bet you’re already familiar with male rappers in K-hip-hop such as G-Dragon, Loco, Dok2, Beenzino, The Quiett, or maybe the rappers from K-pop groups like BTS’s RM, iKON’s Bobby, WINNER’s Mino, ex-BAP’s Yong-guk, and so on. But what about female rappers in K-pop and K-hip-hop industry? They exist, too, and they’re awesome! In this article, Channel-Korea will provide you with a list of impressive female rappers for you to listen to, from the so called “idol rappers” to rappers in K-hip-hop, so stay tuned!
If we’re talking about K-pop girl-bands with an amazing rapper, 2NE1 will be the first one to pop into our head. That’s right, the first on our list is former 2NE1 member, our queen CL! Lee Chae-rin (born February 26, 1991) is a South Korean singer-songwriter and rapper, better recognized by her stage name, CL. Born in Seoul, South Korea, she spent a lot of her early life in Japan and France. CL trained at JYP Entertainment before entering YG Entertainment and was a member of the girl-group 2NE1 until it was disbanded in 2016. She lives and is based in Seoul. It’s been years since 2NE1 officially disbanded—we feel your pain, Blackjacks!—but CL’s rap in 2NE1’s I Am The Best will always be iconic!
As influence and inspiration, CL cites 1TYM leader Teddy Park, who has made a large amunt of 2NE1’s music, and also Madonna, Queen, and Lauryn Hill. It was announced in October, 2014, that CL planned to debut as a solo artist in the United States the following year, working with Scooter Braun as her manager. In May, 2015, together with Riff Raff and OG Maco, she featured in Diplo’s single Doctor Pepper. As a teaser for her upcoming EP, Lifted, CL published her first single, Hello Bitches, in November, 2015. On August 19, 2016, the lead single, Lifted, was released. Within three hours of its release, the song appeared in the Top 30 of iTunes’ Hip-Hop/Rap chart, peaking at #21. Time saw her as “K-pop’s future in America.”
Don’t forget to stream her latest single, Cut It Up, featuring PCKZ and Afrojack!
The second on our list is Yezi. You probably already know her as a rapper in the girl-group FIESTAR. Sadly, the group disbanded in 2018 after their latest comeback with the single Apple Pie in 2016. Let’s get to know her better! Lee Ye-ji (born August 26, 1994) is a South Korean rapper and singer, better known by her stage name, Yezi. Yezi was born and raised in Gangneung, Province of Gangwon. She was a student at Kang Won-rae Dance School and learned to dance from Clon. Yezi was a semi-finalist on Unpretty Rapstar 2, releasing several singles in 2015. On January 28, 2016, she released her debut solo maxi single, Foresight Dream.
Girl really know how to rap! Still dare to belittle Yezi as just an idol rapper? On July 7, 2016, Yezi also featured in a song called Shadow, alongside DIA’s Jung Chae-yeon on the soundtrack for Wanted (South Korean TV series). She released a single with singer Babylon, called Chase, on September 8. His version of Jazz was released on the same day at 12 midnight.
Yezi released her third single, Anck Su Namum, on May 24, 2017. This album marked her first credit as a producer since her debut for her own album, followed by her usual credits for composition and writing. Shinsadong Tiger is this album’s co-producer.
Go stream Anck Su Namun while waiting for her to drop a new song!
For the third on our list, we have our badass rapper Jessi, who is also known as Jessica H.O! Unlike the previous artists, Jessi is not a member of K-pop girl group. She started her career as a solo artist and released her debut single album, Get Up, in 2005. Following a five-year hiatus in 2014, Jessi returned with rapper J’Kyun and vocalist J-Yo as a member of the hip-hop group Lucky J. She gained popularity when she participated in the first season of Unpretty Rapstar — a spin-off of the program Show Me The Money — from January to March, 2015. For those who don’t know, Unpretty Rapstar is a female rapper survival program where contestants compete in a compilation album for the opportunity to be featured on tracks. Jessi was selected as the show’s second-place winner by public vote.
Let’s get to know Jessi better! Jessica Hyun-ju Ho (born December 17, 1988) is a Korean-American rapper, singer, and songwriter based in South Korea, better recognized by her stage name, Jessi. Born in New York, raised in New Jersey, she moved to South Korea at the age of 14. Together with Girls’ Generation members Tiffany and Jessica Jung, Jessi attended Korea Kent Foreign School. She passed an S.M.Entertainment audition, however, as she thought her attitude to music did not match their style, she decided not to become part of the label. She struggled to become accustomed to Korean culture before she went on a temporary hiatus from the music industry. After her debut, she found no immediate success, and sometimes she was forced to sleep in saunas when she didn’t have enough cash to remain. After announcing his company, P-Nation, PSY revealed his first artist, who was none other than Jessi. In an Instagram post, he uploaded a video where both parties made their official working relationship with Jessi who signed the contract and shared his joy.
A post shared by PSY (@42psy42) on Jan 24, 2019 at 12:53am PST Congrats for Jessi, hope she gains more success in her new label. Don’t forget to stream her latest single!
For the fifth on the list, we have the fierce leader and lead rapper of the girl-group (G)-IDLE, Jeon So-yeon! Did you know Soyeon was once asked why she wanted to become an idol, and she answered that, in fact, from first grade through third grade in elementary school, she learned ballet, but when she was in the third grade, Soyeon watched a BIGBANG concert and decided that instead of ballet, she had to become a singer. Soyeon then stopped learning ballet and began to pursue her dream of becoming a singer. We should thank BIGBANG for this, because now we can have Soyeon as a singer and rapper!
Soyeon had participated in the rap survival show Unpretty Rapstar 3, but in the final round she got 4th place. In addition, in 2016, she also participated in the survival show Produce 101 Season 1 and ranked 20th in the last episode. Finally, on December 29, 2016, she signed a contract with CUBE Entertainment. On November 5, 2017, Soyeon debuted as a solo singer with a single titled Jelly, written, composed, and arranged by herself. We stan a multi-talented queen! On May 2, 2018, (G) I-DLE debuted with an album titled I Am and the title track Latata. The album also managed to reach the top of several music charts. Soyeon, their leader, also wrote, composed, and arranged the album! In addition, just a few days before debut, on May 22, 2018, (G) I-DLE managed to get an award on the music program The Show and, on May 24, 2018, received an award from M! Countdown. Making it rank 2nd on the list of the fastest award-winning K-Pop girl groups in history. Here, listen their awesome debut song, Latata!
Listen to Soyeon’s beautiful voice, here!