K-Pop Beyond The Charts is a weekly review column highlighting Korea’s modern day musical innovators who have yet to find mainstream success.
In an interview last year with Angle Magazine , DJ and producer DOL of the innovative South Korean indie rap group ILLAP credited another act as being the genesis of his nation’s hip-hop scene.
“Korean hip-hop has developed with the bulletin board of Internet society with the first generation of Korean hip-hop, a [rap group] named Garion, as the center,” DOL said.
Listening back to “Pandemonium,” from the hip-hop act’s 2010 album “Garion2,” it’s not hard to understand how they could launch a local rap movement.
With a beat that could easily fit in on a vintage Wu-Tang Clan album from the ’90s, “Pandemonium” packs a punch that is rarely heard anymore in the era of rappers singing through Auto-Tune.
And that’s not to discount the rapping.
This is not a hot beat without the MCs to back it up. Garion members MC Meta and Naachal lay down rhyme after rhyme, with complementing styles that are as proficient as they are unique. The duo is joined by another icon of the South Korean hip-hop underground, rapper Dok2, who also produced “Pandemonium.”
Set a group of rappers this great loose on a beat this fresh and excellence is almost a foregone conclusion.
With South Korea’s pop explosion of the last decade, it is not to see parallels of rap’s Golden Age of the 1990s. If the underground rap acts can producer music this great, the South Korean hip-hop scene is certainly on the right track.
It turns out pandemonium isn’t always a bad thing.
Listen to Garion’s 2010 Dok2-produced track “Pandemonium” RIGHT HERE