HEY YO! FINALLY!
2009 was a good year for YG Entertainment. Rolling off of Big Bang’s success from their “Remember” album in late 2008, they picked up endorsements from LG Electronics, spawned hits with Seungri’s “Strong Baby” and went on to launch arguably the greatest debut of any girl group in history with 2NE1.
In July of 2009, YG could have just sat back and rode off the wave of 2NE1’s hit “I Don’t Care,” or even Big Bang’s stardom in Japan with the release of their hit “Gara Gara Go.” Instead…they started teasing fans about the potential release of G-Dragon’s first solo project.
Now me…this had me on the edge of my seat. You gotta remember, I’ve been a fan of Big Bang since before they debuted in 2006. I saw what G-Dragon was capable of as a friggin trainee…a trainee!
Let’s face it, if you look at the American mainstream music scene, its almost difficult to compare it to the 90s and 80s where even men and women in their mid-40s could bust out a top ten hit. Nowadays, it’s all about trends and spectacle. But what if I told you that there is another country teeming with artists who can do what today’s pop icons do…but better. To make it clear to you fans who already have your torch and pitchforks at the ready, this list isn’t necessarily talking about the “best” Korean artists. It’s about the Korean artists who could literally come over to the land of the free and stand a chance to succeed in the mainstream.
10 – Block B (BlockBuster)
If you checked out the music video, paused it, and still hear the trumpets blaring in your head…congratulations. You’ve only experienced but a taste of what Block B has to offer. Debuting in 2011, this seven member hip hop group has already proved their talents by winning multiple awards not only in S.Korea, but in Europe! Led by Zico, one of Korea’s top ranking rappers, Block B has become a household name with their first full-length album “BlockBuster” topping out at number ten in the “Billboard World Albums” chart.
Think of BoB and Bruno Mars. Eminem and Rihanna. Chris Brown and T-Pain. Justin Timberlake and Jay –Z. All of these artists take two huge followings and combine them with a single song to create a larger demographic. Now imagine a single group where you have all of that, three top of the line rappers and four crooners to captivate the audience. There’s no need to have another artist feature on the track because Block B is more than capable to deliver on their own.
What separates Block B from the hundreds of other kpop groups out there is their wild charisma to perform without an emphasis on the appearance. Primarily specializing in hip hop and dance Block B has been through their share of adversity and continues to produce club anthems like “Nillili Mambo” and “Very Good”.