5 MIN READ
The upsurge in the global recognition of Korean film and television should come as no surprise to us now, particularly with the help of accessible streaming sites. But one aspect of these productions that often goes overlooked by audiences is the soundtrack; the unseen layer of emotive storytelling.
Producers in the film and television industry seem to recognise K Hip-Hop as a prolific counterpart, with both sectors expanding in size, quality and popularity alongside each other. By choosing to collaborate across industries, they offer each other avenues for creative exploration, and a way to introduce their craft to new audiences on both sides of the gap.
Here are a few soundtracks to dig through from powerhouse film/television productions that feature some of your favourite K Hip-Hop artists:
Sweet Home (2020)
The popular series 'Sweet Home' featured rapper and winner of 'Show Me the Money 5’, BewhY, with an electrifying track titled 'Side by Side'. BewhY is notorious for skilfully wielding together short loop samples of classical music and operatic motifs with the raw, metallic sounds and heavy bass beats most commonly found in electronic and techno music. This track is definitely hard-hitting and gritty, but it stands as a great contribution to the overall production of the show, as a theatrical embodiment of the horrors of apocalypse.
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Prison Playbook (2018)
A myriad of K Hip-Hop artists are featured across the soundtrack for the 'Prison Playbook' series; including the likes of BewhY and GRAY, Song Mino and Zico, Woo and WOOGIE, and the Rhythm Power trio (comprised of Hangzoo, Boi B and Gaegoobin). Also involved in this soundtrack are Zion.T, HEIZE, and vocalists Eric Nam and DAVII. This set of all-star artists seems overwhelming, but matches up to the all-star cast of actors on the show. With such a wide range of artists, each song is an easy listen while maintaining its own individual style, ranging from upbeat or mellow to more solemn and serious. This balance makes it a versatile soundtrack and appeals to a wide range of listeners.
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My Name (2021)
Most recently with the release of the series 'My Name', rapper and former contestant of ‘Show Me the Money 7 and 8’, Swervy, featured on a track titled 'My Name' - as is the title of the series and composed by Lee Aram. This track is well-fitted to this particular gritty, crime and revenge drama, working a balance between a sombre, moody emptiness and controlled aggression. Swervy proves to be an excellent choice for the main feature of the track, with their voice accompanying and solidifying the story of the unconventional female protagonist at the centre of this show.
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K Hip-Hop artists are continuing to establish their craft and their circle amongst the wider arts and entertainment industries by making these connections. They begin pushing creative boundaries and add depth to any collaborative production. It is definitely worth checking out, and keeping an ear out for future productions like these.
- Nina Ito