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Roots and Routes: Hip-Hop from South Korea

Ute Fendler


With the growing success of hip-hop in South Korea, the discussions about the authenticity of this genre increase and create cleavages between the mainstream and the underground rappers. The paper intends to analyze three examples of the contemporary music scene that are representative of different positions. Taking Simon Frith’s work on popular music as a means to construct identity, the paper suggests questioning the concept of authenticity (“roots”) and proposes instead conceiving hip-hop in South Korea as a movement at the crossroads (“routes”) of various influences and practices.


Authenticity; Identity; Music videos; Performance; R&B; Rap

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2017.02909